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New retreat opens for wounded vets in Prince William County | News

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New retreat opens for wounded vets in Prince William County
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HAYMARKET, Va. (WUSA9) -- A special new retreat in Price William County has become a sanctuary where wounded veterans and their families can get a break from doctors visits and rehabilitation.

Almost as remarkable as the service the provides Bull Run Warrior Retreat is the support its received from the community. Local residents and more than 100 businesses donated more than $1 million in labor and materials to make the retreat a reality.

"This place is awesome. You get to see lives transformed and fight the battle here," Marine Cpl. Justin Howell, who served for 13 months in Iraq, said.

Howell says he's struggled with the dark memories from his time in Iraq.

"It just keeps reliving in my thoughts and dreams, where it’s hard to go to sleep at night. I feel like I should have done more, I could have done more," Howell said.

Howell started drinking to numb his pain. But now, the man who was born and raised in Fauquier County has a new deployment: getting well.

"I hit that rock bottom and for me, that was the biggest, biggest step. Letting that pride get away and finally saying, I need help," Howell said. "I can’t do this by myself."

That's where the John and Shirley Dominick's Bull Run retreat comes in. It's a place where veterans like Howell can find solace, in a peaceful setting near the Bull Run Mountains.

"It means a place where they can come and be recognized and taken care of. They can unwind a bit," Bud Kirkland, a volunteer at the retreat said. 

The home away from home features five bedrooms, a guest house and support staff available 24 hours a day. 

You walk through here. Every room that you see, you want to sit. You want to have a cup of tea," Shirley Dominick said. 

The veterans are all outpatients at Walter Reed and Fort Belvoir. They come here for a week, free of charge.

"They feel support, they feel caring, they feel love from our people. That means a lot to them," John Dominick said. 

The Dominicks hope to soon expand the property, adding three more cottages and even a fishing pond. 

You can find more information on the Bull Run Warrior Retreat or the non-profit that funded it here

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