GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) — Williamson County could become the site of a new development aimed at specifically helping severely injured veterans.
A volunteer group called the Purple Heart Integration Project began raising money Wednesday night to build a community of 80 homes, as well as a high-tech career training center in southeast Georgetown.
“This is probably the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done in my life,” said Conley Giles, one of the group’s co-founders. “So to be a part of this is just a wonderful thing at this stage of my life.”
The group’s founders set a goal to first raise about $700,000 to purchase a 17-acre tract of land on County Road 105 near Jacobs Way. Construction would then happen in two phases.
The first phase would include building a career center and co-working space for seriously disabled veterans. Those plans would also include building a recreation center with a pool and a gym. Ten small, sustainable homes would provide a temporary place for those veterans to stay while going through the programs offered at the development.
The group plans to work with the Veterans Administration to identify injured veterans who could use additional help gaining independence.
“Our vision for the Purple Heart Integration Project is to support seriously disabled veterans who work their way through the VA system, the great support that they get, but may need something more coming out of that system,” retired Major General Michael T. Terry said. “Our intent is to work with them with the end state of them becoming self sufficient.”
Terry spent 35 years in the U.S. Army, which he said made him want to join forces with this group to support its mission.
“Unfortunately, I had experienced quite a few wounded, and soldiers killed as well, so for me this is very special,” Terry said. “Whatever I can do to give back to these great Americans, I’m going to do it.”
Ultimately, the Purple Heart Integration Project would like to add another 70 homes to complete it.
Organizers said these modular houses would be long-term housing options for veterans and their families, and they would have the option to eventually buy them for a price that has not been set yet. The group estimates that this entire project will cost about $8 million.
The Purple Heart Integration Project started a GoFundMe page to assist with its ongoing fundraising efforts.