East Texas Retreat
Willow Branch exit off I -20 at the Smith- Van Zandt County Line ( 544 mm ). (972) 771-7280
A new 17.9 acre facility is now open to assist veterans struggling with PTSD or Diagnosed with PTSD. It is located at the old Willow Branch Motorcycle Park at mile marker 544 on the Smith and Van Zandt County Line.
“We started hosting parties out here for combat vets,” said owner David Thompson. “My wife told me I came home with a lot better mood from my PTSD when I could get on my machines and drive around on the dirt bikes,” said David.
“We started calling it “DIRT THERAPY,” laughed David. “We had a big crawfish boil out here and a big get together with veterans. One of the wives called us the next day to thank us for taking her husband out. While he was out with you guys we found this suicide note,” she said. “When he came back home he was in a totally different state of mind.”
“This place was originally purchased for my wife and I to one day sell and buy a beach house. I told her what was going on with the vets and how they were responding.” She said, “I don’t care what you do with the property as long as you take me to the beach twice a year.”
The Veterans Outpost is a 501c organization. The biggest advantage here is to have temporarily housing for PTSD vets while the Veteran’s Administration gets them in the system. We help veterans from 6-8 weeks to get them temporarily transition back and help them get their medications adjusted and other aid.
David went into the Army in 1987 during Desert Storm. He was a combat photojournalist. I got out in 1993 after destroying both my ankles and knees, all service related.
“The current facility with the porch is around 2,400 square feet. We are building a lounge and a bunk room for up for four more vets.
There is a mobile home in the back that could sleep up to three to four veterans comfortably. In the future we have plans for two barnominiums. It will take care of currently displaced vets. They will be roughly around 2,000 square foot with kitchen, living and garage work. The bunk beds will sleep up to 8 in each,” David explained. “We are not a long-term facility, just want to help the displaced vets to get back up on their feet.”
They are working on constructing a larger pond and TPW say they will come out and stock it, more cabins and a side-by-side track in a $2.5 Million Dollar 3-Phase Construction schedule. A lot of their funding will come from corporate sponsorship with a prime location along Interstate 20.
“I have spent times in those tiny VA rooms, this is much better,” laughed David.
To learn more about the Veteran’s Outpost contact David Thompson at (972) 771-7280. There is a website at vetoutpost.org.