S. Bethany 1989 at a formal event
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
Major S. Bethany 1985,
Fort Bragg, North Carolina
S. Bethany 1965, DA Navy
Designing for Veterans, has launched its newest mission in support of an extraordinary female veteran, Sandra Bethany, Lt Colonel – Retired – US Army – US Navy and Naval Active Reserves.
For those in the Lawrence, Kansas community you may recall the news about the Bonura’s Purple House and the unwelcoming, anonymous and angry letters about the purple color of their home. Since then, there has been an outpouring of community love to the family.
When Designing for Veterans learned that the mother of Kimberlee Bonura was a 30-year veteran we paid a visit. We were surprised to find that Sandra not only served in three branches of the military but was a trailblazer for integration of women into the masculine world of the United States military during the formative years from 1965-1995. It was not without physical and emotional pain that she attempted to break the glass ceiling. Even today, in her late 70s the scars and wounds run deep. Sandra spent decades fighting and advocating for women in a very hostile and abusive male dominated environment.
Her daughter, Kimberlee, is writing a novel about her mother’s experience in hopes of bringing cultural awareness of what it is like for female service members. We think Kimberlee states the situation well. “Sometimes she feels that the decades of fighting and advocating had no purpose. Sometimes, without her uniform, without the structure that recognized and formalized her competence and her authority (even while undermining her worth and value) she feels unheard, unseen, and forgotten.” Yet Kimberlee does hear and see her mother and most of all remembers.
Designing for Veterans hears you, Sandra. We see you too. That’s why we are reaching out to the community to join our Mission: “Bringing Joy to Sandra” by providing her with a Sensory-Therapy garden at their home. There is no better healing therapy than Mother Nature.
Sandra loves flowers and all that Mother Nature has to provide. In particular, wildflowers make her heart sing. She wishes for a natural, native and low-water landscape style. It is her desire that the garden in open to all who pass by their home. Part of the landscape design will have a bench where students passing by for classes on their way to the University of Kansas can sit and relax for as long as they want. Perhaps a beautifully crafted bench by the local teens of the VanGo program. A swing in support of making the garden an interactive place. Also walking paths both for the health of Sandra and her two autistic grandchildren. D4V would like to see the driveway and trash enclosure refurbished to complete the picture. And Kimberlee would like a plaque that thanks all who contributed to the project with an acknowledgement to all women of the military past and present for their service and dedication to our country.
For those reading this, we want you as part of our team; volunteer services, financial and material donations, help with organizing & social media and especially a landscape designer and builder. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. You can Contact Us here.
Join our Mission! "Bringing Joy to Sandra". Help us make her heart sing!
There are many forms of disability. Not all the wounds of war are visible. Often they are misunderstood
and neglected. Yet the need
is still there.
At Designing for Veterans we believe the built environment can have a tremendous impact on the physical and psychological life experience of disabled veterans when returning home from war. Our therapeutic approach is to design and build an environment that will aid in their recovery and not be a constant reminder of their disability. We build environments that heal.
"To care for him who shall have borne the battle..." President Abraham Lincoln
Evidence-Based Design is a
scientific research approach to documenting the impact of interior design on the recovery and healing of our veterans.
Quality environments are custom designed and built to address the therapeutic needs of each veteran at no cost to the veteran or
Their stories vary. The sacrifice and dedication does not. Courage, honor and brotherhood
bond them together. Read their story