CELEBRATING VETERAN’S DAY COULDN’T BE BETTER THAN IN GLEASON WISCONSIN
COUNTRY HAVEN FARM PROJECT IS UNDERWAY TO PROVIDE A GREAT NORTHWOODS RETREAT FOR WISCONSIN VETERANS AND THEIR FAMILIES!
CONTACT: VICKIE FRANK 920.203.8692 715-873-3496 VFRANK1968@GMAIL.COM
FB: WOUNDED WARRIORS UNITED WISCONSIN
LOCATION: W14743 1ST Ave, Gleason WI 54435
Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin has been providing nationwide hunting and fishing opportunities to Wisconsin Veterans (always free of charge) since 2015. It has been our dream to develop a north woods getaway for veterans to relax and unwind from the daily struggles and challenges that many encounter.
That dream is becoming a reality with support of local donors. Here is our story!
Our goal is very simple but unique: Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin has served hundreds of Wisconsin heroes over the last 6 years. We wanted to do more. It became clear through talking with veterans and observing veteran interactions during hunting and fishing trips, talking to spouses and relatives, that some of our veterans prefer a quiet place to get away. They simply may need a break, or a place to hang out with another veteran to decompress or for a hunting or fishing getaway. Whatever their need, Country Haven Farm will provide a place for them to stay – always free of charge. When they are here, they can interact with the farm animals who are all quite friendly and charming! If they would like to help with the farm chores for fun, they can do that too!
The north woods of Wisconsin hold so many outdoor sporting opportunities for our veterans and many whom cannot afford to come and stay to participate now can come to the farm and feel that they can still get out and hunt, fish, trail ride or hike without the burden of an expensive resort or where they may not feel comfortable. Our goal is to provide them a place to just “be”. No questions asked. They will have as much privacy as they desire as the guest residence will be a completely separate guest home overlooking woods and farm fields under clear starry skies.
Our location is perfect. We are surrounded by hundreds of acres of public hunting land, trails, lakes and streams. The farm is picturesque and quiet. An occasional moo from our cows or hee haw from our mini donkeys will break the silence on occasion. Our hope is to make veterans aware of what will be available to them 52 weeks a year. They are welcome to bring their families too. Many veterans are not able to get away with family due to the cost; so we can help another way too.
Our veterans and their families tell us often that after being part of our experiences, that they feel so appreciated and grateful at the same time.
Last May, 13 full one week stays and deluxe cabins in the Sayner area were donated to 13 veterans and their families. We held a banquet for them and 13 fishing guides donated a morning of fishing. The veterans couldn’t believe what beautiful cabins they were provided with. More importantly a younger veteran was so touched he told me that he could never take his family anywhere due to financial restraints and this was just an overwhelming week for him and his family.
We are doing all that we can to move our project along, here is what we have done to date:
April 9th – we moved in!
April 19th – Some animals arrived…..and…..
Otto has built over 2000 feet of pasture fencing, replaced all vertical beams in the barn, completely removed and emptied the dairy stations, scrap and debris, torn down some old structure, cleaned up the property, filled and compacted the main barn floor (where the new concrete floor will go), built new inside pens as we can find rough cut lumber for, and we are still building pens. We had some electrical problems to overcome and had to put in a new water line for the animals. So far we are expecting baby goats any day now! A Scottish Highland calf in January and three new baby Jenny miniature donkeys will be arriving on November 6th to join the barnyard of pygmy and fainting goats, miniature donkeys, Scottish Highland Cows and Mangalitsa Pigs. It’s a unique place of tranquility, fun and relaxation unlike any other.
ABC Supply and Sonnentag Family Foundation/County Materials have made donations to help with structural changes in the barn. But more help is needed to get the retreat up and running!
We are looking now for financial help to build and furnish the guest cottage. We are in the final stages of putting together our fundraising campaign and go fund me page. We will be offering naming rights to the guest cottage, offering a “buy a beam” “build a pen” “buy a block” program as well as project based needs such as feed, equipment, internet and satellite TV for the guest cottage, etc.
Here is a link to the article in the recent Antigo Daily Journal for your review
Wounded Warriors United of Wisconsin is a 501c3 non-profit organization. We are independent, are all volunteer and serve all Wisconsin veterans.
Our website: www.wwuwi.org
Facebook: Wounded Warriors United Wisconsin
Testimonial from a recent Veteran, Andrew, who came to stay at Country Haven Farm.
I first met Otto after seeing a post on Facebook about getting veterans together for a coyote hunt 5 years ago. I messaged Otto and drove across the state not knowing what I was getting into. Upon arrival it was a casual get together with some other vets, dinner and a coyote hunting seminar. I went out with my guides into the -5 degree weather for the night and was hooked!
The next morning we all met up again, chatted about the hunt and headed home. I stayed in touch with Otto, participated in a few other events and we quickly became friends.
Since attending the coyote hunt I’ve had the privilege of becoming more involved with WWU and in turn began helping with the events and helping other veterans. Otto and I setup a deer camp, coyote hunts and the WWU Warriors on the Water event.
I didn’t know the amount of fulfillment I would find giving back to those who give so much and ask for nothing in return.
WWU of WI and Otto have an amazing organization. The look on another veterans face when they talk about the events afterwards is awesome. The friends and memories that are made are priceless. It always puts a smile on my face when I attend an event and see another veteran I met thru WWU, the handshakes and catching up, sharing adventures and stories, and always checking on each other.
WWU isn’t just about hunting and fishing, it’s much much more. It’s about helping, opening up and connecting veterans across the state and lifetime bonds.
I’m proud to call Otto my friend. His hard work, never quit attitude, and passion for WWU is amazing. The new hobby farm he and Vickie are setting up for veterans and their families shows their dedication and love for helping others. I recently visited and didn’t want to leave. Otto put me to work unloading hay, helping with whatever he asked and all I could do was think how does he do this alone? That’s the kind person Otto is though. I can’t wait to visit again soon and for other veterans to be able to bring their families up once the farm is officially opened.
Thank you Otto Reetz and Vickie Frank for all that you do.