Vacation for Veterans
Rest and Relaxation
THE FOLLOWING VACATIONS ARE JUST SOME OF THOSE THAT HAVE BEEN ENJOYED BY OUR WOUNDED SERVICEMEN AND SERVICEWOMEN. THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR DONORS WHO HAVE MADE THESE MEMORIES POSSIBLE.

If you are a home donor whose home has been used for a free vacation, or, if you are a veteran who has recently enjoyed a free vacation through Vacations For Veterans and you wish to share your experience, please contact us for the password to upload your story and images at info@vacationsforveterans.org.

 
 
Ryan Kules
Ryan Kules
Captain
U.S. Army
.
 
Our experience with Vacations for Veterans was phenomenal! What a treat it was for my family and I to stay in a beautiful condo in Ocean City, MD. We had a chance to relax, soak in the amazing view, and play at the beach with our two little girls. My wife and I could not have been more pleased with this vacation- thank you to VforV and the generous donor who made our get away possible! Ryan Kules, Army CPT (ret.)
 
 
James Dunlap
James Dunlap
SSG
Army (retired)
Saint Albans, WV
 
One of the BEST programs I have come across. The lady who owned the home was vry generous...even going as far as arraging tours of old plantations and bringing us fresh produce. We have truely made a friend for life. Thanks!!
 
 
Harry Kindrick
Harry Kindrick
1stSgt
USMC
LaGrange KY
 
We went on an extended family vacation for Christmas 2009. We were paired up with an awesome donor who let us use a 14 person Beach Front resort cottage in Port St Joe Florida. They even waived the fee for my dogs. I could not have had a better time. Thanks to Vacations for Veterans for their determination in matching us up with the perfect vacation for a large group. Summer Dream Cottage is the unit, and it is so nice we would pay for a return trip.
 
 
Rivera
Rivera
CPT
US ARMY
Carolina, Puerto Rico
 
It was great to see my children smile again. We really needed this time together as a family. Thanks for the opportunity. Hope other Veterans can enjoy and have fun as well. Thanks again for the opportunity. God Bless. The Rivera Fam. EJR
 
 
Robert Medinger
Robert Medinger
.
 
I consider it an honor and privilidge to be here to send this to you, from the beautiful beaches of Panama. As it turns out, my family was already scheduled to be in Panama at the same time SSgt. Mark H. Graunke, Ret. USMC accepted our offer to come to Panama, so we are fortunate to be accompanying the Graunke's around for part of their Panama trip. Because of YOUR support and donations, SSgt. Graunke, along with his wife and young daughter, are here in Panama having the time of their lives. Without any question or prompting, Mark told me today it has been SO long since he has just been able to "play" in the water, and today he and his family did just that....pure fun for several hours. He and his family REALLY had a great time!
 
 
John & Amber Jones
John & Amber Jones
SSGT
USMC
Fort Collins, CO
 
We enjoyed the island of Kauai so very much! Our condo was more than we could have asked for. It was very much needed and we are forever grateful for this opportunity! Thank you!
 
 
Brad Blazek
Brad Blazek
CPT
Army
Atlanta, GA
 
I am writing on behalf of my husband, Brad. He was wounded in Iraq in 2007 from a rocket blast and suffered Traumatic Brain Injury. I don’t remember when we heard about “Vacations for Veterans” but we’re blessed that we did. Brad was trying his best to stay in the Army, but unfortunately, they medically retired him. I wanted to make sure he ended his career in the military on a positive note, so we contacted “Vacations for Veterans.” We decided to go to Kauai through “Vacations for Veterans”. I was amazed at how easy the process was to book a week with them. Peggy was absolutely wonderful!! She really did a great job with the entire process and I’d like to say thank you so much!! Brad’s family was also able to stay with us during the week. This was nice since we only get to see them a couple times a year, if that. Kauai was spectacular!! I think it’s the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and definitely my favorite vacation destination. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to close one chapter of our lives and open a new one. Thank you to the most gracious owners of the condo we stayed at and thank you again to such a wonderful organization as “Vacations for Veterans.”
 
