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Pinellas Park Breaks Ground on “Necessity” for Wounded Veterans

Wounded Warriors | Mike Delancey | Patti Johnson

The Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch will have, among other things, equipment designed to help wounded veterans with rehabilitation.

PINELLAS PARK – City officials here have broken ground on a project designed to help rehabilitate soldiers who were wounded in service of their country.

It’s a project that Pinellas Park officials see as a duty to those who have sacrificed. Council member Patti Johnson said during Friday’s (Jan. 8) groundbreaking and sign unveiling that she had been asked if the ranch was “a nice thing” for Pinellas Park to have. But it’s much more than that, she said.

“This is a necessity,” Johnson said. “This is not just a nice thing to have.”

When complete, the ranch will be the only one like it in the county. It will have a clubhouse, fishing pond, paw park and room for equestrian activities in addition to rehabilitation equipment, Pinellas Park resident Mike Delancey said. Delancey has been the inspiration and driving force for such a facility. Delancey, a graduate of Pinellas Park High School, did one tour in Afghanistan and one in Iraq before he was paralyzed in 2006 when a sniper shot him.

The Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch will be located at the 10-acre Lurie Municipal Park, 5500 62nd Ave. N, which was donated to Pinellas Park in 1998 by Dr. Edward Lurie and his wife, Vivian. The property was being used as a passive park used for horse riding.

“These veterans have sacrificed to keep us free,” Pinellas Park Mayor Sandy Bradbury said. “It is only right that we show our gratitude to them for those sacrifices and help them get the care and benefits they deserve.”

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The photograph shows Pinellas Park council member Patti Johnson and wounded veteran Mike Delancey giving each other a high five after the sign for the Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch was unveiled Friday (Jan. 8). Dr. Edward Lurie, who donated the land to the city, looks on.  Photo courtesy of the city of Pinellas Park.

Pinellas Park | Wounded Warriors Abilities Ranch | Wounded Warriors | Mike Delancey | Edward Lurie | TB Reporter

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