Central Texas Veterans are getting a permanent retreat and resource base at Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs (PHDS)
Austin philanthropists John Paul and Eloise DeJoria have given $1 million from their JP’s Peace, Love & Happiness Foundation to build the PHDS Meeting Hall and PHDS Wellness Center focusing on Veterans’ health needs and VA Claims assistance. Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs welcomes all veterans and their families.
Patriots’ Hall is a 10-acre permanent retreat and resource base for Veterans and their families to connect and find support. Their Hill Country retreat will feature a 7,100 sq. ft. Main Gathering Hall for therapeutic workshops, employment and educational seminars, vet-to-vet mentoring and social activities, a 1200 sq. ft. Meeting House for the local VFW and American Legion Post meetings, a Wellness Center with VA claims assistance, a fishing pond, playscape, vegetable garden, obstacle course, ADA walking trails and much more.
Patriots’ Hall was founded by Kathryn Chandler, wife of actor Kyle Chandler, and Dripping Springs Volunteer of the Year Dr. Mary Jane Hetrick. Kathryn was inspired by her dad, a Vietnam veteran now living in a veterans’ home in California.
“While brainstorming our mission, our Board took an in-depth survey of veterans’ needs and we applied this survey to every aspect of our design and build,” explained Mary Jane Hetrick. “In fact, the majority of the PHDS board and advisory board are veterans. And always will be.”
One such veteran who has helped build this community is Navy Vet Shorty Barnett. “John Paul is a true patriot,” Shorty said. “Our VFW and American Legion Posts have been waiting for 35 years for a place to finally call home and John Paul has made our dream a reality. I thank him from the bottom of my heart for sponsoring the PHDS Meeting House.”
John Paul is a proud veteran – he joined the U.S. Navy at the age of 18 and spent two years on the U.S.S. Hornet. In 2006, John Paul was appointed Admiral in the Texas Navy by the Governor of Texas and the Secretary of State. In 2012, he received the Lone Sailor Award from the U.S. Navy Memorial which is given to Sea Service veterans who have excelled with distinction in their civilian careers while exemplifying the Navy’s core values of honor, courage and commitment.
“A short distance from my home in Austin is this wonderful veteran’s hall,” said John Paul. “All too often, many of our vets find themselves alone and with no one to help them. The Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs was built to assist and connect veterans to what they need to know for their health and benefits and, more importantly, to provide a place to hang out with one another. We are social animals and we function much better in groups with the support of others. I learned this in my time in the Navy.”
When asked what he hopes for the future of PHDS, John Paul said, “Patriots’ Hall will provide a happy environment for those who should all be honored for putting their lives on the line.”
Kathryn and Mary Jane would also like to express their deep appreciation and gratitude to Hank and Lyssa Seale. While all funds have been raised by the local community - the financial backing provided by Hank and Lyssa enabled the Patriots' Hall team to have the courage and endurance to expand their vision to meet the needs of all Veterans and their families. Hank and Lyssa - your example of generosity brings honor to all that have served our great country.
As a Veteran own business - Dripping Springs City Lifestyle is proud to serve alongside the Patriots' Hall of Dripping Springs as a conduit and friend to share the Halls' mission within our amazing community. Semper Fidelis
Donations can be made to support Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs directly through their website at patriotshall.org. Patriots’ Hall is slated to be complete in early 2023.