Healthy Veteran Highlights • June 2022


Dear Friends of NCHV and Valor Farm,

Our focus at the National Center for Healthy Veterans is generally on health and wellness, but we cannot avoid tough discussions periodically about the reality of military and veteran suicide and other related mental and behavioral health challenges.  Collectively, we must reverse this tragic trend which impacts generations to come.  Consistent with a June emphasis in many quarters regarding Suicide Prevention and PTSD Awareness; this Newsletter highlights military and veteran suicide and addresses our NCHV intentional strategy to prevent such tragedies, individually and across the force.  As you probably know, suicide causalities are multiple and complex, with most directly or indirectly connected with relationships.  In addition, these causalities fall into four primary clusters:  Isolation, Stress, Injury/Illness/Addiction, and Despair. In the Diving Deeper section of this newsletter, we will identify how we help veterans defeat these causal factors and equip them to be healthy, strong, and resilient. 

As well, in Plays of the Day, you will enjoy hearing about the dedication of our new Sam Lombardo Veterans Center (the hub of our Lancaster County PA Village), amazing volunteer support from Liberty University and others, a new initiative to cultivate bees and lavender, and an amazing Snap-On Tools gift-in-kind. Our Meet the Team highlights partnership with the John W Brick Mental Health Foundation, part of our suicide prevention and mental wellness efforts.  As always, we conclude with Prayer Points to provide spiritual artillery for our efforts.

As a final note, I provide a brief reflection from my devotions this morning from Galatians 6:9:  

“Let us not lose heart in doing good,
for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”

First, I commend our many volunteers, donors, and staff for continuing to fight this good fight on behalf of our nation’s Veterans.  The progress reported in this newsletter is nothing short of miraculous, truly an indication of God’s favor.  The result is changed lives, Patriots growing into their full God-given potential, and Veterans who are strengthening the fabric of America.  

Secondly, I challenge us all – this is a difficult journey which requires staying power.  As this Scripture suggests, we must not grow weary.  We must continue to give each other vision and energy to press forward in this high and noble cause on behalf of Veterans and their families.  What a privilege that each of us at NCHV get to do this with 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


    • Amazing! The first community center dedicated June 8.
    • Patriots will take meals, do laundry, relax, heal, and do life together.
    • We are so grateful to the many who have helped make this possible especially Dena and Sam Lombardo.


    • Liberty University has a wonderful program which requires students to provide 20 hours each semester to a local nonprofit.
    • We have been blessed with many amazing students who have dedicated far more than the required 20 hours each semester.
    • The news of the newest members to the national center for healthy veterans is buzzing all over valor farms. Recently The National Center for Healthy Veterans received a donation of 3 separate bee boxes with bee hives included. Already they are hard at work helping pollinate our fields and producing honey for this winter.
    • Beyond the medicinal benefits of honey, bee keeping itself can be a key source antidepressant. Honey, pollen, and propolis possess substantial inhibition of monoamine oxidases (MAO). MAO inhibitors are used in the treatment of depressive disorders. This as well as the careful nature and understanding of bee keeping creates another avenue for better mental health and healthy veterans here at Valor farms.
    • Thank you to Snap-on’s charitable giving program which funded the wonderful gift in-kind of a Valor the Tool Storage Unit in Gun Metal Grey.
    • Special thanks to Nicholas Pinchuk, Jeff Howe, Greg Mann, and Macky Bryant at Snap-on as well as Warren Simmons for helping facilitate the introduction of NCHV to the Snap-on executives.


    Meet The Team

    Victor and Lynne Brick
    The John W. Brick Mental Health Foundation (JWB MHF) was formed by Victor and Lynne Brick to emphasize a holistic, preventative, and integrative approach to wellness. From their website, “The JWB MHF was founded after Victor’s oldest brother, John, who suffered from schizophrenia his entire life, died of complications from the disease. In all the years of his treatment, often in the finest mental health institutions available, never once was he put on a well-rounded, fully integrated program that included healthy lifestyle practices such as exercise, nutrition and mind-body disciplines, along with conventional treatments such as psycho-analysis, institutionalization and medication.”


