DAYTON, Minn. (FOX 9) - A sprawling estate in Dayton, Minnesota that has been in Shawn Alderman's family for generations will soon help veterans heal from the toll being in the armed services can take.
"My heart feels full because I know what this can do for veterans and their families," he said. "My heart feels full because of just how the community has come to embrace us."
Alderman spent 31 years in the Army as a special forces soldier and medic. During his last years in the service, he participated in an initiative to help special forces in the Middle East in more holistic way that incorporated physical and mental health with social and spiritual practices.
"I saw this thing work," Alderman. "I saw it take guys with horrible PTSD and make them well again. I saw families that were on the verge of imploding come back together again."
After he retired, Alderman wanted to create a similar program for veterans and their families. So, he convinced his aunt to donate 37 acres on Diamond Lake in Dayton she owned with his deceased uncle to become what he calls a first-of-its-kind wellness campus.
The main house will have a primary care clinic and space for psychological services while the barn will house physical performance space, workout gear and physical therapy -- all free of charge to its members.
"This is a one-stop-shop for all things health and performance for our veterans and their families," Alderman said.
The Magnus Veterans Foundation originally planned to open the campus in November but they are ahead of schedule and will now open June 1. Alderman says he can't wait to see the serene setting bring some peace and calm to those who've given so much to serve their country.