 
Shaan Canady
Shaan Canady
Staff Sergeant
Army
Charlotte NC
 
My wife and I enjoyed a lovely vacation in the Outer Banks through Vacations for Vetrans this past summer. The host was gracious enough to donate her home right on the beach! Thanks for a lovely expirience VFV.
 
 
Christopher
Christopher
MSG
US Army
Clarksville TN
 
My name is MSG Chris Self. I have been in the Army for 23 years and have served 6 tours to Iraq. In December 2005, I sustained gunshot wounds in both my legs resulting in the lost of my right leg. After all the rehabilitation and being in the hospital, my wife Dana and I really could use a relaxing vacation. My wife did a lot of research and found out about VFV. She contacted them and set up a vacation for us in Hawaii. It was the MOST amazing time. The owners of the house were great and very appreciative of the service of our men and women. It was an awesome time for my wife and I. Thank you so much for an opportunity you gave to my wife and I to enjoy the beautiful islands of Hawaii.
 
 
Kenneth Brons
Kenneth Brons
E-4
Army
Corinth, TX
 
First and foremost I would like to thank Vacation for Veterans and Mr. David Griffith for making our vacation possible. My family and another family, who we are close friends with and we served together in Iraq, were able to enjoy 5 days in New Braunsfels Texas. The first two days we went to Schlitterbahn Waterpark which is right across the street, and we had so much fun and rode just about all the rides. The next couple of days we mingled around the parks and grilled in the backyard where we played horseshoes. The place was nice and cozy; a great relaxing spot. It was really nice to get away for a while. We all really enjoyed our time and it would not have been possible without VFV or Mr. Griffith.
 
 
Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith
Sgt
Army
Dayton, Ohio
 
Me and my wife shared a wonderful week on the island of Kauai,Hawaii in a beautiful little condo right near the ocean,it was the most beautiful place i have ever been to and being in the worst place in the world this was such a warm "Mahalo" as in thank you on the Island me and Gena kayaked to and hiked through a rainforest to a tropical waterfall at the end we went snorkling with the fishes on the Na Pali coast with the most wonderful views ever with dolphins swimming together in front of the boat and awsome Hawaiian food at the Luau such a beautiful place thank you soo much it took my mind to a better place and my heart will always remember my trip there ,ALOHA ~Ryan&Gena Smith
 
 
Justin Constantine
Justin Constantine
Major
USMC
Arlington, VA
 
As a quick backdrop to this review, I was awarded a Purple Heart due to a serious injury in Iraq in 2006, and through the nonprofit organization called Vacations for Veterans, my wife and I were able to pick a free vacation home for one week. Germaine Fritz and her husband donated their amazing Caribbean villa to us for one glorious week, and I can honestly say it was the best vacation we have ever been on. Even though we have been to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Hawaii, California, New Zealand, South America, Egypt, and other countries, there simply was no comparison. Because A Dream Come True can sleep up to 10 guests, my wife and I invited a few of our friends; in total there were 6 of us. Because the accomodations are so luxurious, however, we had our own wing (actually a completely separate building!) with an incredible view over the bay directly below us. The infinity pool was the perfect temperature, as was the ocean water it overlooked. Every day we lounged by the pool, and then made our way to the beach, either by kayaking to one of several private areas or by a short drive. The weather was never an issue, with consistently beautiful days one after the other. There is a small grocery store on the island, and we often stopped by there for food to cook in the spacious, welcoming kitchen filled with modern ammenities. We ate out a handful of times, especially after we found a few tasty places to eat a little off the beaten path. Most of our evening were spent around the kitchen table or in lounge chairs on the deck - it is not often, that we get to relax for that long with good friends, and we took full advantage of it! We were not happy to leave A Dream Come True, but so very excited that we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay in such a wonderful home. Germaine had been the perfect hostess, helping to arrange our plane tickets, check-in and car rental. I simply cannot say enough good things about our trip
 
 
Mary Jo & Tony Venditti
Mary Jo & Tony Venditti
Glenville, NY
 
We were honored to host Joseph Scorza for a week at our vacation home on Sacandaga Lake in Broadalbin, NY. We were so happy that Joseph was able to reconnect with his Mom, step-Dad, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew while enjoying the best weather we had all summer. Not only is Joseph personable and warm, his family were just as wonderful! Joseph is a fantastic young man with great plans for the future! We plan to stay in touch. Thank you VFW for an unforgettable experience!
 