    Given their alignment with the holistic objectives of The National Center for Healthy Veterans, the JWB MHF is supporting the National Center for Healthy Veterans to provide programs and research surrounding their mission to “Return Healthy Veterans to America.” Here is the JWB MHF article explaining NCHV to their constituents: Introducing the National Center for Healthy Veterans – John W Brick Foundation

    NCHV is grateful for this beneficial partnership with JWB MH.

    Diving Deeper

    The news regarding Veteran suicide continues to be alarming. “Last month, the military released figures showing that suicides in the armed forces jumped to 580 last year, fueled by significant increases in the Army (+ 20%), Army National Guard (+35%), and Marine Corps (+30%).  These numbers do not include rising numbers in our Veteran Population, currently estimated at over 73,000 in the last 10 years of a 20 year war.  Military, government senior leaders and congress are urging more effort to reverse the trend.

    NCHV Leaders and other nationally known researchers recognize, thru years of personal experience and research, that suicide is a multifaceted issue. However, many hospital protocols, treatment centers, and insurance programs tend to look at suicide as a purely a mental health issue. It is much more than that.  Achieving reversal of past trends requires us to look at the challenges and solutions in a much broader sense than simply mental health and prescription medications.  

    We simply must look at things differently.  American lives depend on it.

    We believe that a comprehensive approach to suicide is what’s needed to begin attacking the problem systemically.  Since 2009, members of our team researched and participated in reviews both during and after our military service. These studies, and our personal observations, indicate suicidal tendencies are both treatable and recoverable.  But only if we look at the whole person, their environment, and examine the symptoms and causes holistically.  For many, experiencing several of the causal trends, not depression, anxiety, or other psychological challenges, accelerate the willingness to consider suicide as a way out.  Accelerating factors include but are not limited to: 
    • Relationship failures including divorce, loss of child custody, broken friendships at work, and losses of fellow veterans and members of their combat teams.
    • Professional setbacks and failed employment opportunities 
    • Isolation and withdrawal via the effects of relationship related loneliness 
    • Loss and Despair and Intense feelings following the death of someone close to them, low self-esteem, and inability of resolving basic problems. 
    • Lack of Faith in themselves, their families, doctors, government, friends 
    • Trauma  and the long-term effects of unresolved trauma (though direct links to PTSD and Combat deployments have proven inconclusive)  
    • Addiction and misuse of alcohol, self-medication, and mal-utilization of prescribed and illegal substances. 
    The National Center for Healthy Veterans believes in a multi-faceted approach to deal with these challenges.  We support providing our military, Veterans, and their families with techniques to simultaneously build their strength and resilience across all elements of their Physical, Mental, Spiritual, Emotional, and Relational (PMSER) fitness. We also ask their consideration of Christian faith entering their daily routines.  Faith-based care not only addresses spiritual matters, but also supports holistic health, familial reconciliation, and personal growth/restoration thru spiritual awareness and learning practices.

    These techniques enable our troops to grow stronger and better understand the value of a spiritual support package that only God and Community can provide.  We also empower them with lessons on positive learning, attitudes,  and personal optimism gained by serving others to achieve a greater sense of purpose.  All of this works together to improve individual coping skills, personal readiness, and also long-term life skills.  Even employers appreciate this approach because it provides a lower-risk workforce that thrives on adversity rather than being crushed by it.  

    Tragically, suicide is a permanent decision in response to an often-temporary problem.  Our nation’s Veterans deserve a disciplined, intentional, and holistic approach to healing. Regrettably, we did not respond to this need after the Vietnam War, and many of our Vietnam Veterans still suffer in silence, living under bridges, or take their own lives. Now is the time to help a new generation of America’s warriors and uniformed servants heal.  

    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. 


    Weekly Schedule & Upcoming Events
      • Mon-Fri: Daily Devotions with Staff, Patriots, Volunteers, and Friends of Valor Farm
      • Tue & Thur 9-11am and 1-3pm Scheduled Tours
        please contact if interested.
        Thursdays: Community Campfire at Valor Farm 6pm
        Come join us for fellowship!
      • OCTOBER 2022: Suicide Awareness Walk

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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

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    NCHV partners with the best in industry and the best educators to help veterans develop the skills they need to transition successfully to civilian employment at ZERO cost to them.

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Transition Preparation
    • Career Preparation

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    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

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

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Onboard & Familiarization
    • Inbound Assessments
    • Personal Development Plan

    Returning Healthy Veterans to America