This week’s Hometown Tourist is a home for our American heroes. It’s a retreat for disabled veterans or those that have seen combat to visit and stay with their families all for free.
Everything is donated by a Navy veteran to the organization Operation Injured Soldier.
An 8,000 square foot home on 238 acres in Northern Michigan – It’s a spot for veterans and their families to share stories, find peace of mind and get out and adventure.
Mike Fisher is a Vietnam War veteran with a Purple Heart. He says this opportunity is priceless.
“We weren’t very popular when we come home, but fortunately things have changed since then. It’s overwhelming. I can come up here, I just live down the road but I can still come here and spend a weekend if I wanted it’s a retreat,” said Fisher.
“There’s a 3-D archery range out back, they can go out and shoot targets, a lot of walking trails, we have a pond, play areas for the kids,” said caretaker Paula Brown.
It’s all accessible, from the house to the trails, and even a hunting gun.
“We have a sip and puff gun, we have the track chair for those that have trouble walking, or wheel chair bound, or even just can’t walk a long ways. They can also get on the track chair anywhere on the property,” said Brown.
This huge estate is also open to the public for events to help keep the mission alive.
"We’re going to try and buildup more events this summer for fundraising, fundraising donations and grants is how we survive,” said Brown.
A home away from home for those that gave so much, right in our backyard. Brave Hearts Estate is a place to reconnect and build comradery.
“I know what they’re going through, and I’m a Purple Heart veteran also, and I feel for them. Then there’s a mental aspect to everything. It’s hard to send people overseas to fight a war and then come back and just melt into society like nothing ever happened, so it’s something that sticks with you for life,” said Fisher.
“My favorite part is seeing the smiles and the hugs that go around on Sunday mornings that makes it all worth it,” said Brown.
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