Healthy Veteran Highlights • February 2024


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

One of our favorite mentors at NCHV, Dr. Ken Nichols, often starts with “Behold, I bring you good news!” I echo this sentiment as this newsletter provides a few glimpses into the strong pulse of God’s transforming work 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.

We observe such PERSEVERANCE in Patriots who navigate the NCHV nine-month curriculum. It is truly inspiring. On March 12 we will graduate 5 Patriots who have persevered through a life-changing program at Valor Farm. We are proud of them – they have leaned into the program, and are graduating far healthier in the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational dimensions of their lives. Each of them has employment opportunities following graduation with one Patriot even gaining a promotion during his pre-graduation internship. This is why we do what we do – helping at-risk Veterans not only survive but thrive and flourish as they move into their new future.

The Bible illustrates PERSEVERANCE in many ways. 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 who perseveres keeps “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.

To read more about PERSEVERANCE, see Perseverance | Resilience God Style

I know you will be inspired by reading more in:

  • Meet the Team: Dr. Al Sarno
  • Diving Deeper: Discussing NCHV’s recent accreditation by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)
  • Plays of the Day: Volunteer Day, Angelica Smalley’s painting, “City On A Hill”, and “Distinguished Service to Country Award” to Valor Farm
  • In the Media: Photos from our Volunteer Day and a Liberty University Hockey Game
  • Calendar: Highlighting Coming Events
  • Prayer Points: Prayer is 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.

As a final note, we truly appreciate many of you who have decided to make recurring monthly donations to help us help Veterans. This gives us predictable resources to carry on this urgent work. As well, thanks to each of you donors, volunteers, and like-minded partners who keep investing in “Returning Healthy Veterans to America.”  

Gratefully to each of you,

Robert F. Dees
Major General, U.S. Army, Retired
President and CEO, National Center for Healthy Veterans

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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!

    Meet The Team

    Meet Dr. Al Sarno

    We are excited to have Dr. Al Sarno on our team here as our Patriot Care Director. “Dr. Al,” a licensed professional counselor in Virginia, is gifted in helping people find meaning and purpose in life. As a Christian counselor for more than four decades and a Military Family Life Counselor on over 30 military installations, he specializes in helping people overcome addictions, anxiety disorders, and PTSD. In his thriving practice, he counsels couples and provides them with the tools and techniques needed to instill joy in their relationships so that they can live a happy and fulfilled life. Dr. Al is also a professor at Liberty University in the Counseling Department of School of Behavioral Sciences where he helps people find their zest for life. Dr. Al resides on the farm, and is an active member of Timberlake Church in Lynchburg. He is also the Author of “Joy On The Same Page” released March, 2023. You can reach Dr. Al at his website Dr. Al considers it pure joy to get to be a part of helping our Veterans navigate the challenges of trauma and transition to achieve their full potential. 

    Diving Deeper

    By: Tim Cyphers (Development Coordinator) 

    We are thrilled to announce that The National Center for Healthy Veterans has officially been accredited by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA)! This achievement represents a major milestone for our organization, affirming our commitment to the highest standards of financial responsibility, transparency, and ethical practices. 

     What is ECFA Accreditation? 
    The ECFA is an independent organization founded in 1979 that accredits Christ-centered non-profit organizations across the United States. Achieving ECFA accreditation assures donors and the public that an organization adheres to rigorous standards across several key areas: 

    • Governance: Demonstrating a strong and responsible board of directors.
    • Financial Management: Maintaining sound financial policies and practices. 
    • Fundraising: Conducting fundraising activities in an ethical and truthful manner. 
    • Transparency: Publicly sharing clear and accurate financial information. 

    Why Does This Matter? 
    Gaining ECFA accreditation underscores our dedication to operating The National Center for Healthy Veterans with integrity and accountability. We believe that donors deserve to know that their generous contributions are managed with utmost care and directed towards fulfilling our mission of supporting the well-being of our nation’s veterans. 

    This accreditation serves as a powerful endorsement, bolstering confidence among our valued supporters, grantmakers, and potential partners. It demonstrates our unwavering resolve to be exceptional stewards of the resources entrusted to us. 

    Further Recognition: Candid Platinum Seal 
    We are also proud to share that we have once again received the Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency for 2024! This distinction reinforces our commitment to providing clear and open information about our operations, programs, and impact. 

    Thank You! 
    These prestigious recognitions would not have been possible without the incredible support of our community. Your trust and generosity fuel our ability to make a meaningful difference in the lives of veterans. We pledge to continue upholding the highest standards of excellence as we move forward in our vital work. 

    Learn More 
    Use the ECFA and Candid seal logos at the bottom of this letter.

    Plays of the Day

    Volunteer Day: We had another fantastic volunteer day on Saturday, February 17th! This amazing team of volunteers helped clear riding/hiking trails, built planters at village, cleaned the community center, worked on landscaping and tree maintenance / firewood, and helped with barn and farm chores. Our volunteers are truly invaluable, there is no way we could do what we do without our faithful army of volunteers. We are so thankful for their service and heart for NCHV and our veterans.

    Valor Farm Award: Valor Farm was awarded the Distinguished Service to Country Award, by the Hamilton Madison House Charity Organization, on January 18th in the heart of New York City

    In The Media

    Volunteer Day Photos
    Liberty University Hockey Game Photos

    Prayer Points

    • Pray for wisdom and knowledge to work with our Veterans who are suffering with PTS/PTSD and other mental and emotional issues.
    • Pray that the work of the National Center for Healthy Veterans would continue to advance in the criteria needed to work with Veteran Families.
    • Pray for the NCHV Staff and volunteers; continued health and stamina. Pray for their families. Praise God for the men and women He sends to continue the work of “Returning Healthy Veterans to America.”
    • Join us in praising God for the beauty of His Creation — horses, rivers, cattle, valleys, chickens, the fruit of the land, the beauty of the fields, the wonder of His Creation. 


    Weekly NCHV Schedule
      • MARCH 2024
        • March 2, 2024 – Miami with Team Halpin
        • March 15, 2024 – Lancaster County Event with Quarry View
          Lancaster County Patriots have been tremendous supporters for the National Center for Healthy Veterans at Valor Farm. Come meet with General Bob Dees and some of our team at the Quarry View Building Group New Headquarters to hear an update on NCHV and progress at the farm. Light refreshments will be provided. Reserve your spot by clicking here. 
        APRIL 2024
        • April 26, 20024 – Bob Speaks to Amway Leaders Conference
        MAY 2024
        • May 22, 2024 – Returning Healthy Veterans to America Reception and Fundraiser, sponsored by Hillwood, a Perot Company
          Reserve your spot by clicking here.
        • May 30, 224 – Philadelphia Veterans Appreciation Dinner – featuring Joe Piscopo, talented musicians, live auction, and NCHV patriot cameos. Union League Club of Philadelphia Reserve your spot by clicking here.

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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