Healthy Veteran Highlights • April 2022

Welcome

Dear Friends of the National Center for Healthy Veterans,

I write this from Pigeon Forge TN where I am speaking to a group of pastors about resilience, leadership, and self-care.  One of the key principles is “In the world you will have tribulation.”  So it is with all of us – none of us are immune to the various body slams of life.  This is why we need each other.  And the verse continues: “BUT TAKE COURAGE, I (Jesus) have overcome the world.”  Although we may be navigating our own personal adversity, or perhaps helping others navigate their challenges, or understandably perplexed by the affairs of the world such as the ongoing tragedy in Ukraine or domestic challenges internal to America; each of us can TAKE COURAGE and each of us can be grateful for the promise of Spring and the promise of God’s Provision that lays before us.

Speaking of God’s Provision, we are humbled and grateful that Governor and First Lady Youngkin chose NCHV as their first recipient of their Spirit of Virginia award.  Virginia’s first couple could not have been more gracious or encouraging for our entire team and community leaders we were able to assemble on short notice. Their amazing visit gave each of us at Valor Farm COURAGE to keep on our challenging mission to “Return Healthy Veterans to America.” 

As we enter Spring, we can look through the rear view mirror many years ago as we recognize the 50-year Commemoration of our Veterans who served in Vietnam.  We honor them.  We also look forward through the windshield.  For the many Veterans across America, April can begin transition into new chapters of life, new relationships, and new physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational well-being – certainly our goal for each of them at the National Center for Healthy Veterans (NCHV). May we all be encouraged to see how God is transforming lives at NCHV and expectant as many more Veterans come our way in this coming season of fruitfulness. We remain grateful to the many who are making this work possible – donors, volunteers, community supporters, and fellow Veterans.

For this newsletter, we provide Valor Farm “Plays of the Day,” introduce one of our key ministry partners – the Armed Services Ministry of the American Bible Society, highlight a few new media items, provide some focused prayer points, and updated calendar items.

Yes, a time for all of us to “Get Ready!” …. to prepare for the coming harvest!

With gratitude, respect, and blessings,

Robert F. Dees
Major General, U.S. Army, Retired
NCHV President & CEO

Table of Contents
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    YOUR encouragement and generosity
    have made these amazing things happen at Valor Farm. 
    We certainly welcome and need your further support on behalf of Returning Healthy Veterans to America!

    Join our Healthy Veterans Community!

    Plays of the Day

    VETERAN SERVICES:

    • NCHV staff assisted a Texas Veteran’s spouse in finding counseling services for her husband that he would find acceptable.
    • NCHV and Valor Farm staff assisted a walk-on family by providing a peaceful place to discuss service-connected stress and relationship problems.
    • NCHV and Valor Farm staff and volunteers provided meals and visits to local Veteran after significant medical treatment.
    • Parent of a volunteer traveled from South Carolina to provide a week of special lunches for Patriots and staff.

    IN-KIND DONATIONS: 

    • Sparky and Nestle joined our Valor Farm animal family in March and have already stolen everyone’s hearts. These two gentlemen were trained by their owners Nancy and Barry Brubaker to assist children with trauma therapy. The Brubakers decided they wanted to donate them to help the Patriots with their healing, and they sent them with an endowment to pay for room and board for the rest of their lives – an amazingly thoughtful gift.

      Nancy rescued the boys at 4 months old. Both boys have a dorsal stripe on their backs in the shape of a cross. Sparky, a Sardinian miniature, loves brushing and massages.  Nestle, a French Poitou breed without vision in one eye, loves his ears and under his neck rubbed.  Both love carrots and saltine crackers, and will assist in our therapy programs with Veterans. As with our other animals, these donkeys have quickly become a huge hit with Valor Farm residents and visitors, including the Governor and First Lady of Virginia. 

    HEALTHY VETERANS MARKET OPENING:

    • Market Opening: We are blessed to announce the soft opening of Healthy Veterans Market the first week in May. The Market, located at 1056 Wards Road in Altavista, will sell a variety of items to include Valor Farm produce, beef and pork shares, fresh eggs, wood products and furniture crafted by local Veterans, and NCHV/Valor Farm apparel and swag. Selection of items will grow as we move into the Grand Opening in mid-June. Summer products will include over 30 varieties of vegetables, baked goods, beverages, cut flowers, fresh herbs, unique Veteran created note cards, and photography. Please check our social media pages for more information about days and hours of operation.

