OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A Nebraska veteran support group which offers care-giving services to wounded veterans wants to build a facility in Omaha.
The organization says the building near Bennington would be a serene place for veterans and close to other care facilities in the area. Before they can build, the group not only needs $10 million, but permission from the city.
Colonel John Folsom founded Wounded Warriors Family Support, which helps injured veterans and their families with care-giving services. The organization hopes to build a care center to assist injured service members dealing with spine and brain injuries. Colonel Folsom's inspiration to help others came after meeting an injured soldier and his family about ten years ago.
"What struck me was that his mother would have to take care of him," Colonel Folsom said.
Then came a realization.
"What will happen to this young soldier and others like him who are being cared for by their parents when they're no longer able to take of themselves because of their health problems?"
Wounded Warriors Family Support has plans to build a combat wounded veterans residence. They're on their way to raising $10 million for the facility, but first need the city to rezone their piece of land.
The 80-acre site off 120th and Rainwood Road near Bennington is where the organization is looking to build the 24 bedroom facility. It's a bean field now, but Colonel Folsom says it will soon be a place veterans from around the country can seek day-to-day living assistance.
Colonel Folsom is confident city officials will rezone the land.
"One-hundred percent. It's the right thing to do," he said.
The namesake for what will be called the Dunham House comes from the late Corporal Jason Dunham. He was 22 when he covered a grenade that detonated in Iraq. Dunham was on life support for eight days.
Colonel Folsom never met Dunham, but says the marine's life, sacrifice and service will live on through this facility.
"I'm quite sure the city planning board will see the value of what we're doing and understand the importance and agree to rezone it residential."
A representative with the city planning department couldn't be reached Tuesday. If the land is not rezoned, Colonel Folsom and Wounded Warriors Family Support plans to approach city council.