Healthy Veteran Highlights • June 2024

Welcome

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

The familiar Christian song How Great Thou Art includes the phrase “I scarce can take it in,” referring to the awe inspiring goodness of God.  This phrase also applies to this past month at Valor Farm – as you will see in the stories below.  

For example, the day after we welcomed the new “Gladiator” cohort with housewarmings, we also observed the graduation of the “Wrangler” and “Invictus” cohorts from their respective trimester courses. We now have three cohorts in the curriculum. Village 1 is now fully occupied.  We have started excavation for Village 2.  We see lives changing, and growth occurring. And we are buoyed by the support and cheers from folks like you.  We “scarce can take it in.”  

As you will see in some of the graduation speeches later, these are powerful windows into the positive changes which are occurring daily in Veterans lives at NCHV. This is why we do what we do.  Instead of Post Traumatic Stress, we seek and see Post Traumatic Growth.   We “scarce can take it in.” 

Here’s a preview of the content below: 

  • Plays of the Day – House Warmings for the New “Gladiator” cohort, RGS and REBOOT Graduations, Village 2 Groundbreaking
  • Meet the Team – Missional Dan Mercer 
  • Diving Deeper – 3rd Trimester – Jobs for Life and Internships  
  • In The Media – May Veteran Appreciation Speeches, RGS Graduation Speech 
  • Prayer Points – Massing God’s artillery on behalf of Veterans, America, and the world. 

None of this would be possible without the many donors, volunteers, and organizations who support our cause to “Return Healthy Veterans to America.” We are grateful!  May you “Keep Up the Fire” on our behalf!

Blessings and gratitude 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 Dan Mercer – Missional 

    Dan is a new member of our Valor Farm staff, a 20-year Marine Corps veteran, and retired Gunnery Sergeant. After serving his country, Dan worked as a Financial Analyst at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, NC. 
     
    Dan began volunteering at Valor Farm last November and now serves as a missional, offering spiritual and emotional support to our Veterans. He is married to his wife of 20 years, Elizabeth, and is a proud father of three (Oliver, Isabella, and Ben). The joy of his life is being the grandfather to Scarlett, Carrington, and Rosalie. 
     
    We are so grateful for Dan’s service as a missional at Valor Farm. His military experience, combined with his compassionate heart and deep understanding of Veteran culture, makes him an invaluable asset to our team. He plays a vital role in fostering a supportive, healing environment for our Veterans, helping them reconnect with their faith and find purpose. 

    Diving Deeper

    By: Aaron Blaine – Patriot Program Director

    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. 
     
    Theology of Work: Rooted in the Bible, the course emphasizes that work is not just a means to an end but a divine calling for stewardship and contribution to society. 
     
    Character and Integrity: Participants learn the importance of virtues like honesty, diligence, and responsibility, recognizing that these qualities are not only valued in the workplace but also reflect a commitment to living a life of integrity. 
     
    Service and Stewardship: The course underscores the idea that work can be a form of service to others and a way to honor God. By viewing their careers through this lens, veterans are empowered to find deeper meaning and purpose in their work. 
     
    NCHV Application: At NCHV, the Jobs for Life course combines these biblical principles with practical career guidance. Participants undergo personalized assessments to identify their strengths and interests, which helps them align their skills with potential career paths. 
     
    Chris’ Journey of Passion and Purpose: Chris Johnson, a recent graduate of the Jobs for Life course, exemplifies the transformative power of discovering one’s passion and aligning it with purpose. Through the program’s self-assessment tools, Chris unearthed a deep-seated love for cooking and serving others, an interest that had laid dormant for years. Recognizing this passion as a potential calling, Chris gained a newfound sense of purpose and direction. NCHV facilitated an internship in a local kitchen, where he honed his skills and confirmed his calling. Today, Chris thrives as a kitchen manager, living out his passion and fulfilling his purpose by nourishing others through his work. 
     
    Jobs for Life is not merely a career preparation tool; it’s a transformative experience that empowers veterans to find fulfilling work that aligns with their values and passions. By fostering a sense of purpose and dedication rooted in faith, NCHV is equipping veterans like Chris to succeed not only in their careers but also in their journey toward personal fulfillment and contribution to society.

