by Brian Armstrong –
Cabins at Straker Lake had it’s ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday May 23rd. This project came from a $2 Million donation from Bill Straker. He’s a World War II veteran from Zanesville who wanted to give back to veterans and the community. Six weeks of the year it will be used by The Mighty Oaks Warrior Program. The nonprofit works with veterans who are struggling to adjust after combat.
“Our program started with me. I was a Force Recon Marine and I did eight deployments and I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress. I faced a personal battle with taking my own life, depression, almost got a divorce. People helped me, my wife came in and really challenged me. A mentor came in and really helped me get on the other side of it. When I got on the other side of the hardships I’ve faced, I wanted to help others,” said Chad Robichaux Founder and President.
There will be seven cabins on Straker Lake. Outside of those six weeks, the cabins will be available for use for anyone who wants to stay overnight. Columbus Zoo and the Wilds C.E.O., Tom Stalf said the Wilds expansion will make a difference in people lives.
“When we talk about veterans, that are suffering from P.T.S.d. we want to make sure that our veterans in Ohio and beyond have a great place to settle back, relax, learn, and settle in to look at different things. I think the Wilds and all the things we stand for is a great partnership,” said Stalf.
The Mighty Oaks Warrior Program said it’s an honor to have nearly 2000 veterans graduate from the program.