We got a chance to take a tour of the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run in Haymarket, run by Serve Our Willing Warriors (SOWW).
SOWW is a non-profit that provides an all-inclusive respite stay at the retreat for veterans and military service members with their loved ones, to help them when they’re receiving medical treatment at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.
Read more about SOWW here.
SOWW Executive Director Jeffrey Sapp showed off the 37-acre property and 11,000 square foot home, and what it offers to individuals that stay there.
Outside, the property offers a children’s play area, basketball court, horseshoes, fire pits, walking paths, large patio areas, and a serenity garden.
Inside there are five master bedroom suites, which are all ADA compliant, as well as two living rooms, a large dining room, and a special kitchen area.
“This is a gourmet kitchen. And every Sunday we have executive chefs from five-star restaurants come and cook a gourmet meal, that the warrior decides what they want – they cook a gourmet meal for them and their family,” said Sapp.
The individuals get to select from several amenities and special activities during their stay, with the gourmet chef being one of them.
There’s an elevator for individuals with disabilities and mobility issues, which leads downstairs to a kid’s play area, a game room, a massage therapy room, and small gym facility.
One of SOWW’s founders, John Dominick, shared some insight on his mission to start the non-profit and the warrior retreat.
“It was about ten years ago, at this time, we decided in our small group at our church to go out and do a community service project, and we visited the troops at Walter Reed Hospital for recovery…we saw a great need for, especially the troops and their families, to get out of that environment for a little bit,” said Dominick.
Sapp shared some emotional and compelling stories about the warriors that have stayed at the retreat in the past, briefly tearing up himself when reading some of the feedback SOWW has received.
“Warrior feedback highlights how their time at the retreat and away from hospitals have refreshed their outlook, how it’s motivated them to hit an internal reset button, and helped them return to their medical recovery programs feeling reenergized, inspired, and even more focused to live the lives they choose,” said Sapp.
To learn more information about SOWW, you can visit their website at www.willingwarriors.org or calling 866-227-5853. Donations and volunteers are needed.