U.S. Army Veteran, a Double Amputee, Parachuted onto the Site of the Future Wounded Warrior Sanctuary
Nearly 300 supporters, donors, board members, county officials, friends and family of Boulder Crest Retreat founder Ken Falke gathered outdoors on May 18 to celebrate the project’s official groundbreaking on a sunny, cloudless day in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From a mere idea two years ago, Friday’s event on the future site of this 37- acre privately-funded Loudoun County sanctuary for wounded warriors took an important step closer to fruition.
Guests were greeted by an Army veteran who parachuted onto the future site flying an American flag. Skydiver U.S. Army Special Forces Sgt. 1stClass (Ret.) Dana Bowman, a double amputee, was a member of the Special Forces and elite parachute team, the Golden Knights. He later told the amazed crowd that “each of us are given one chance in life to make a difference – and the Boulder Crest Retreat will make a huge difference in the lives of returning wounded service men and women.” A video clip can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-c9EleymPk
Ken Falke’s vision for Boulder Crest Retreat is to provide cost-free accommodations and outdoor recreational therapeutic activities aimed at helping wounded warriors and their families relax and reconnect in a rural setting – taking a break from the physical and mental stress of rehabilitation treatments at local medical institutions. “It will be a country refuge for outpatient personnel dealing with long-term issues from physical injuries to post traumatic stress disorder,” explained Ken.
Janet Clarke, Vice Chairman of the Blue Ridge District Loudoun County Board of Supervisors, remarked that this project “touches the heart and soul of America.” She exclaimed that it is “a great honor to Loudoun County that Bluemont has been chosen” as the site.
Boulder Crest Retreat Vice Chairman and Co-founder Fred W. Malek, a former Naval officer and Naval Academy graduate, praised all members of the military, particularly those who have been wounded, noting their great love and pride in serving our country. “These people have the kind of moral fiber and courage that I hope to impart on my own family and children.”
Boulder Crest Retreat is expected to open in May, 2013.