    Meet The Team

    American Bible Society
     
    Ministry partnerships are crucial to our ability to Return Healthy Veterans to America. Armed Services Ministry is a division of the American Bible Society, a trusted partner in online content, Bibles, and Christian literature.

    Armed Services Ministry’s online resources will help the National Center for Healthy Veterans connect with and serve Veterans and their families prior to their arrival at Valor Farm. Those resources include Bible studies and devotionals for every member of military families and biblical trauma recovery courses.

    While on Valor Farm, Patriots and their families will have access to Bibles and Bible study resources dealing with emotions like anger, fear, grief, and doubt, as well as personal finance and relationship skills.

    Upon graduation from residential Patriot programs, alumni will have the opportunity to maintain the relationships they built while on Valor Farm through National Center for Healthy Veterans virtual programs which will incorporate Armed Services Ministry and other American Bible Society resources.

    The National Center for Healthy Veterans is grateful for our partnership with the American Bible Society and their Armed Services Ministry.

    Diving Deeper

    SPRING is upon us!
     
    April closes the chapter of Winter and opens a whole new door to freshness and regeneration.  What is your favorite part of Spring?  Maybe the return of birds who chirp their distinctive songs as they flit about the freshness of new growth?  Or perhaps the green shoots that appear under the melting snow?  Possibly for you it is the flowers in bloom, or the bluebonnets in Texas?  Whatever your particular moment of awe as Spring returns, I think we can agree that it is a special time – a time of newness, growth, potential, anticipation. Spring is God’s symbol of resilience.

    Particularly when you have been body slammed and life as you knew it may have come to an abrupt halt, such reminders of new beginnings are very encouraging, serving to spark optimism, and hope, and dreams for the future.  “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV, emphasis added) This awareness that God the Creator is the author of new beginnings, and that He seeks a prosperous and hopeful future for you, is often the spark that helps you start looking forward and not back, that helps you start to sing a new song.

    Speaking of singing, have you ever heard of anyone singing in prison?  From the Book of Acts, we learn about some really “crazy dudes” named Paul and Silas.  The head dude, the Apostle Paul actually, had chosen a faithful man, Silas, as his “battle buddy” on his missionary journey into Macedonia.  Early in the journey in the vicinity Philippi they had great success in spreading the hope of Jesus to the Gentile people, but they soon encountered opposition.  In fact, they got “body slammed” pretty bad. They were falsely accused by some local businessmen, convicted by a “kangaroo jury,” reviled by a rioting mob, beaten with rods, and thrown into prison with their feet in stocks.  Now, that’s pretty tough stuff. Maybe you have been through similar circumstances. For many of us, that would be the “egg splat,” game over! 

    Yet, this was not Paul and Silas’ first rodeo.  They had learned to be content, to be resilient, and to bounce back in all circumstances: “…for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13, emphasis added)

    The books of Acts also records the fact that Paul and Silas were singing in prison at midnight, despite being “behind bars.”  I don’t think they were praying and singing because they were comfortable or just because they were such godly men; I think they had developed the mental and spiritual reflex to look up, not down; forward, not back. Praying and singing a new song (even in prison!) was a means to stand firm and courageous, as well as to invoke God’s presence, and have a powerful impact in the lives of those listening, especially when despair and discouragement would be the more logical and predictable emotions.

    So it is with each of us.  If we are to “bounce back and not get stuck,” then we must at some point “sing a new song” which may include actual singing, but more importantly new beginnings, new dreams, new life-giving relationships, and new depth of meaning and purpose with the God who created you, loves you, and has good plans for you in the future.

