Honour House Society welcomed more than 300 supporters, including uniformed personnel from across B.C., at a special ceremony today to celebrate the opening of Honour Ranch, a place of recovery and renewal for our Canadian Armed Forces, emergency services personnel, veterans and their families.
Nestled in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, 12 kilometres south of the historic village of Ashcroft, Honour Ranch provides much needed space and facilities for individuals to learn healthy strategies to cope with operational stress injuries, such as PTSD.
Honour Ranch is a new step in answering the call of our country and communities. The 120-acre property offers a tranquil and secluded setting to help heal the body, mind and spirit.
“This facility is the realization of a vision we had of creating a safe place to support our men and women in uniform who give unconditionally every day,” said Allan De Genova, President of Honour House Society. “Honour Ranch is the perfect setting to positively change the lives of the many brave people who reach out to us looking for help, each and every week. We can now better support those who serve.”
The Ranch complements Honour House in New Westminster, established in November 2010 after De Genova watched a documentary recounting the inspiring story of Captain Trevor Greene of Canada’s Seaforth Highlanders. Greene was violently attacked and seriously injured while deployed in Afghanistan. To date, Honour House has provided over 10,000 free nights of accommodation for uniformed personnel and their families while receiving medical care and treatment in Metro Vancouver, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket accommodation expenses.
Greene was on hand to commemorate the opening of Honour Ranch in Ashcroft today.
“Honour Ranch is Phase 2 of Honorary Colonel Al De Genova’s enlightened and compassionate mission to help wounded first responders and soldiers. Al knew instinctively that family plays a critical role in recovery, so he put his considerable energy and enthusiasm into creating Honour House, a beautiful home away from home in Metro Vancouver. Now he has created a serene countryside refuge where soldiers and first responders struggling with PTSD can begin their healing journey,” said Greene.
When Honour Ranch begins full operations in early 2020, it will offer education and support programs for military members, veterans, first responders and their families dealing with the debilitating effects of operational stress injuries. Guests will stay onsite in one of 10 cabins while receiving treatment at the Ranch’s transformed main lodge. This will be a place to escape the stresses of work – guests will participate in education and treatment programs using natural, agricultural and environmental therapies.
“Studies show that mental health support delivered in a natural setting, as a partner in the therapeutic process, helps people overcome barriers and increases recovery,” said Bob Parkinson, Health and Wellness Director of the Paramedics and Dispatchers of BC. “Many of our first responders face intense and stressful situations that can affect their mental health. Honour Ranch will provide a safe and comfortable place of recovery. We hope these programs and mental health specialists will show some of our bravest Canadians that it’s okay to ask for help.”