PenFed Foundation and Serve Our Willing Warriors Open Doors to Retreat Home for Wounded Warriors and their Families

Posted December 12 2018
by Media Relations

TYSONS, Va., December 12, 2018  The PenFed Foundation and Serve Our Willing Warriors (SOWW) opened the PenFed Foundation Home at Warrior Retreat at Bull Run today during a ribbon-cutting ceremony and grand opening event. The Haymarket, Virginia home – located in the Virginia countryside – will provide respite for wounded warriors, their families and caregivers.

PenFed Foundation donated $300,000 to build the retreat home, which doubles the capacity of Warrior Retreat. The retreat home now enables SOWW to serve more than 500 wounded warriors and their families, caregivers and guests each year. The opening of the PenFed Foundation Home makes it the second home on SOWW’s property — each hosting one family at a time for up to six days each week.

“PenFed Foundation is honored to give back to those who have fought on the frontlines for our freedom,” said James Schenck, President and CEO, PenFed Credit Union and CEO, PenFed Foundation. “The fight doesn’t end on the battlefield. When they come home, far too many wounded warriors are spending months, often years, undergoing surgeries and long hospital stays. This home is a place where our Willing Warriors can take a knee and heal their bodies and minds. We truly can’t thank these brave men and women enough for all they have sacrificed for our freedoms.”

SOWW serves the needs of wounded warriors and their families through “Warrior Getaways” at the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run. Since opening on Veterans Day 2015, the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run has hosted nearly 900 guests, including wounded warriors from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, and other area military hospitals, at its first house which sits on a 37-acre campus on the edge of the Bull Run Mountain Conservancy in Haymarket, Virginia.

During their stay, recovering warriors and their families are able to participate in more than 69 different activities and programs offered through local service partners, including helicopter tours, fishing, hiking horseback riding, and five-star chef-prepared meals. Warriors and their families can also partake in physical and canine therapy, and family counseling.

“The PenFed Foundation Home is a priceless gift that will double our capacity to provide respite for our warriors and their families,” said Shirley Dominick, Founder and CEO, Serve Our Willing Warriors. “We know from experience that it will help us save lives, save marriages and give hope to warriors and families. PenFed Foundation is paying it forward and giving hope to many generations to come."

Army Sergeant First Class Ben Heffron, a wounded warrior who visited the retreat twice – once with his family and another time as part of a battle buddies reunion – spoke at the ribbon-cutting ceremony about how important time spent at the retreat is to the healing process and recovery.

“When my family came to the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run, we checked all our problems at the gate and had a week of fun and relaxation,” said Sergeant First Class Heffron. “During our stay, the community came out and showed their warmth and loving care. The PenFed Foundation Home shows incredible continued support for warriors.”

Sergeant First Class Heffron’s deployments include Operation Iraqi Freedom, National Resolution, Iraqi Surge and Iraqi Sovereignty Campaigns. He also participated in Operation Enduring Freedom Consolidation III and Transition I Campaigns in Afghanistan. Sergeant First Class Heffron was awarded the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and was previously assigned to the Pentagon. He is now assigned to the Warrior Transition Battalion at Ft Belvoir and resides in Northern Virginia with his wife and four children.

Event attendees, including Virginia State Senator Dick Black, toured the home and met wounded warriors that have stayed at the retreat. 

The PenFed Foundation Home is 4,532 total square feet with five bedrooms, five bathrooms, an open concept living room, dining room and kitchen. The second story includes a loft and the basement features a recreation room. The home is handicap accessible and an elevator will be installed to make the home even more adaptable for those needing assistance.  

PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to helping members of our military community secure their financial future and has provided more than $30 million in financial support to the military community since its founding in 2001.

Visual assets for media, including b-roll video and interviews can be found here. To learn more about the PenFed Foundation and see a short video about its mission, please visit the PenFed Foundation's website.

About PenFed Foundation

Founded in 2001, the PenFed Foundation is a national nonprofit organization committed to helping members of our military community secure their financial future. It provides service members, Veterans, their families and support networks with the skills and resources they need to improve their lives through programs on financial education, credit-building, home ownership, and short-term assistance. Affiliated with PenFed Credit Union, the Foundation has the resources to effectively reach military communities across the nation, build strong partnerships, and engage a dedicated corps of volunteers in its mission. The credit union funds the Foundation’s personnel and most operational costs, demonstrating its strong commitment to the programs the Foundation provides. To learn more, visit


About Serve Our Willing Warriors                                                          

Opened on July 4, 2015, Serve Our Willing Warriors is a volunteer- and community-supported 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organization. We provide encouragement and non-medical programs that positively affect the well-being, recuperation, and lives of military service members (Warriors) who are wounded, ill, injured, Recovering, or Recovered from service-related injuries, Veterans, and their families. We partner with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, Veteran Service Organizations, businesses, corporations, churches, youth groups, and other public and private sector organizations. The Warrior Retreat at Bull Run is our flagship program. Featuring an 11,000-square foot ADA accessible home on 37-acres in the shadow of the historic Bull Run Mountains in Haymarket, Virginia, the Retreat offers six-day respite stays during which Warriors and their families and caregivers can temporarily escape hospital settings and day-to-day demands to relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with each other and support networks. Since its founding, Serve Our Willing Warriors has hosted more than 900 Warriors, families, and caregivers. We host only one family at a time. Warriors incur no cost. For more information visit


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