PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — After years of planning and raising money, Pinellas Park's Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch is open at Lurie Park.
Founder, Mike Delancey Jr. says it's now time to start phase two of the project.
Phase two includes a resource center and a memorial garden honoring Pinellas County veterans who were injured in combat.
When he was just 21, the marine veteran was hit and paralyzed by a sniper in Iraq. Delancey says he and his father, Mike Delancey Sr., got the idea while he was in rehab at the VA Hospital.
He says he had a difficult time finding a place to work out with ADA accessible equipment.
“I’m hoping to be the hub that bridges that gap and gets these guys active and involved in our community,” he explained.
He says he hopes the 10 acre park helps other veterans push past their disabilities.
"We have a huge wheelchair-bound community," Delancey said. "When you take the accessibility issues out of the equation then they're actually prone to playing sports and working out, rather than worrying about being able to use the equipment."
He hopes to complete phase two next year. He said they can't start construction on the resource center until they have all the money needed.
He's hoping the community will step up once again to donate money.
"There are a lot of generous patriots out there," he said. "It really makes me have more faith in this country."
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