PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — Construction is in full swing on a state of the art park that will soon help hundreds of local veterans. The Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch will open in about five months on 62nd Avenue North in Pinellas Park.
It took 3 years for the funding to come through and construction to start, but Mike Delancey says he's delighted to see work underway.
"If you look at the bad, you end up in a downward spiral but if you look at the good, there are opportunities everywhere you look,” Delancey explained.
Those opportunities convinced Delancey and his dad to build a unique 10-acre park for veterans with disabilities to discover new possibilities.
It’s something Delancey struggled to find himself. At just 21 years old, the marine veteran was hit and paralyzed by a sniper in Iraq. Now, he wants to help other veterans find purpose.
“I’m hoping to be the hub that bridges that gap and gets these guys active and involved in our community,” he explained.
Finally, Delancey's dream is becoming reality. The Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch is taking shape and will soon be a unique place open to the entire community for injured heroes and others with disabilities to fish, play sports, take their kids and feel alive again.
“Being a veteran myself, it really hits home," explained Anthony Feminella with Bandes Construction.
The construction company even decided to pitch in a fence and gate at the park to enhance features at the site.
“The veterans don’t have enough support as it is, so this coming together with Pinellas Park and everyone involved is just great," Feminella added.
Delancey plans to have the park open by September 1, which is the 12 year anniversary of the day that changed his life forever.
“I call it my alive day. It's not the day I almost died, but the day I came alive again," Delancey said with a smile.
You can find more information about the project here.