Cottage for veterans almost ready on Skiatook Lake
BY World's Editorials Writers
Saturday, February 09, 2013
2/09/13 at 7:05 AM
There are a lot of people who talk about doing something for our veterans and there are a special few who really do something. Dan Rooney is one of the special few.
Rooney, a former fighter pilot with the Oklahoma Air National Guard, formed the Owasso-based Folds of Honor, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping spouses and dependents of dead or disabled veterans.
The success has been resounding. Rooney's annual golf tournament at The Patriot golf club has grown each year. His idea to have golfers at courses across the country donate a few bucks when playing a round on Memorial Day has resulted in help for veterans and families, including scholarships for more than 2,500 students nationwide.
As that program continues its success, Rooney, along with some friends, is now working toward the completion of a year-round retreat for wounded veterans and their families. A cottage, scheduled to open on Memorial Day, is nearing completion on Skiatook Lake. The project is a partnership between the Folds of Honor, CrossTimbers and the Army Corps of Engineers, along with a host of businesses, large and small, who have donated funds and services totaling $250,000.
The goal is to allow about 150 families a year to use the 1,100-square-foot cottage for about three days for rest and recreation. The Honor Cottage is equipped to accommodate injured veterans and can handle a large family. The families also will have access to amenities at the CrossTimbers.
CrossTimbers opened in May 2005 as a collaboration among the corps, the Skiatook Economic Development Authority and StateSource LLC, a firm led by CrossTimbers developer Ron Howell.
Expect more projects from the Folds of Honor and friends. Rooney is not through yet.
"We've been on a mission," says Rooney, "to leave no family behind on the field of battle. Right now as a country, we have about a million dependents who have had somebody either killed or disabled in Iraq or Afghanistan. Of that group, about 87 percent don't get any federal education assistance. It's a big mountain to climb."
It's a climb that every American should be proud that he is making.
Original Print Headline: Help for vets
A groundbreaking was held at the Folds of Honor's Honor Cottage site at Skiatook Lake at Cross-Timbers on Nov. 28. STEPHEN PINGRY/ Tulsa World file