Dear Friends of the National Center for Healthy Veterans at Valor Farm,
Isn’t it fun to see Spring start to kick into gear? The four new calves at Valor Farm and the numerous piggies cause us to marvel at new life and the growth which quickly turns them into mature animals. Similarly, the arrival of new Patriots at Valor Farm brings an expectation of GROWTH and increasing maturity. Just as lifting weights stresses our muscles to promote growth, the same is true in every other dimension of life as well – mental, spiritual, emotional, and relational. It is often the challenges, the stressors, and the “tribulations” which cause the greatest growth; but it is important to have a Growth Mindset so we don’t miss the “cleverly disguised opportunity” to get better, wiser, and stronger through the challenges of life.
The Bible illustrates a growth mindset in a number of passages. Here is one:
3 And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5, NASB
This is not just Biblical diatribe, it is a foundational principle which is critically relevant to the Veterans we serve, and actually to all of us who certainly need PERSEVERANCE, PROVEN CHARACTER, PATIENCE (as in James 1:2-4), and ultimately HOPE. In technical jargon, this process is called “Post Traumatic Growth.”
As we observe the blooms and new life of Spring that will soon GROW into bounty, let us be reminded that our individual and collective challenges of life represent potent fertilizer that will allow each of us to bloom, to achieve our God given potential.
“Plays of the Day” is always fun, this month focused on new piggies, calves, and Patriots at Valor Farm, along with another memorable house dedication.
In the “Media Section,” we’ve posted an update from Kate Monroe, our VetComm partner, along with a recent Wall Builders interview with Bob, and an excellent briefing by the VA about problem-solving related to mental health issues.
In “Meet the Team” we introduce Dale Grigg, a very talented, experienced, and wise leader to assist us with construction, master planning, and infrastructure development.
In “Diving Deeper” our Patriot Care Director, Tera Keating, addresses Mental Health Resources for Veterans, including our NCHV healing environment at Valor Farm.
“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. We hope you will visit soon – you will find the life and growth pretty inspiring.
Grateful to each of you,
Robert F. Dees
Major General, U.S. Army, Retired
NCHV President & CEO
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
- New Piggies – 25 in last month!
- Baby Calves – 4 in 7 Days! One of the calves was actually the offspring of one or earlier “Nanny” calves from a 2021 donation by the Stolfuss Family in Lancaster PA. Great to see 2d Generation Calves joining the Valor Farm animal family.
- We welcome Sam from FL – moved into House #2 in Lancaster Village.
- We welcome Doug from FL – moved into House #8 in Lancaster Village
- Generous donor Ray Mirra joined us for the dedication of House # 1 to Louis Schipani, his dear friend, mentor, and WWII Veteran. These dedications are moving, memorializing the memory of great Veterans who have gone before. Thanks again to Ray Mirra and the many other generous donors who are providing homes and healing for many Veterans of today.
In The Media
Meet The Team
Dale currently lives in Forest VA with his wife of 40 years, Ruth Ann. They have three children, a daughter currently in San Francisco CA, a son in Little Rock AK, and a son in Richmond VA. They have four grandchildren, all boys ranging from 4 – 10 years old: three in Richmond and one in Little Rock. Dale and Ruth Ann are long-time members of Heritage Baptist Church where both have served in various capacities over the years, with a highlight being a short-term mission trip to North Africa in 2018. Dale enjoys listening to music, both at home and at live venues, as well as outdoor activities including hiking and bicycling. He especially enjoys spending time with his family, including vacationing together at various North Carolina beaches most summers.
Dale semi-retired in 2022 after consulting with MBP for the previous 14 years. He joined the Valor Farm Team in January 2023 as a volunteer, with a focus on project management. Dale says “It is definitely a privilege to be part of the Valor Farm ministry serving God by helping to restore our veteran Patriots to healthy and productive lives.”
By Tera Keating, NCHV Patriot Care Director
If you are a veteran, or you know a veteran, who is suffering with a mental health condition, please don’t suffer in silence. There are many dimensions of wellness in our day-to-day lives that play a part in how we feel. Mental health, just like physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational health; is one of the dimensions that needs to have periodic check-ups or in this case check-ins. If you think you are experiencing symptoms that are affecting your overall mental health, please do a check-in with yourself or ask the veteran you know to do a check-in.
Below are some free self-assessments you can use:
- Make The Connection www.MakeTheConnection.net is an online resource designed to connect Veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting their lives. The link offers screenings for depression, PTSD, alcohol, substance abuse, and the Veterans Self-Check Quiz to learn if stress and depression might be affecting you. http://maketheconnection.net/resources/self-assessments
- Screening for Mental Health Inc. offers mental health self-assessment for some of the more common mental health issues including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol problems, and more. http://screening.mentalhealthscreening.org/Military_NDSD
- Mental Health America (MHA) is a non-profit that addresses the needs of those living with mental illness and promotes the overall mental health of all Americans. The MHA website offers screening tools for depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, and more. https://screening.mhanational.org/screening-tools
- Another resource that is helpful to address life’s challenges is a free course offered by the VA, Moving Forward: Overcoming Life’s Challenges.
- American Bible Society Armed Services Ministry God Understands Series, a free resource providing Biblical on key topics influencing mental health and overall wellness.
Finally, a reminder that the National Center for Healthy Veterans (NCHV) is a holistic solution of proven best practices to address physical, MENTAL, spiritual, emotional, and relational wellness. For many veterans, either residential at Valor Farm or engaged with NCHV in a number of ways, NCHV is the right formula of community, meaningful work, faith-based trauma recovery and life skills programs, and career preparation; all on the beautiful 339-acre Valor Farm healing platform. Veteran referrals and more information can be achieved via the NCHV Website.
- Domestically, our hearts break for the tragic shooting at the Nashville Christian school. May God allow those affected to grieve with Hope and may He comfort them in their distress.
- Pray for the Patriots who are soon to graduate and those who have recently joined us that they all might continue to grow and prosper individually with their families and in their chosen professions.
- Internationally, 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.