Colchester, VT — On Tuesday, Josh’s House, a wellness recreation center for veterans will be celebrating its one-year anniversary.
The center is named after Josh Pallotta, who served in Afghanistan. While serving overseas, two soldiers in his unit were killed in action. In 2014, Josh lost his battle with PTSD when he took his own life.
His parents made it their mission to create a space where veterans could be together and called it “Josh’s House.”
It’s a place where Veterans like Beau Clark feel safe.
“I have PTSD and anxiety disorder so I come here and I can relax,” Clark said.
Former Vermont National Guard soilder, Donna Laperle said it’s a place where you can come and just be yourself.
“And fit in and be less isolated,” Laperle said. “It’s larger than life.”
Another veteran, Terry King, uses the center for healing.
“I lost my wife in February of last year to ovarian cancer,” King said. “But coming here, this is healing. I get here with other veterans and there’s other veterans that have lost relatives and spouses, and we can connect.”
Tina Boudreau, a veteran who was in the military for 35 years said when you leave, it’s a shock to your system.
“What this has helped me with is, to come to a place that is relaxing and there is tons of activities and opportunities for you to do,” Boudreau said.
Josh’s House offers many activities and facilities to veterans including a workout room, aromatherapy, meditation, and even health and wellness coaches.
Josh’s mother, Val Pallotta, who is the co-director of the center said it is important that veterans have a place like this.
“I think it’s just being able to be with a group of men and women who understand what they have been through,” Pallotta said.
As people come to Josh’s House, Val wants people to feel like Josh is still there.
“And his spirit is still with them, and he is still around,” Pallotta said.
To date, the non-profit organization has helped over 3,000 veterans.