Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs, a 10-acre retreat and resource center for veterans, marked the opening of its first building with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 21.

The new building is the Meeting House for local chapters of Veterans of Foreign Wars and The American Legion.

Shorty Barnett, a former local VFW post commander and the original inspiration for the retreat center, cut the ribbon on the Meeting House. Veterans, donors, community supporters and Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce members also attended the ceremony.

The Patriots’ Hall nonprofit organization was founded in 2019 by Kathryn Chandler, the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and a longtime resident of Dripping Springs, along with Kyle Chandler, her husband and an actor who starred in the “Friday Night Lights” television series; Dr. Mary Jane Hetrick; and Barnett. The group’s final vision for the PHDS retreat center includes a Wellness Center to assist veterans with Veterans Association claims, an obstacle course, a fishing pond and a healing garden.

The PDHS is in the permitting phase for its larger gathering hall, which is expected to be completed in 2023. The organization is actively fundraising for its next building. Austin philanthropists Eloise and John Paul DeJoria, who contributed $1 million to build the PHDS Meeting House and upcoming Wellness Center, are matching donations up to $500,000. Donations to the PHDS can be made here.