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Construction Begins on Healing Quarters to Benefit Veterans in Germantown

Just south of the circle which marks the entrance to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Shaffer Road sits a one-lane farm road which leads to an old farmhouse, barn, stable, and a wonderful 80-acre vision of the future for our nation’s veterans returning from combat.

The farm will become the new home for the Warrior Canine Connection’s Healing Quarters. Last week, with help from the Steel Framing Industry Association, that vision took its first step toward reality as construction began on the welcome center for the Warrior Canine Connection.

The Warrior Canine Connection is in the process of preparing the site to be its new location for training puppies to become service dogs for veterans from throughout the United States. Currently, WCC is based out of the Patuxent State Park in Brookville, MD, but the group was told that they would not be able to continue at the location after this summer, according to WCC Chief of Staff Dr. Sara M. Kass. The State of Maryland offered the group the opportunity to move the new location in Seneca Creek State Park at an old farmhouse in Boyds, said Kass.

The Healing Quarters will sit on 80-acres of Maryland State Park land, just 20 miles from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and when completed, will provide WCC with a comprehensive facility where it can fulfill its mission to leverage the human-canine bond to help alleviate symptoms of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury in wounded warriors.

Last Thursday and Friday, veterans and volunteers convened at the site with a team of construction experts culled from the Steel Framing Industry Association membership to start building a 20-feet x 20-feet steel frame structure that will become the WCC Welcome Center. The center will serve as the first stop for visitors to the Healing Quarters, and function as a central facility for meetings, media presentations, and similar events.

“The construction means a lot of different things,” said Kass. “Symbolically, for me, it means the kick off of getting this project up and running. This is the first operational building that we are going to have up and running here at Germantown, and that is critical for us. But, it is also going to be the entry into the property for years to come. It will be a facility that will allow people to learn more about this program. It will be great to be able to put the story boards up in there, showcasing that great work that we are doing, and that we have great partners who have made it possible.”