Keeping the doors open

COVID-19 impacts home that helps veterans heal

Ironstone Farm, a place of comfort for veterans who are healing from trauma and reintegrating into society, has been hard hit by the uncertain coronavirus pandemic. 

Raytheon Missiles & Defense, one of four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies, has been working with Ironstone Farm to support the construction of a new retreat center in Andover, Massachusetts. The farm is a resource for patients from Home Base, a national organization that treats veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injury, to receive equine therapy services. 

But the impact of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the farm. Raytheon Missiles & Defense is contributing support to Ironstone Farm to help during this difficult time. 

“The support is so needed and appreciated," Director of Ironstone Farm Deedee O'Brien said. "Raytheon Missiles & Defense has become like family for us."

"We have temporarily suspended our programs to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, but we must take care of our horses and keep the lights on. If you can help, you'll let our nonprofit reopen strong and ready to support children, veterans and others," according to a statement on the Ironstone Farm site, which gives an online portal to donate.

As a result of COVID-19, Ironstone Farm had to lay off staff members and drastically reduce hours to ensure the therapy horses are fed and cared for. 

Sharing hope in uncertain times

The Ironstone farmhouse renovation provides veterans who have experienced trauma and their families a safe place to call home. The initiative supports patients, veterans and Gold Star families from Home Base. The new, 12-bedroom house is intended to help veterans in transition.

During 2019, many volunteers from Raytheon Missiles & Defense's predecessor helped with construction on the home. During several days of service, volunteers worked together to replace windows, paint rooms and help with landscaping for the farm, which offers equine therapy to special needs kids and veterans. 

Now all construction on the long-awaited veterans retreat farmhouse has stopped. As much as people want to volunteer, including employees from Raytheon Missiles & Defense, no volunteers can work at this time due to social distancing requirements. 

The donation will help to offset some of the financial crunch, and the farm staff is approaching vendors to seek extensions for paying operating bills.

Raytheon Missiles & Defense is part of Raytheon Technologies, which is using its manufacturing capacity, and engineering, logistics and finance expertise to carry out initiatives that serve our communities, deliver on our commitments to our customers and protect our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about our efforts.