 
Bradley Chidester
Bradley Chidester
Sergeant
Army
Fountain Green, Utah
 
We would like to send a warm hearted thank you to Charles and Gretchen for sharing their condo in Pagosa Springs, CO with us. Due to their generousity our family was able to spend time together building our relationships and mending "our" war wounds. Vacations for Veterans has been wonderful in helping wounded veterans and their families reconnect and destress. Our family has appreciated the selfless actions of VFV and those who have donated their homes for the benefit of others. Thank you to all involved in our healing. The Chidester's
 
 
Byron Barrios
Byron Barrios
SFC
USAR
Temecula/CA
 
I would like to thank Dan Carpenter and VFV for the great opportunity to share with my family in such a great peaceful atmosphere. I had never really been able to share in a vacation with my family and this was really an awesome experience. The house was such a great place, peaceful, very well built, I love the floors and am trying to talk my wife into letting me do the same to some parts of our house. Thank you Dan and VFV for allowing us to have this Great vacation.
 
 
Antonio Mora
Antonio Mora
Army
Bernalillo, New Mexico
 
I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Vacations for Veterans and Don Delzio and family for giving my family and I such a memorable trip! We stayed at the Delzio beach house in Chadwick beach, NJ. The water was clean and was the perfect temperature for my little ones to play in. We also got the chance to go to New York (2 hour drive) which my family and I really enjoyed. Thanks again to everyone who made this possible.
 
 
Don Delzio
Don Delzio
Chadwick Beach, NJ
 
Our family was honored to host the Mora family from New Mexico at our beach house in Chadwick Beach, NJ in late June, 2009. The picture is my son assisting their young son in the surf. The Mora's were amazed to learn that NJ does have nice beaches and that, on several mornings, dolphins could be seen off-shore swimming and feeding.
 
 
Eric Guendner
Eric Guendner
USMC
North Carolina
 
I want to thank you for the opportunity. We were welcomed by the owner, treated like kings and were given a much needed respite during a difficult period of life. Thanks to everyone involved in this project, you truly are patriots and good human beings
 
 
Jason Burr
Jason Burr
United States Army
.
 
Thanks to everyone at Vacations for Veterans for giving my girlfriend and I such a memorable trip! A special thanks also goes to all of the generous people who donate time at their vacation properties. We stayed at a beachfront condo on Siesta Key, just outside of Sarasota, Florida. The condominium was well-appointed, and the location was superior. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer vacation property. We spent our days relaxing on the beach, snorkeling, and enjoying the lovely view from the balcony. It was very relaxing and gave us some much-needed down time together. Thanks again for having such a wonderful program with people who are professional and very dedicated to helping wounded soldiers and their families through the healing process.
 
 
Tama Coleman
Tama Coleman
Raleigh NC
 
I was honored to host Rob and Briley at my vacation home in Hawks Cay, in the Florida Keys. I received this lovely thank you note. There is not a single thing more wonderful than being able to personally give something to one of our veterans and their family. "Briley and I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for the generosity you showed us by allowing us to stay in your home at Hawk’s Cay. It was so peaceful and relaxing to be able to get away from home for awhile, especially before our little girl comes next month. We were able to go down to Key West for a day, take a helicopter tour of Marathon and the area around Duck Key, go kayaking, and eat at some great restaurants. I’m not sure how to thank you enough, except to tell you that we will never forget your kindness. I’ve attached a few pictures of our trip and also one of our family. The aerial pictures are from our helicopter ride and showcase the resort at Hawk’s Cay. Again, thank you, and we would love to keep in touch with you if you’d like."
 
