Military families participate in Operation Welcome Home

A local campgrounds recently gave back to the community by providing a safe space for veterans to have a relaxing weekend. Veterans and their families from around Minnesota gathered this weekend for Operation Welcome Home at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch. The event was completely free and meant to honor military families.

"It was just nice to have somebody else take the reigns for a couple days," said Michaela Frie, a military wife.

Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch said they seek to provide relief from the day-to-day difficulties of military families — who often only have one parent home at a time.

Frie and her family didn’t know what to expect when they walked into Operation Welcome Home, but said they found a sense of community and fun activities that her children won’t forget.

Volunteers and workers at the ranch put on the three-day getaway with the help of donations from people in the community wanting to help veterans. Activities included snow tubing, arts and crafts, trivia, sleigh rides, and a scavenger hunt.

"What is gratitude? And what does gratitude look like?" Frie said. "You can say thank you. Oh thank you for your service, thank you for your sacrifice. But, to expect nothing in return and to give…Time is so precious. One thing I can take away from this weekend is the time that I’ve had with my family."

Ironwood Springs served 26 families over the weekend and will host more events for veterans throughout the year.