Healthy Veteran Highlights • March 2022

Welcome

Dear Friends of the National Center for Healthy Veterans,

I confess a heavy heart as we are in the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.  I know you join me in prayer for the many innocents impacted by this act of aggression. No doubt you are also inspired by the many acts of courage by Ukrainian President Zelensky and so many others. As well, many U.S. military forces are being prepared and positioned to deal with the potential for even broader conflict. This is yet one more example of how our Veterans of times past and our military of today stand on the edge of evil, to protect each of us, to commit their very lives to preserving a future for generations of Americans to come.  May God guide and protect each of them and their dear families.  We will be ready to take care of them when the time comes.

I also share an expectant heart.  The first Airborne jump command is “Get Ready!”  So it is with each of us – the month of March is an ideal time to get ready for the upcoming season of growth and new life.  For the farmers and ranchers amongst us (and that’s all of us at Valor Farm!), it is a time to move beyond Winter and make preparations – as it says in Ecclesiastes 3, “a time to plant.”  For many Christian denominations, March also ushers in the tradition of Lent, a 40-day season that precedes Easter.  The word “Lent,” derived from an old English word which means “springtime,” is often a time of reflection, penitence, abstinence from certain foods or practices, and spiritual preparation. 

For the many Veterans across America, March can also symbolize 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 some farming and construction “Plays of the Day,” introduce our new NCHV Program Director CSM Jeremy Strasser, dive deeper regarding our emerging equine therapy program, highlight a few new media items, and provide some focused prayer points.

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

Blessings,

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

    COMMUNITY CENTER: 

    • We are so excited to see the development of our New Community Center.
    • This is over 3000 square feet of beautiful space for classes, daily nutrition and meals, and open space for relaxation and group work. 
    • We expect delivery from Quarry View Builders by the end of March.
    • Hallelujah!

    FARMING: 

    • After the hibernation of winter, life is blossoming at Valor Farm.
    • Our two new calves are flourishing.
    • Our brand new piglets are exploring the Hogwarts paddock, and are getting ready to produce milk for feta cheese.
    • Our Farming Director has been very busy planning the garden and crop rotation schedule for this year.

    TINY HOME CONSTRUCTION: 

    • Moving into March our construction teams will complete tiny homes 5-8. We will be painting interiors & exteriors of these homes, installing cabinets & trimming them out.
    • We are in the same place with our Barn office project, as we will be painting & trimming that area out this month.
    • We’ve also begun an extensive renovation project for our existing farm house.

    Meet The Team

    Jeremy Strasser

    Our new Program Director, Jeremy Strasser recently moved to Valor Farm from western Iowa. In addition to his primary duties, he and his family will live in the first village of tiny homes as a missional family. Jeremy spent seven years on active duty in the Army and just began his nineteenth year in the Iowa Army National Guard, where he serves as Command Sergeant Major of the 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry “Red Bull” Division. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology: Christian Counseling and a Master of Divinity: Chaplaincy, both from Liberty University.

    Jeremy served four years as a deputy sheriff in Ida County, Iowa. He has a background in manufacturing management, healthcare support management, and safety and emergency preparedness in both healthcare and power utility construction. He also served as an area representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, ministering to coaches and athletes at the junior high through small college levels.

    Jeremy is married to Kayla, who works as an assistant librarian. Their daughter, Autumn is a sophomore at Des Moines Area Community College in Iowa. Their son, Colin is in eighth grade. Kayla and the kids will be joining Jeremy on Valor Farm in the next few months. 

    Jeremy is amazed by the work God has already done through the National Center for Healthy Veterans, and he is excited to be a part of the team that is focused on “Returning Healthy Veterans to America”. We are equally excited that God has brought such a talented professional and committed family to serve at NCHV.

    Diving Deeper

    As Many of you know we are excited entering the world of equine therapy and sharing the spiritual effects of horsemanship at Valor Farm.

    We are fortunate to be supported by highly qualified partner organizations like the Remount program in Colorado Springs, and Healing Strides – a local, highly regarded and well certified group near Roanoke Va.  We also have interest from educational groups such as Averitt College’s School of Equestrian Studie, and local horsemanship clubs in the area. 

    Equine therapy is very well suited to the grounds of Valor Farm and to the needs those with military experience and life trauma. While still relatively new in the research world, certified equine therapy is proving to be very useful in helping Veterans to find their own solutions to the struggles in their lives. Proven benefits include increased resilience, spiritual and emotional growth, trauma resolution, strengthened core musculature, positive change in self-confidence, listening/sensing skills, empathy, and interpretation of non-verbal communication.

    There is much more to this of course, but it is a truly amazing self-discovery opportunity for our Veterans and staff.  It also provides many new career options as well. Please contact Jake Corwin if you would like to learn more.

    In The Media

    Tribute to Len Rogers

    We lost our dear friend, Len Rogers, to cancer in Early February.  Len was an icon of joy, selfless service, courage, and faith in God and his fellow man.  

    Len, and his wife Barbara, are known to all of our local supporters and volunteers for his contagious smile, his ever-present happiness, and his determination to let everyone in America know about NCHV. He loved America !

    He was also a perpetual energy machine – always helping others more than himself.  

    In his early years he was a vibrant leader for the Boy Scouts of America. After they moved to Altavista in 2006, He continued his life of service.

    One of his social groups – the Over-The-Hill-Gang, said “he relentlessly promoted NCHV and Valor Farm.”   They were very proud of Len as we all are !  Len also worked very hard to reach out to Rotary, the Lynchburg Business Alliance, local churches, and the Knights of Columbus on our behalf.      

    He and Barbara also helped their church create a shelter for Battered Women called “Frannie’s House.”  Since 2006 they have been members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and then St. Victoria Catholic Church in Hurt, VA.

    Len – We know God needed you and immediately granted you the wings of Angels.  We pray you are flying in overwatch guiding us daily,  leading us to continued greatness!

    With all our love,
    Your Valor Farm Family

    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 of interested.

      March 5: Volunteer Saturday 9-1pm
      March 19: Volunteer Saturday 9-1pm
      If interested, contact volunteer@healthyveterans.org

      April 2: Volunteer Saturday 8-12pm

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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