 
Shaan
Shaan
Staff Sergeant
Army
Charlotte, North Carolina
 
As we have now passed Memorial Day, I can't help but extend my thanks to Vacations For Veterans. I want to especially thank Mrs. Jenkins who graciously offered my family her rental property in the Outer Banks for a lovely vacation. All too often we hear the negatives about the current war on terrorism, but don't hear about the wonderful acts of patriotism here. However, due to the kind gifts of free vacation timeshares and rentals that the VFV and its sponsors have provided, our young men and women who serve this country such as me are able to reconnect with loved ones after many hardships and time spent abroad. I got a great opportuinity to visit the island of Ocracoke and catch some much needed rays! Once again, I want to personaly offer my thanks to both the VFV and Mrs. Jenkins. God speed. Forward Observers lead the way!
 
 
J. Christian Bagge
J. Christian Bagge
Staff Sergeant
Army National Guard
The Dalles, OR
 
Through VFV, me and my wife, along with my brother and his wife, were able to spend a wonderful week on the island of Molokai, Hawaii. The house we stayed in was beautiful and spacious, and we enjoyed time relaxing, exploring, and swimming. We were in desperate need of a vacation and hadn't had one since I lost my legs in 2005. We had just had a baby and we needed some time to ourselves. We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to go to Hawaii along with some other family! This is absolutely a great foundation and we have recommended it to all our friends who were injured in combat. Thank you so much!
 
 
Daniel Gade
Daniel Gade
Major
Army
Athens, GA
 
Vacations for Veterans is fantastic! My family was able to enjoy a great Christmas vacation at Bear Pause cabin in North Carolina's Smoky Mountains. The cabin was beautiful, and the owners stopped by to say hello. I lost a leg outside of Ramadi in 2005, and have since returned to active duty and am in graduate school in Athens, GA. The process couldn't have been easier, and I so appreciate the donors who made this possible, as well as the hard work of the VFV volunteers in coordinating this amazing non-profit!
 
 
David Neuzil
David Neuzil
SFC
Army
Ft Hood, TX
 
I can't thank Vacations for Veterans enough. My husband had just come back from his second 15 month tour in Iraq. The timing was perfect for our family to have some much needed together time! The house was beyond fabulous and we got to go to Disney World for the first time! The families that share their homes to veterans have amazing hearts, and a special place in ours!Thank you again! The Neuzil Family
 
 
Melissa Stockwell
Melissa Stockwell
1LT
Army
Chicago, IL
 
Last summer my husband and I took a trip to Winter Park, CO for a weekend of some much needed R&R. We stayed in a beautiful condo close to town and were able to get to hiking trails, restaurants and shops in a matter of minutes. The VFV process was seamless and the owner of the condo we stayed in was so gracious. I would recommend VFV to any veteran in need of a relaxing vacation. Thank you VFV!
 
 
Jeff Walton
Jeff Walton
Sgt
NC Army National Guard
.
 
On Dec 15 2007 around 3:15 in the afternoon I was injured when a roadside bomb (IED) exploded near my position as a gunner. I lost the use of my right arm for about a year but since then I am have been able regain about 80% usage. For a Valentine present I took my wife of 16 years to the mountains and we had such a great time. I think the best part was being able to enjoy the Jacuzzi while it was snowing outside, perfect. Again thank you so much for giving a little sunshine into our lives.
 
 
Jonathan Pruden
Jonathan Pruden
Captain
US Army
Richmond Hill, GA
 
I can't say enough about Vacations for Veterans.  It was easy to apply and the owners of the Villa on Hawks Cay were great. My wife, Amy, and our daughter, Abigail, had a wonderful time in the Keys!  The resort was amazing and our Villa was right on the water.  Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity! Jonathan, Amy, and Abigail Pruden
 
 
George Plunkett
George Plunkett
SSgt
USAF
.
 
