Colonel Folsom discusses the mission of the Dunham House with KETV's Chinh Doan

An Omaha group is raising money to help heroes coming home with severe injuries.

The non-profit has started fundraising with the goal of building a $10 million long-term care center in the metro for veterans.

In the 80 acres of corn stubble along Rainwood Road in Douglas County, an idea is growing to help our wounded heroes.

“This has been a horrific war and TBI, traumatic brain injury, has been a signature wound of this war with the IEDs and severe amputations and spinal injuries,” said retired Marine Corps Col. John Folsom.

Folsom is the president of Wounded Warriors Family Support, a non-profit he founded in Omaha.

He told KETV NewsWatch 7 his group believes the location in the middle of the country is convenient for veterans and their visitors.

Plans for phase one include a 16,000 sq. ft. facility with 20 beds.

It'll be called Dunham House, named after Corp. Jason Dunham, who died in 2004.

Folsom said Dunham deliberately covered an enemy grenade to save nearby marines.

“We're going to honor Jason and his memory with the idea that I very much believe: That no greater love hath a man or a woman for his or her friends than to lay down one's life,” said Folsom.

Folsom shared the idea was planted years ago, when he saw a soldier living with traumatic brain injury.

“The thought that I had is that, ‘What's going to happen to him when his mother can no longer take care of him? Who's going to take care of this young soldier?'” asked Folsom.

The group hopes to develop the facility into a healing campus as more veterans come home with life-changing injuries.

“We have an obligation forever to take care of these veterans, and that's what we're going to do,” said Folsom.

Wounded Warriors Family Support hopes to open the first phase in December 2020.


HDR to Help Identify Site/Plan Space for Wounded Combat Vets’ Residence

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HDR to Help Identify Site/Plan Space for Wounded Combat Vets’ Residence

Wounded Warriors Family Support, an Omaha-based national nonprofit, has retained HDR to help identify the space planning and site requirements for a new residential home in rural Douglas County for those wounded in combat.

The residence, called the Dunham House, will accommodate combat-wounded veterans who require various levels of care resulting from traumatic brain injuries. Design elements will focus on health and wellness, views of the rural landscape, accessibility and family living—all in a campus-like setting.

“Many young soldiers’ and U.S. Marines’ mothers are their primary caregivers. What will happen to them when their mothers can no longer care for them? Where will they go?” asked Retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. John Folsom, who founded Wounded Warriors Family Support and is spearheading the project. “We have identified an emerging and urgent requirement and we will meet it head on. With the support of Americans, we will provide a home for our combat-wounded veterans who need our help.”

Current alternatives for combat-wounded veterans with no family support are assisted living centers and veterans’ homes, which tend to be populated by older residents and those who don’t have the same combat experience.

“HDR is excited to partner with Wounded Warriors Family Support and Project Advocates on this very important project that embraces our local disabled veterans,” said Robert Hailey, lead architect and project manager. “In fact, HDR’s lead designer, Michael Hamilton and I are both war veterans ourselves. We’re excited to lead the charge on the design of this residence, which will provide disabled veterans with the best quality of life for their unyielding sacrifice to our country.”

Hal Daub, who serves on Wounded Warriors Family Support’s board and building committee, said he’s confident that the organization will be able to raise an estimated $6 to $10 million to cover the cost of building the residence and to create an endowment for ongoing operations. The organization has committed up to $150,000 for the initial planning and preparation stages, and has hired Project Advocates, a project management firm, to work alongside HDR during the planning phase.

The Dunham House was named in honor of Cpl. Jason L. Dunham, United States Marine Corps, who served with the 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines,1st Marine Division. A recipient of the Medal of Honor, he died in 2005 of injuries he suffered when protecting fellow Marines in Husaybah, Iraq.

About HDR
For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans nearly 10,000 employees, in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.

 

About Wounded Warriors Family Support

Our mission is to provide support to the families of those who have been wounded, injured or killed during combat operations. The families of our casualties suffer in many ways: some financially, some psychologically. More information can be found at wwfs.org and dunhamhouse.org.

 

Media Contacts:

Mary Zgoda, HDR
402.399.1372
mary.zgoda@hdrinc.com

Amy LaMar, HDR
402.548.5179
amy.lamar@hdrinc.com