Stateline mother raises $26K for Tenn. military facility in memory of son

Courtesy: Darkhorse Lodge (darkhorselodge.org)
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SPRINGVILLE, Tenn. (WIFR) -- The memory of a local veteran killed in combat lives on as his family raises money to help out other servicemen and servicewomen.

Alec Catherwood, a U.S. Marines lance corporal who grew up in Byron, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. His mother, Gretchen Catherwood is raising money for Darkhorse Lodge, a Tennessee retreat in the works for combat veterans.

Gretchen wanted to raise $1,500 for Darkhorse Lodge as part of a birthday fundraiser.

In less than two weeks, she has exceeded her goal. She's raised more than $26,000 for the facility with help from 640 donors over 12 days.

"After realizing that we had no choice but to go on, I stayed up nights, wondering what I could do for those who did come home," Gretchen said on the Darkhorse Lodge website. "Finding my new purpose in life has given me a reason to get up each morning and face the challenges ahead."

Once completed, the facility will It feature five five-bedroom guest cabins. Each room is named for one of the 25 marines killed in Catherwood's unit.

The Darkhorse Lodge's mission is: "Honoring our nation's heroes by providing a peaceful atmosphere for combat veterans to enjoy rest, relaxation and recreation."

Gretchen has been making plans for the facility since 2013. On the fundraiser page, she says most of her time, energy, money and "a large part of my heart belongs to DHL"

The fundraiser is still running for a few more days. If you would like to donate or learn more, click here​.