The Josh McCart/TSNA Story By: George Plunkett TSNA Director of Membership Development In late 2007 I became aware of a nonprofit organization that was created to provide recently wounded veterans of the United States military with a free week of lodgings donated by a vacation homeowner. The name of this organization is Vacations for Veterans (vacationsforveterans.org). It is a civilian organization that relies solely on donations to support our wounded heroes. Vacations for Veterans was founded in 2007 by Chris and Peggy Carr, two former Marine Officers. Donations to this very worthwhile cause can take the form of donating time at your vacation home, donating funds, or volunteering your time. Trish and I have a large log cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN (cpmtncabins.com) that we rent as often as possible. However, during the time period of Jan-May each year, the cabin is vacant most of the time. We decided to offer two weeks during this period to Vacations for Veterans and signed up as donors in late 2008. On January 26 of this year we received an inquiry from VforV asking if the cabin was available in March. It was. I gave VforV the good news and the same day I received the following email: "Hello, my name is Amber McCart. My husband, Josh, was injured by an IED in Iraq in Feb of 2007. His right hand was badly injured, leaving 2 fingers, half a pinky and his thumb. We've been through a ton of surgeries including amputating his ring finger to use the bone for his hand. But so far still no use. So tomorrow we leave for FT. Gordon, GA( we are stationed at Ft. Benning, but my husband is still attached to his old unit at Ft. Bragg, 82nd airborne) and my husband is going to have his hand amputated. It is the only way he'll ever get any use out of it, at least we hope so. This vacation will be during our son's spring break and right when Josh's rehab at Ft. Gordon will be ending. He will be away from us for 45 days then we'll get to go on a wonderful vacation all together. I also wanted to invite our parents to come one weekend to be with us. I saw that pets are allowed, we have a couple of well behaved dogs but if you would prefer we do not have to bring them ( we just love 'em). Thank you so very much for this opportunity, as you can see it does mean a lot to us. Thanks again A. McCart." The actual vacation went as planned and the extended McCart family had a wonderful time. I solicited monetary contributions to help the McCarts with their travel expenses. Some members of the Board of Directors of TSNA, TSNA, and a local CPA firm all responded affirmatively. Several days later, Josh was featured on NBC Nightly News being interviewed at the Augusta, VA Hospital by U.S. Army Colonel (retired) Jack Jacobs, a Vietnam MOH recipient. Josh's right hand had been amputated and he was in rehab, preparing to be fitted for a prosthesis. Here is a note from Amber, after their trip: "Hi! I have been meaning to tell you thank you so much for the cabin. We had a great time. Josh is still up at the VA hospital, and that week is the longest we've has together in a few months. I have some pictures but my computer has been acting funny and won't download the pics. As soon as I get them downloaded I'll send them. We really did appreciate everything and it was a great vacation. Thanks so much, Amber McCart" Following are pictures taken by the resort staff: More Josh, Nathan, and Amber on the porch of George Plunkett’s 309 Cabin. Josh, Nathan, and Amber on the porch of George Plunkett’s 309 Cabin, with Halley on Josh’s lap, and Gator with Amber. Note the beautiful Welcome Basket presented to the McCarts by TSNA. Josh, Nathan, and Amber on the porch of George Plunkett’s 309 Cabin. John and Nathan are holding the TSNA Challenge Coin given to him by TSNA. In preparation for this article, I have written to Amber for an update, and on May 23rd, received this reply: “Hi, sorry it took so long to reply, family emergency. Josh is ok, he is still living up at the VA and it's becoming very stressful on us both. We have one son, Nathan 8 almost 9 years old. Nathan and Josh are best friends. Nathan has written in school projects that Josh is his hero. The big tan hound in the picture is Gator; he's a mamas boy. And the pointer is Halley, she is daddy's girl. Josh has gone bike riding, kayaking, horseback riding... he doesn't have pain like he used to, so if he could just come home everything would be wonderful. I guess that's about it, could you send us copies of any pics you had? And I thank you very much once again. Amber McCart P.S. Josh is supposed to be on the news again tonight. On regular Fox at like 5 or 6 pm under a story done by an old baseball player.”