Patriot Point: Offering healing to warriors

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan President and Executive Director Steve Beck of the Military Bowl Foundation, left, spoke with Patriot Point Co-Founder and Manager Stuart Plank during Saturday’s open house.

Dorchester Banner/Dave Ryan
President and Executive Director Steve Beck of the Military Bowl Foundation, left, spoke with Patriot Point Co-Founder and Manager Stuart Plank during Saturday’s open house.

TAYLORS ISLAND – If a visitor didn’t know the kind of place this is, he or she could probably figure it out – young and muscular men in civilian clothes talking to older men wearing shirts and baseball caps that say things like, “Combat Wounded”. Then the visitor spots a leg brace or a scar and knows the place’s mission.

“At Patriot Point, our nation’s warriors are able to reconnect with their families and their caregivers, decompress after a deployment, or just take some time to rejuvenate,” a statement on the facility’s website says.

The site is 290 acres just east of Taylors Island. It got its start as a resort for the troops and their families when the original owner of the property, Jim Bugg, began bringing wounded soldiers from Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. In April 2016, the Military Bowl Foundation established Patriot Point LLC and purchased the property, previously known as Poverty Point. Things moved quickly from there.

Extensive renovations have created an attractive and inviting place, with activities ranging from hunting, fishing and crabbing, to quieter pasttimes such as reading or boardgames in one of the many nooks in the guesthouse.

“Thanks to generous donations by founding partners Stuart Plank and the Taishoff Family Foundation in addition to $500,000 in state capital funding approved by the state of Maryland, Patriot Point is now a reality,” the website says. “There are short- and long-term plans to help Patriot Point maximize its impact for those who were injured while serving.”

“The views, the quiet and the solitude of the place” provide a healing atmosphere for visitors, Co-Founder and Manager Stuart Plank said during the open house. It’s all to “let these guys and girls know how much they are appreciated,” he said.

In the past two and a half years, there have been more than 600 guests who spent more than 1,500 days at Patriot Point. The guest books make it clear how much they and their families appreciate the chance to relax there.

One said, “We felt at home from the time we arrived until the time we left. I wish I could tell you my favorite thing, but we enjoyed everything. These have been the most relaxing days I’ve ever had on a trip! Can’t thank you enough.”

Another said, “This retreat was so helpful and needed! I cried, laughed, relaxed and enjoyed myself so much. I loved everyone that I met and feel like I have forever friends now.”

One family that has given the ultimate sacrifice expressed their gratitude, saying, “Jennifer, Matthew and Michael Enfinger – Gold Star Family. Thank you for a fun, relaxing weekend. God bless you and your family. In memory of Sgt. Jimmy Enfinger, 4/4/75-7/11/2011.”

Patriot Point is located at 750 Taylors Island Road. To reach the Military Bowl’s office in Washington, D.C., call 301-938-1483. To learn more about the facility, visit www.patriotpoint.org.

Dave Ryan is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at dryan@newszap.com.

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