Bull Run Warrior Retreat
16013 Waterfall Rd.
Haymarket, VA 20169
Several years ago Serve Our Willing Warriors (SOWW) was created to fulfill the vision of its founders John and Shirley Dominick. After years of outreach to wounded warriors at Walter Reed and Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital they decided a more permanent place for wounded warriors and their families to come and relax away from the hospital and rehab environments was needed. A few years ago SOWW acquired and began remodeling an 11,000 sq. ft. 5 bedroom home on 37 acres at the foot of Bull Run Mountain in Haymarket, VA. Through the hard work and dedication of volunteers and the generous heart of a wonderful community the project is near completion. Soon we will invite wounded warriors and their families to stay at the retreat.
I am proud to play a small role at the retreat as the lead on the Visiting Chef Program. I created the Visiting Chef Program as a way to make the stay special for these deserving families. We have nearly 40 restaurant, catering, personal, and military chefs from our area who have agreed to participate in the program. A chef will come to the retreat once during the family’s stay and prepare them an exceptional meal. We have several local food vendors involved with the program and are creating a large chef’s garden.
On July 4th we were joined by over 500 volunteers, donors, and friends for the Bull Run Warrior Retreat ribbon cutting ceremony. Everyone had a great time and was excited to see the house and know that it is nearly finished. I have put together some pictures to show how far we have come and how warm and inviting it will be for the families. Remember that almost everything you see in the photos has been donated, from the building materials and labor to the cabinets, appliances, and furniture.
We still need help outfitting the retreat and making sure the families have everything needed for their stay. To help the community make donations we have a Bed Bath & Beyond Registry to identify kitchen and home items we still need.
Wheelchair access to the house is by ramp to the front door or there is a chair lift in the garage for inclement weather.
From the front deck you can see the service flags and the children’s play area. Both were part of the many Eagle Scout projects on property.
Girl Scouts created this beautiful serenity garden.
Also near the front of the house is this BBQ area built as an Eagle Scout project.
The front deck.
The main entrance to the house.
The kitchen about a year ago.
The kitchen today has a 48 inch 6 burner gas stove with 2 electric ovens, 2 French door refrigerators, 2 dishwashers, a wall oven, wine cooler, microwave, and 2 sinks. The kitchen appliances are all GE Monogram and part of a package of 17 appliances donated by builder K. Hovnanian Homes. The cabinets were donated by Signature Woodcrafters in Haymarket.
The main dining room.
The rear living room.
The front living room.
The main floor has 3 large bedrooms with wheelchair accessible bathrooms and showers.
The upper floor, accessible by elevator, has 2 bedrooms with standard baths for family and children. At the top of the stairs is this comfortable seating area overlooking Bull Run Mountain.
At the base of the stairs on the lower level is the library and memorabilia area.
Directly behind the library is the children’s play area.
The entertainment room will feature a pool table and large screen TV.
The exercise room is also on the lower level and has a full bath with roll in shower.
Just off the exercise area is a room with massage tables.
The caretaker’s quarters includes a kitchen/living room area, bedroom and office.
The caretaker’s quarters has it’s own small deck. We enclosed the back garage to make it the volunteer office and conference room.
The rear deck is accessible from the dinning room and through French doors in the main entryway hall to allow for wheelchair access.
Leading out from the children’s play area on the lower level is the patio with a burn pit.
The chef’s garden was an Eagle Scout project that will help us take a farm-to-table approach to food at the retreat. Not only for the chefs but we will encourage the families to draw from the garden as they prepare their own meals.