Local Life Magazine November 2020

Page 149

Friendships forged He met Ben Kennedy during a kids' school function, and Brown told Kennedy about his dream to help fellow veterans. Kennedy, owner of Brighton Builders, loved the idea because of his family’s military and law enforcement history and helped search for the perfect property to offer that oasis. They found it: 268 acres with a huge barn, outbuildings, dove field, quail woods, even a rifle range. They renamed it Legacy Oaks Preserve. The organization is in its early stages, but already some of the 19,000 veterans in Beaufort County have descended on the property to mow it, maintain it and to simply enjoy the land. “It is a non-clinical setting. You don’t have to be broken to come here,” Brown said. He knows how desperately needed that support is. “Last year hit hard,” he said. “I lost several friends.”

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REGROUP, REFOCUS Every combat veteran has a purpose beyond their call of duty. Operation Patriots FOB is committed to helping them find it.

Twenty-one veterans commit suicide in the United States every day. Operation Patriots FOB wants to prevent as many of those as possible. The six-member board and volunteers are working on an application process that will usher in those who need it most. “Combat veterans are our priority,” Brown said. Through those applications, they’ll find out what might make those combat veterans, men and women, heal. Is it peace and quiet with no loud noises? Time on the water? In the woods? Working with dogs, and eventually horses?

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NOVEMBER 2020 + LocalLifeSC.com

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