    Plays of the Day

    “Gladiator” Cohort Housewarming: Welcome Home, Patriots! Last week we got to welcome 4 new Veterans into our family at the National Center for Healthy Veterans. Their journey to healing and wholeness begins today with a special housewarming celebration. We’re honored to provide a safe and supportive environment where they can rediscover their strength, resilience, and purpose. Let’s show them some love and support as they embark on this new chapter!

    Reboot Graduation: Congratulations to our Invictus cohort on completing the second trimester of Reboot Recovery! These 4 Patriots have bravely confronted their trauma, finding strength and healing in faith and community. We are immensely proud of them as they have shared their burdens, discovered hope, and forged unbreakable bonds. As they enter the final trimester, we know they will continue to thrive, empowered by the tools and support they’ve gained. Their journey is a testament to the power of resilience and the unwavering love of God. 

    RGS Graduation: Congratulations to our Wranglers cohort on completing the first trimester of Resilience God Style! These 3 Patriots have made remarkable progress in their healing journey. We couldn’t be prouder of their dedication and commitment. As they embark on the second trimester’s Reboot Trauma Recovery Curriculum, we’re excited to see them continue to grow and thrive. 

    Village 2 Update: Transformation in Progress! The ground is being cleared for our second Healthy Veterans Village, where 25 new tiny homes and a community center will soon rise to welcome Veterans’ home. A huge shoutout to United Rentals and Master Gunnery Sergeant Robert Campbell, whose dedication and hard work are making this dream a reality! This village is a testament to our mission: Returning Healthy Veterans to America. We provide more than just housing; we offer a supportive community, holistic healing programs, and a chance to thrive. Stay tuned for updates as we build a brighter future for our nation’s heroes!

    In The Media

    Chris Johnson – Veteran Appreciation Dinner Speech: Chris Johnson, a recent graduate of the program here at NCHV, shared his inspiring story of transformation at the Veterans Appreciation Dinner. In a moving speech, Chris spoke about the profound impact NCHV had on his life, providing him with purpose, support, and a sense of belonging. Watch his heartwarming testimonial.

    Kevin Curtis – Veteran Appreciation Dinner Speech: In a powerful testimony, Kevin Curtis opens up about his journey from trauma to healing at Valor Farm. He shares how his experiences in the military and a difficult childhood left him struggling to understand and experience love. At Valor Farm, Kevin discovered a supportive community and a renewed sense of purpose, leading him to rediscover the value of his own life. Watch his inspiring story.

    Kevin King – RGS Graduation Speech Excerpt: At our recent Resilience God Style graduation ceremony, Kevin King, a Wrangler Cohort graduate, bravely shared his story of loss and healing. In an emotional speech, Kevin spoke candidly about losing loved ones and his sense of self. His powerful declaration, “I’m sober,” marked a turning point in his journey, showcasing the strength he’s found through the program. Watch Kevin’s inspiring story of resilience, hope, and self-discovery.

    Harry Ryder – RGS Graduation Speech Excerpt: During our recent Resilience God Style graduation ceremony, Harry, a Wrangler Cohort graduate, courageously shared his personal battle with alcoholism. In a moving speech, Harry revealed the pivotal role that faith and fellowship played in his journey to overcome addiction. His words, “It all comes down to faith,” resonated deeply with the audience, highlighting the transformative power of spiritual connection and community support. Watch Harry’s inspiring story of hope and recovery.

    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. 

    Calendar

    Weekly NCHV Schedule
    • Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. Scheduled Tourscontact@healthyveterans.org if interested.
    • Thursdays: Community Campfire at Valor Farm 6pm Come join us for fellowship!
    JULY 2024
    • While we’ll be taking a short break from our regular Volunteer Day in July, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be back in August with renewed energy and even more opportunities for you to get involved and make a difference in the lives of our Veterans.
    NOVEMBER 2024
    • NCHV Veterans Day Commemoration, Guest Speaker – Winsome Earle-Sears – Monday, November 11, 2024 

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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