Veteran’s retreat plans need funding

By Mark Richard

For Todd Dunn, taking a business of selling deer urine for hunters has turned into an altogether different passion.

Dunn, started hi deer urine business on his West Portsmouth farm and has recently helped disabled veterans and children benefit by having what he terms a “No Kill Deer Hunt,” where the veterans and children come and shoot the deer with a tranquilizer. Dunn then treats the deer with needed medications, or cuts off their antlers for saftey,

Now, the passion has expanded. Dunn said he has veterans who want to stay at his farm as a retreat, so he is in the process of building a cabin. He said he is making the cabin as simple and quaint as he can, but since many of these children and veterans are confined to wheelchairs there needs to be special amenities.

Dunn has the basic structure in place but said he needs funding to complete the inside with the plumbing, flooring and such. He said the cost has gotten to the point to where he cant do it alone. Especially since the retreat is 100 percent free for those who attend. He said he has even provided transportation for veterans to come to his deer hunt.

He said some of the veterans he’s talked with are just interested in the retreat and not the hunt. He said he has 25 requests for the cabin already. “It’ll be a place for them to get away to nature,” Dunn said. “It’s just a place for them to relax.”

In addition to the 25 veterans, he said he has a list of 49 handicap children waiting to come and enjoy a day or two as well. He said some of the children have been in a chair their entire life and he wants to provide them with an experience they have never had. “Some have never cooked a hot dog or a S’mores over an open fire, ” he said. “We’re going to let them come and have fun.”

Dunn said he needs floor joists, as well as 8, 10, and 12 foot 2 x 4s, insulation, plywood, plumbing fixtures, handicap accessories, and a hot water tank. “We just need to get something going for the kids and the vets,” he said. “We need to get this building up.”

Dunn said he has talked to some of the veterans who visited for the No Kill Deer Hunt, saying their Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was “way down when they were with us.”

Dunn said he would like the cabin to be complete by September, but said unless help comes soon, that will not become a reality. He said there’s no place for handicapped children or veterans to camp.

“We supply everything at no charge,” Dunn said. They’re not charged anything. If we don’t get the money, I’ll have to tell the vets, ‘sorry, maybe next year.’ I hate to do it. I need some serious help.”

Anyone who would be interested in donating materials can contact Dunn at 740-858-0436.

By Mark Richard