By veterans, for veterans

Power of Change grant helps fund new Patriots’ Hall

This summer, United States military veterans will be treated to a state-of-the- art, permanent retreat facility in Dripping Springs, complete with a gathering hall, a wellness center, a fishing pond, fitness trails, and more. And that all started with a flyer distributed by a local veteran.

That veteran was Ronnie “Shorty” Barnett, who was sharing the flyer in hopes of securing land for a meeting house for Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2933 and American Legion Post 290. In 2019, Kathryn Chandler decided not only to help Barnett, a family friend, but also to meet the needs of veterans of all ages in the Texas Hill Country.

“We conducted a survey of veterans from Fort Hood to San Antonio and found a bible of everything they were looking for,” Chandler said.

She discovered that many younger veterans were looking not for a VFW membership but rather for a space where they could bring their families and participate in physical activities. Combining this with Barnett’s needs, the concept of Patriots’ Hall was formed.

Patriots’ Hall — a 7,100-square-foot event hall being built on 10 acres of land just off U.S.-290 — will be a place for veterans of all ages to explore. By hosting various activities and offering resources for wellness, education, and professional networking, Chandler and her team are hoping they can help veterans transition back into civilian life through education, employment, and mental and physical health opportunities.

“This will be a place where, if a veteran wants to come and do a workshop on transition or education, their families can be here, enjoy themselves, and meet other veteran families,” Chandler said. “As soon as you show up and show your paperwork that you’re a veteran, you’re a member, free and clear.”

Thanks in part to our members’ generosity, PEC was able to fund a $5,000 grant through the Power of Change Program, and the idea for this one-of-a-kind veteran sanctuary is becoming a reality.

“What’s great about PEC’s Power of Change Program is that it’s all about the community giving to what’s important to them,” Chandler said. With Patriots’ Hall, we’re veteran-led and community-funded. It’s all about the community being able to place their dollars where it means something to them, so it was a great partnership, and we’re very thankful.”

An official date has not yet been announced, but Patriots’ Hall is expected to open this summer. If you are a veteran and you’re interested in using the facility when it opens, contact Patriots’ Hall at patriotshall.org/contact-us or by emailing [email protected].

Patriots’ Hall is still looking for veterans and their families to volunteer for its Ambassador Program, where they will be the first point of contact for other veterans as they settle in. If you’re interested in joining, go to patriotshall.org/how-to-help.

The Power of Change

At PEC, we’re proud to support our communities and grateful for the generosity of our members. Without your support, we wouldn’t be able to provide grants to local nonprofits or fund our Member Assistance Program. Join the Power of Change today, and for less than $1 per month, you can make the Hill Country a better place to live for all.

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