Healthy Veteran Highlights • February 2023

Welcome

Dear Friends of the National Center for Healthy Veterans at Valor Farm,

While many of us are eagerly awaiting Spring, we are still immersed in the rains, snows, and cold of Winter at Valor Farm and likely where you live as well.  As we wait for God’s Creation to bust out in Easter fashion, we must PERSEVERE through the remaining Winter.  This analogy from nature certainly applies to many areas of our lives where we have to wait and persevere until the desired outcome arrives. 

In June 1944, the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” landed by parachute and gliders in the dark of night behind the beaches at Normandy.  They fought through France, liberated Holland with more daring airborne insertions, and bought critical time in the fateful Battle of the Bulge at Bastogne.  Then they fought through Germany, ending up at Hitler’s Eagles Nest in southern Bavaria, and beyond by May 1945.  This was PERSEVERANCE, a picture worth a thousand words. These heroic veterans were persistent and steadfast – one dusty, often bloody, boot in front of the other, again and again – saving lives, reuniting families, liberating nations, and unhinging the entire continent of Europe from the ravage of evil empires.  What Resilient Warriors, what role models of courage, commitment, and PERSEVERANCE!  Their WWII example was mirrored many times over by other storied Army units, as well as the valiant warriors of other Services of the military. A heroic time it was.  

TODAY we also see heroism; we see amazing PERSEVERANCE, persistence, steadfastness in many Americans today.  Peering through the face shields and masks of our healthcare providers and first responders in PPE, we have seen the same determination and PERSEVERANCE.  Observing the selfless leadership of business owners navigating a tough economy, or the many citizens who are reaching into their communities to provide for the hardest hit Americans; we see the same determination, the same PERSEVERANCE.  These modern-day Resilient Warriors are also putting one boot in front of another, not giving up or slowing down until the job is done. They also have our great respect and appreciation.

The Bible illustrates PERSEVERANCE in many ways.  Vines dictionary would describe it as “to continue steadfastly in a thing and give unremitting care to it.”  The primary Greek word used for perseverance in the New Testament is pros (towards) kartereo (strength).  This provides a great picture – while on an arduous journey (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, relational), one is “moving towards strength.”

That’s it!  To PERSEVERE, we move toward strength.  We let strength pull us forward —  BUT this must be God’s Strength!  What a powerful resilience tool – the sure knowledge that God is pulling YOU/US forward in HIS strength.  

For more about PERSEVERANCE: Perseverance | Resilience God Style

Plays of the Day” is always fun, this month focused on new piggies and new Veteran Referrals at Valor Farm. 

In The Media” section, you will hear from a couple of our Patriots, giving witness to the impact of the National Center for Healthy Veterans at Valor Farm to move past woundedness in various ways and move toward strength and wellness.

In “Meet the Team” we welcome Brad and Tera.

In “Diving Deeper” I will lay out the Patriot Recruiting and Referral Process to enhance our collective ability to bring the right Veterans to Valor Farm for healing and restoration.  We need your help on this one!

“Prayer Points” focuses on key needs within the Veteran community, and beyond. Prayer is really God’s artillery to soften up and break through the tough obstacles we all face.  Thank you in advance for your prayers on behalf of Veterans and our life-changing work with them.

We truly appreciate your partnership with us in so many ways. 

Grateful to each of you,

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

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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

    Play of the Day #1 – Animal Ambassadors:

    • New babies in God’s Creation are always a wonder.  Ten new piggies joined the Valor Farm family, one of the new piggy recruits shown here with Patriot Zach.
    • Our Valor Farm Ladies (Rhode Island Red egg layers) are also great Ambassadors, shown here welcoming a U.S. Marine visitor to Valor Farm.

    Play of Day #2  – Veteran Referrals pick up steam:

    (L) Ed Stefanak, VFW Department of South Carolina Commander,
    (C) USMC (R) Colonel Chris Bourne, NCHV Board Member,
    (R) Dan West, VFW National Adjutant General

    • Engagements at Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) State Conventions in South Carolina (Board Member Chris Bourne) and North Carolina (CEO Bob Dees) to generate Veteran referrals for NCHV, assisted in both by Bob Uber.  These engagements resulted in multiple Veterans identified and referred.
    • NCHV Referral process gaining momentum with recent referrals from San Diego, Maine, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Kansas City, and Georgia.

     

    In The Media

    Meet The Team

    Brad and Tera
     

    Brad Allen and Tera Keating-Allen from Libertyville,IL. Brad is a West Point graduate and Airborne Ranger. Tera is a retired Navy Nurse Corps officer. She is currently a Licensed Resident in Counseling at Light Counseling in Lynchburg. Brad and Tera enjoy spending time with friends and family. They love the outdoors, kayaking, hiking, and camping.

    Tera is now the NCVH Patriot Care Director, and Brad is a content provider for the NCHV Patriot Program team. We are blessed to have such quality professionals join our team.

    Diving Deeper

    NCHV Patriot Recruiting and Referral Process
     

    Last month we introduced the NCHV Veteran Engagement Engine, shown below.  This month we will dive a little deeper into our “Patriot Recruiting and Referral” process, shown at the bottom of the RED Patriot Program circle.

    Patriot Recruiting was one of the 5 Strategic Objectives we identified last month. This is objective is stated as follows: “Given that capacity is now available, begin active recruiting to identify Veterans across America who would benefit from the community life, intentional programs, career preparation, and comprehensive care provided by NCHV to residential Patriots.”

    In short, the Recruiting and Referral Process consists of a few basic steps:

    1. ENGAGE across a broad range of recruiting entities such as other Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs), numerous church and parachurch Veteran outreaches across America, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Virginia Department of Veteran Services and other States, active military transition units, and concerned citizens and family members in communities across America.
    2. Receive REFERRALS from entities above on a Patriot Referral form.  See the “Refer A Patriot” button at top of NCHV website.
    3. Receive APPLICATION from prospective Patriot.
    4. ASSESS application to determine fit, and learn as much as possible about the candidate, including phone or in-person interviews, FBI Background Check, release of medical records, and evaluation by our NCHV Veteran Care Counsel (VCC).
    5. ACCEPT for admission as a Residential Patriot, or refer to another helping organization which might be a better fit for the candidate.

    While the process is pretty routine, the overall decision regarding a particular candidate is complex and thoughtful, ensuring that the Veteran is committed to growth, and suited to the Valor Farm living and working environment.  Upon arrival, the incoming Patriot participates in a high-impact “housewarming” where he receives his tiny home, is wrapped in a quilt and given starter gifts, and is welcomed and prayed over by his new Valor Farm family.  Then on-the-ground orientation, in processing, and further assessment prepare the Patriot for entry into the normal “battle rhythm” of Valor Farm life.

    Now that you know how the process works, we hope YOU will assist in finding and referring Veterans stuck in trauma, transition, or other life challenges who need to do a “life reset” via the holistic, intentional program offered by NCHV.  Thanks in advance for your assistance!

    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 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 role models. 

    Calendar

    NCHV Calendar
    Weekly Schedule & Upcoming Events
    • Mon-Fri: Daily Devotions with Staff, Patriots, Volunteers, and Friends of Valor Farm
    • Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. Scheduled Tours
      please contact Dianarider@healthyveterans.org if interested.
      Thursdays: Community Campfire at Valor Farm 6pm
      Come join us for fellowship!

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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