For 20 years, the Lazy U Ranch has served veterans in various ways.

It started out as a gathering of submariners who were reuniting for the first time in 15 years in 2000. In the years following, those service members began including their families, then their friends.

In 10 years’ time, it grew to include some 700 guests. Out of that came the inspiration for the SS American Memorial Foundation. The facilities on site serve various capacities for local community members, students, groups and, most importantly, veterans.

In the 20 years since Craig Russell first opened the gates to the Lazy U Ranch, some 30,000 veterans have visited the property. All have done so for their own reasons — rest, relaxation, spiritual guidance, healing the mind and body, social interactions or to unplug.

In a county that houses an estimated 30,000 veterans, an organization like this is vital.

The SS American Memorial is in close proximity to San Antonio and all of the bases it houses. Those servicemen and women can easily and quickly make a short hop to Seguin and get just what they need, the opportunity to get away.

While Russell, the founder and president of the foundation, said the organization has been successful, he is looking to the future to see how many more veterans he can help.

No plans are set just yet, but we can all be sure that they will be a great benefit to the community as a whole.

Our Voice is the opinion of the editorial board of the Seguin Gazette.

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