Idaho Veterans Garden recognized for saving life's

Posted at 6:06 PM, Jun 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-27 13:33:40-04

The Idaho Veterans Garden in Caldwell is growing in popularity and most recently has been praised for saving lives.

Dan Pugmire's vision for a garden that would allow for military members struggling with Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder to heal has taken off.

Veterans from all wars now have a place to go and bury the past, while at the same time creating new life.

The Modern Woodsmen of America recently recognized Pugmire with a Hometown Hero award. It's an honor he accepted on behalf of anyone who has helped make the garden what it is today.

He's also received a plaque from the Caldwell Police Department recently, thanking him for his efforts in saving a fellow veterans life.

"He had taken an instrument and tried to slash his wrists, and I took him to the ground and held him down and just gave him hugs until the police arrived," Pugmire says. "There's no award that can give you the satisfaction of knowing that this guy's life was changed."

Pugmire's wife, June, says the awards are deserving. She too came to the garden seeking peace about a year and a half ago. She says dedicating a flower bed to her son has helped.

"That box over there represents my son and the other fallen soldiers who have committed suicide. To me, it's a big part of garden and it's healing," June Pugmire says. "That's what happens out here, you heal."

Dan and June have since married and want to continue to get the word out that Treasure Valley veterans are not alone.

"If you're struggling, if you're a veteran or anyone in the valley, don't do something to yourself," he says. "Come to our garden, come be a part of this. Come talk to me, come talk to any of us."

With the recent donation of a greenhouse, plants will be able to thrive year round at the garden.

Plans are also in the works for a bathroom to be built and room for more beds so more lives can be saved.

While most of the labor and materials are lined up for the bathroom, they could still use help from an electrician, plumber and roofers. For more information, contact Dan by dialing 208-713-3167.

Anyone in need of produce can stop by the garden seven days a week from sunrise to sunset.

There is also an ongoing opportunity to purchase a brick for the walkway that will soon be laid. They are $50 and can be bought with anyone's memory in mind.