A Home Away From Home For Canada's Veterans And First Responders

Updated: Jan 18, 2021


Honorary Colonel Allan De Genova speaks at the opening of Honour Ranch


By Spencer van Vloten

BC Disability


Honorary Colonel Allan De Genova has made it his mission for Canada’s men and women in uniform to receive the support and treatment they need. He is board president of Honour House and Honour Ranch, which provide free accommodation and treatment to veterans and first responders who are disabled, injured, or experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Spencer van Vloten talked to Colonel De Genova about his work with Honour House and Honour Ranch.


SUPPORT HONOUR HOUSE AND HONOUR RANCH


Spencer: For people who may not know, what are Honour House and Honour Ranch?


Al: Honour House has be open 10 years now in New Westminster. It provides a home away from home for disabled and injured Canadian Armed Forces, first responders, and basically all men and women in uniform, as well as their families.


They come from all over province, the country, and in some cases we serve our American allies who can’t get treatment in the United States. We offer our accommodations and amenities for no cost while they receive medical treatment in the area.


Honour Ranch was opened in Thompson River Valley in October 2020. Men and women in uniform receive treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at the ranch, which is located on a beautiful, peaceful 120 acre space where armed forces and first responders can come for some time away from the stressors in their lives, connect with others facing similar issues, and receive high quality treatment.


A key to the treatment's effectiveness is flexibility. One size doesn’t fit all when you’re dealing with PTSD; there are so many different triggers, so many different experiences and origins. As a result, our treatment provides many different approaches, and we will even be including an equine (horse) therapy program at the ranch in the near future.

Honour House (top row) and Honor Ranch (bottom row)


Spencer: What motivated you to open Honour House?


Al: Captain Trevor Greene was the inspiration for Honour House. Trevor was serving in Afghanistan when he suffered a disabling brain injury in an axe attack. Captain Greene was then flown to an intensive care facility in Germany, and then to Alberta and BC as he continued his rehabilitation.


All of this time his wife Debbie and their daughter Grace were by his side as he travelled on his long road to recovery, but they struggled to find and pay for accommodation as they stayed with him during his recovery.


This really touched me and my wife, as it just didn’t seem right that a brave man who had already sacrificed so much had to keep paying the price after his injury. I thought there needed to be more support for heroes like Captain Greene and his family, and the idea for Honour House was born.


Spencer: And what motivated you to start Honour Ranch?


Master Corporal Joe Allina was the inspiration to open the ranch. He did 3 tours in the Middle East, but his service had been very tough and he was in a dark place when he came back. He needed somewhere where he could just get away from things, just talk with people, but this place didn’t exist for him at the time and he suffered and suffered, until he ultimately took his life.