With summer comes plenty of construction around Hutchinson, but one new residential site on Denver Avenue has a bigger story than one might expect.
Contractors from Hutchinson, Dassel, Lester Prairie, St. Paul and elsewhere are offering services at a discount price. Roughly 30 vendors have given discounts or donations of materials.
“A lot of people in the community came together,” said Mark Redman of Simonson Lumber. “Everyone we went to we asked for a discount to make more money on the sale of the house. People were on board.”
What about the house prompted generosity from so many people? Money from the sale of the house will go to lessen the physical pain of Minnesota veterans. Those taking on the project are doing so under the umbrella of Tradesmen for Troops.
A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine found 44 percent of 2,597 active-duty Army soldiers surveyed three months after their redeployment experienced chronic pain. In a pilot program, Minnesota-based Pain Free Patriots provided grants to 600 veterans and offered pain relief services. More than 90 percent reported significant, lasting relief following treatment. Now the program’s organizers want it to grow.
“We can take the hardest case veterans who are given up on, who are about to give up, and we can make them better,” said Doug Huseby, Pain Free Patriots founder. “They come in out of options and they get better.”
The Becker Furniture founder grew the program from his experience providing health and physical rehabilitation services to his employees. There are now three Wellness Centers in Rogers, Brooklyn Park and Minnetonka, and three mobile units that travel to visit veterans. Services include muscle and nerve therapy, spinal screening and balance and other rehabilitation practices under the guidance of medical professionals.
Hutchinson American Legion Post 96 Commander Tim Burley said that when he left the Army, he was taking 25 pain killers a day due to pain. Since then, he has seen many veterans visit Veterans Affairs for pain treatment, only to be given potentially addictive opioid prescriptions to deal with the pain while they are made to wait for treatment.
Burley’s back pain continued for years.
“I would go golfing with my wife and actually have tears in my eyes hitting the ball,” he said in a testimonial. “Today I am back to running, I haven’t taken a Motrin in two months.”
All relief offered by Pain Free Patriots is done without opioids or narcotics and without charging veterans.
Burley benefited from the organization’s microcurrent and massage therapy. Following treatment, he said he feels years younger and is able to stay active longer without needing a break due to pain.
The cost of bringing veterans through the program will add up as it grows, and Huseby said he dreams of seeing the program help veterans all across Minnesota, if not beyond. That’s why it is seeking donations.
“The protocols are figured out now,” Huseby said. “We just need the funding.”
That’s where the money from the sale of the Denver Avenue house kicks in. To make the deal even sweeter, a buyer has already agreed to purchase the home.
“They are really excited about it because of where the money is going to go. They were going to build a house anyways, but they liked this idea,” said Realtor Randy Redman. “We are probably going to net between $25,000 and $30,000.”
He and his brother, Mark, and Burley helped organize the local contributions to Tradesmen for the Troops.
“This is the very first in the state and they are committed to do it in more communities if it works,” Randy said. “It’s not asking people to work for nothing. It’s asking them to work for a little bit less.”
Every dollar saved on the construction will push the net benefit for Pain Free Patriots, and veterans, further. Organizers also hope the construction will bring more attention to the program and inspire contributions. Anyone interested in the Hutchinson project can contact Randy Redman at RE/MAX Results or Mark Redman at Simonson Lumber. You can learn more about Pain Free Patriots or donate at painfreepatriots.org.