Camp Patriot: A place of rest, laughter and healing

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KINGSVILLE, Mo. - For some veterans, it has been said that the battle never ends.  Some soldiers suffer from disorders for the rest of their civilian lives, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

But there's a new camp in Kingville that offers veterans a place to rest.  What sounds like noise to some, echoes as a welcoming call to others.

Retired Marine Major John Schwent understands the pain.  During his 22 years of service, he saw fellow military members leave home for service and come home with problems.

Now, he's driving veterans toward Camp Patriot -- 50 acres worth of hunting grounds near Kingsvile.  The former hospital chief executive officer wants to use time in the great outdoors as a time of healing for wounded warriors.

"They're refreshed. They're motivated," Schwent noted.  "They have a smile on their face. Hopefully, they can take that back home and share that with other veterans."

Schwent says spending time with other veterans provides them with friends who understand.

"There's a brotherhood and a bond with those who have served," he told FOX 4 News.

And it's all for free.  Schwent designed Camp Patriot as a non-profit organization.  A place for rehab at no cost.

Donations pay for their hunting and fishng licenses, while giving America's faithful a second home.

"I wish I would have had the opportunity when I came home in '69 to get some help to deal with stuff," said Terry Crane.  "I didn't have any physical wounds, but I had a lot of mental wounds."

"If these guys can go out, and have some comradery -- tell some stories, laugh, cry -- that's what life is all about. It's not about being stuck," said Terry Williams.

"We need to let our wounded veterans know it's OK to ask for help. We want to be available for help," Schwent said.

Camp directors said they hope a place to rest can provide the veterans with a steop toward healing.

Schwent said he has planned several events during the coming year, including summer fishing tournaments.

Click here to go to Camp Patriot's Facebook page.

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