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Veterans may benefit from home's rebirth page 3
Founder of ministry that started 45 years ago in King George works with volunteers on a new focus: to reach out to wounded warriors

 Betty Tyson rests at the Village of Emmaus in King George. Emmaus started in the 1960s as a refuge for people having hard times and for women just out of prison.
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Date published: 10/12/2012


The church is replete with military people, both active and retired.

"You can't chuck a rock without hitting someone in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines or Coast Guard," Dickerson said.

Since that spring meeting, about 40 people religiously have made the 75-minute drive from Burke to King George every Saturday.

The volunteers have focused on repairing the cottage, a 100-year-old building beside the main house. They've cleaned and painted the four bedrooms, which are designed to house three veterans and perhaps a chaplain or counselor.

They've paid for all the supplies themselves, including a new heating and air-conditioning system, Tyson said.

"It's a beautiful place, it's been rundown, and we're about bringing it back to what it was," Lanier said. "It's almost the same vision of what we want for vets."


Tyson hasn't hammered out the details of the program which she hopes to establish, after the cottage is livable. She hopes veterans will move in, help with the work and offer their ideas.

She foresees an organic farm operation as well as vineyards, and maybe woodworking and cheese-making. The property is set up for all those enterprises, she said.

So far, the work by the Burke volunteers has focused on the cottage and not the main house. Because of its history, she'd like preservationists and architects to be involved with the plan to restore it.

She knows she'll have to pay for some services and hopes the volunteer resources will continue.

"I'm like a juggler here," she said, talking one minute about furnace work that's needed and another about plans to have more veterans on her nonprofit board. "But because of my age, I have to keep things moving."

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
Email: cdyson@freelancestar.com

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THE NAME: In the 24th chapter of Luke, followers of Jesus were discussing his crucifixion as they walked to a village named Emmaus. Jesus joined them, but did not reveal himself to them until they broke bread together, and his followers understood he'd been resurrected. Betty Tyson sees the same symbolism at the Village of Emmaus in King George County. "We always called this the road to a new beginning," she said. A HISTORY of the King George ministry is available at villageofemmaus.org. THOSE INTERESTED in helping with the project can contact Betty Tyson at 540/621-1258 or btyson@villageofemmaus .org.