    In The Media

    Prayer Points

    • Together we uplift the people of Ukraine in this tragic hour. May God guide you, protect you, and hide you under the shelter of His wings as the destruction passes by.
    • Pray that the work of the National Center for Healthy Veterans would rapidly advance to provide help, hope, and healing for our nation’s Veterans and their families.
    • Join us in praising God for the beauty of His Creation at Valor Farm — horses, rivers, cattle, valleys, chickens, the fruit of the land, the beauty of the fields, the wonder of His Creation. 
    • Join us in praising God for the amazing Army of NCHV volunteers, a multitude of generous supporters, and a faithful staff.
    • Pray that God would steady the hand of the 22 Veterans a day that are considering ending their lives. 
    • Without mentioning specifics, pray for the many Veterans and their families in our midst who have financial issues, health crises, relational dysfunction, and suffer from mental and emotional challenges. May God bring wellness to Veterans throughout the land. 
    • Pray that God will provide laborers and resources to “Return Healthy Veterans to America,”  and may these Healthy Veterans provide unique contributions to America as role models, parents, educators, coaches, business professionals, and societal influencers. 

    Calendar

    • Weekly Activities

    • Mon-Fri: Daily Devotions with Staff, Patriots, Volunteers, and Friends of Valor Farm
      Thursdays: Community Campfire at Valor Farm 6pm Come join us for fellowship
      Tue & Thur 9-11am and 1-3pm Scheduled Tour Times please contact Dianarider@healthyveterans.org if interested.
      April 2: Volunteer Saturday 8-12pm
      May 7: Volunteer Saturday 8-12pm
      May 21: Volunteer Saturday 8-12pm
      If interested, contact volunteer@healthyveterans.org

    • Community Events

    • Fridays @12pmMonument Terrace Troop Rally
      April 8 @12pm- April 9 @3pm: Commemoration of the Surrender and Freedom Day Weekend Events at the American Civil War Museum, Appomattox Visit www.acwm.org/event for more information
      May 27 @7pm: Stars and Stripes Forever Concert at National D-Day Memorial, Bedford. Visit www.dday.org/events for more information and tickets
      May 30 @11am: Memorial Day Commemoration at National D-Day Memorial, Bedford
      May 30 9am-5pm: Memorial Day Commemoration at Pamplin Historical Park & National Museum of the Civil War Soldier, Petersburg Visit www.pamplinpark.org/event for more information
      May 30 @11am: Commonwealth’s 66th Annual Memorial Day Ceremony at Virginia War Memorial, Richmond Visit www.vawarmemorial.org/events/ for more information
      May 30 2-4pm: National Memorial Day Parade, Washington DC Visit www.rove.me/to/washington/national-memorial-day-parade for more information

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    In the last stage of the program Patriots learn about post graduation support and how to maintain balance in their new environments. They also conduct an outbound assessment of the outcome of their PDP and receive assistance transitioning to new employment and living arrangements.

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Outbound Assessments
    • Graduate Support Programs
    • Graduation
    Jobs for Life – A Faith-Based Approach to Career Preparation
    The National Center for Healthy Veterans (NCHV) offers a unique career preparation course called “Jobs for Life” during the third trimester of its program. This course goes beyond traditional career counseling by integrating biblical principles to instill a deeper understanding of the nature and purpose of work. 
     

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Transition Preparation
    • Career Preparation

    A nationally renowned, faith-based trauma healing course designed to help veterans of all eras and their families recover from the spiritual and moral wounds of war.

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Less Pain, Anger, Fatigue, Anxiety, and Depression.
    • More Forgiveness and Meaning
    • Better Social Participation and Connectedness
    • Quality of Life

    “The hospital fixed my body, but REBOOT fixed my soul. REBOOT sought out and resued the man I once was.”

    Trauma Healing For Everyone

    This one-of-a-kind course teaches you how to build bounce, weather the storm, and bounce back without getting stuck. This course is widely used in church and academic settings to build personal resilience.

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Preparing for the Storms of Life
    • Weathering the Storms
    • Bouncing Back
    • Navigating Adversity

    “We are often troubled, but not crushed; sometimes in doubt, but never in despair; there are many enemies, but we are never without a friend; and though badly hurt at times, we are not destroyed.”
    2 Corinthians 4:8-9

    Resilience: Learning to Bounce

    Intake, Inventory, and Assessment

    The Patriot onboarding period includes familiarization with the farm, its work, living, and recreational areas, an individual assessment, and creating the holistic Personal Development Plan.

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Onboard & Familiarization
    • Inbound Assessments
    • Personal Development Plan

    Returning Healthy Veterans to America