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Sowing seeds of healing and employment for veterans

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NEW BERN, N.C. -

One eastern North Carolina woman is giving back through gardening.

Lovay Wallace- Singleton is a disabled veteran. After 20 years of military service she says she starting having problems with knees, hands, and back. So, her veteran's vocational counselor encouraged her to do something she loves to help her rehabilitation and become more active. So, she rediscovered her love for gardening.

A passion and healing process that inspired her start an organic veterans garden in New Bern.

"If this worked for me as a veteran, why wouldn't it work for other people," said Wallace-Singleton.

What started as an idea is starting to take shape in reality. On Tuesday, Wallace-Singleton is scheduled to present her veterans employment base camp and organic garden at the Aldermen meeting.

"It's very exciting because we're getting a little bit more exposure. We're also getting a little bit more funding and that's always good. The word is getting out," said Wallace-Singleton.

Wallace-Singleton says the focus of the garden will be offer a healing experience for disabled veterans and to offer transitional employment for homeless veterans.

"What we're trying to do is to help homeless and disabled veterans. For the homeless veterans we'd like to supply a  transitional employment place. So they can transition from being homeless into a  permanent job. For disabled veterans, what we're  doing is partnering with the North Carolina AgrAbility. [This] helps with equipment for the disabled in order to allow them to garden. That will assist  the veterans to garden, but garden in a way where they are not damaging their disabilities," said Wallace-Singleton.

Wallace Singleton says the garden will take precautions to protect veterans' health by implementing various organic practices.

"By not using pesticides and using different chemicals, we won't be exposing the veterans to, who are already in a fragile state, to more issues or problems," said Wallace-Singleton.

Wallace- Singleton says one of the potential locations for the garden is at Henderson Park in the Duffyfield neighborhood in New Bern.

For more information on this veterans garden click here.

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