Veterans Retreat of Asheville was founded by Ralph Gall and his wife Shannon last year. “The vision for our project sprang from my own experiences,” says Gall, who is a nurse practitioner in the US Navy Reserve. He has been deployed four times, once to Iraq and three times to Afghanistan. “Every time I returned home from a deployment, I was stressed, exhausted and pretty smelly,” says Gall. “Being in a combat zone, one is always on alert, hypervigilant 24/7. Many have described Afghanistan as one of the harshest environments in the world. I learned quickly to take nothing for granted.”
After the stress of deployment, the veteran undergoes a complex, exhausting travel schedule to get back home. Then, a strenuous transition period begins. It was this challenging readjustment that inspired Gall to found the Veterans Retreat of Asheville. Upon Gall’s return from his fourth combat deployment, he and his wife found a pristine property in the Riceville area east of Asheville. They have built a cabin there that will be available to veterans for up to three days, free of charge. “Veterans Retreat of Asheville will accommodate the veteran and his or her significant other,” says Gall, “allowing them a few days to reconnect, decompress and just relax in a safe and secure environment.” The Veterans Retreat of Asheville will begin taking reservations on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11.