Geophysical engineers began taking soil samples late last month in Magdalena, N.M., in order to provide recommendations on the construction of Strongpoint Theinert Ranch.
The idea for the ranch, which is being built with money raised by the Joseph J. Theinert Memorial Fund to honor a Shelter Island soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010, was conceived by his mother, Chrystyna Kestler, as a site where service members, veterans and their families can get a respite and rehabilitate for a week at a time at no cost.
Ms. Kestler and her husband, Dr. Frank Kestler, who has dental practices on Shelter Island and in Mattituck, launched the project by donating land they owned in New Mexico to honor 1st Lt. Joseph J. Theinert.
When discussing the plans for a Sept. 18 Shelter Island Reporter story, Ms. Kestler described the ranch as her “field of dreams.”
It will eventually be built on a 900-acre site that was dubbed Strongpoint to represent a fighting position necessary to military success.
Current soil tests will confirm the site can support the ranch and will help principals estimate construction costs. They will also provide information about site grading requirements for the single-story structure, which will have a wooden frame and concrete floor slabs.
A number of fundraising events have been held to support the venture. Contributions can be made at josephjtheinertmemorialfund.org.