by Cori Hilsgen
With a mission that includes enhancing the lives of veterans, military and their families, members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 328 of St. Joseph recently donated to the Eagle’s Healing Nest in Sauk Centre.
Auxiliary President Rosie Court, and Treasurer Delrose Fischer presented a $500 donation to Eagle’s Healing Nest director and founder Melony Duscheck in April.
Court and Fischer said they were fortunate to have a chance to tour the facility and see firsthand how veterans are helped.
“After touring the Eagle’s Healing Nest, I was so impressed with the vision of founder and director Melony Butler,” Court said. “It is truly a labor of love for our veterans where vets help vets to heal (before) going back to their families. Healing allows for an easier transition to civilian life. It’s a safe place where no ‘red tape’ is needed to get immediate help when needed. She is an amazing woman who is 100-percent committed and devoted to the care, concerns and issues of veterans.”
Butler established the Eagle’s Healing Nest in 2012 to give struggling veterans hope and a home. By doing so, she is fulfilling a childhood promise she made to her stepfather to never forget the veterans.
The Eagle’s Healing Nest is on the campus of what was previously the Minnesota Home School for Girls.
When Butler first began renovating the property, two eagles flew in and built a nest on the property.
The Eagle’s Healing Nest is a nonprofit, directed by a board of trustees, committed to meeting the needs of veterans, service members and their families who suffer from the invisible wounds of war. It offers housing, meals and recovery services.
Veterans who reside at the Nest pay a suggested daily rate of $35 and have a code of conduct that includes maintaining sobriety and being drug-free. Veterans are not turned away if they do not have the ability to pay.
The Eagle’s Healing Nest offers therapy classes, counseling services by licensed clinicians, chiropractic and other health services, peer-support group meetings and many other services veterans might need.
So far, nine buildings at the Eagle’s Healing Nest have been renovated and are currently occupied by 77 residents. When renovations are complete, 24 buildings will have been renovated.
Future plans include training a veteran to be U.S. Department of Agriculture-certified, so the facility can raise and process its own beef on site, and operate a restaurant, which will be open to the public.
The American Legion Auxiliary of St. Joseph has 108 members and meets six months of the year.
To donate supplies or money and for additional information about the Eagle’s Healing Nest at 310 U.S. Highway 71 S., Sauk Centre, visit the website eagleshealingnest.com or call 320-351-6200.
Author: Cori Hilsgen
Hilsgen is a contributing reporter for the Newsleaders. The central Minnesota native is a wife, mother and grandmother. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Concordia University – St. Paul, MN and enjoys learning about and sharing other people’s stories through the pages of the Newsleaders.