NOXEN TOWNSHIP, WYOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV): The lives of Melissa Swire and her husband, Jeff Swire, revolved around the military. Their transition into civilian life changed the lives of many.
Jeff, an army veteran, was injured in a combat-related mission in Iraq. “Things seemed okay for a while, and over the span of a few years, his health started deteriorating,” said Melissa.
Living in North Carolina, hundreds of miles from Jeff’s hometown of Noxen, Melissa felt it was important to quit her job and care for Jeff full-time. Eventually, they moved back to NEPA.
“She had to go through a lot, dealing with my pain,” said Jeff. “But she stood by me. And had it not been for her, I wouldn’t be here. And that’s just the truth.”
That opportunity presented itself with the purchase of land in Noxen, which quickly became known as Patriot’s Cove. Together, their new mission was to create a space for veterans; a haven for healing.
The small organization quickly turned into a national network, providing mentors, retreats, and resources for hundreds of veterans. They can spend a quiet night reflecting on their service in cabins, or tell stories to fellow service members, while trout fishing in this stream. Every part of the cove is handicap accessible.
“Part of Patriots Cove is to serve veterans who have been injured in the line of duty from all eras,” said Melissa. “The purpose is to heal, to be connected with a community of other veterans, and to realize a new purpose that you still have a mission.”
Jeff said the non-profit wouldn’t be possible without Melissa. “She’s what we all want to be. She not only thinks about how to make things better. She works hard to show that it’s possible. And that’s the key, isn’t it? We all can say we want to do things, but there’s few that are willing to do the work.”
Tragedy changed their lives, but led Melissa and Jeff to transition to this new, remarkable mission. “You’re surrounded by God’s creation. This water is cleansing your spirit. The trees are just healing. There’s no beautiful place to be but here.”
To learn more about Patriot’s Cove, click here: https://www.patriotscove.org/