Healthy Veteran Highlights • March 2024


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

What is your favorite part of Spring?  Maybe the return of birds who chirp their distinctive songs as they flit about the freshness of new growth?  Or perhaps the green shoots that appear under the melting snow?  Possibly for you it is the flowers in bloom, or the bluebonnets in Texas?  Whatever your particular moment of awe as Spring returns, I think we can agree that it is a special time – a time of newness, growth, potential, anticipation. Spring is God’s symbol of resilience.  Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”  He continues in 3:2 with “… a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted…”  Gratefully, one of the seasons in God’s economy is Spring – a time to plant, a time of expectation and hope, a time of GROWTH. 

The theme of this month’s newsletter is GROWTH, a fitting topic as we enter Spring. Growth is seldom comfortable, just as the snake must shed its skin for the sake of expansion, just as the chick who pecks their way out of a safe shell into a scary world of uncertainty, danger, and growth. We observe these dynamics every day at Valor Farm as Veterans struggle to shed their old skin and walk in new ways of life and wellness. It is truly one of the most rewarding things in life to watch such growth in the lives of others, or in ourselves – from dark to light, from woundedness to wellness, from despair to hope. Priceless!

As a final note, we at National Center for Healthy Veterans truly appreciate the “many hands who make light work” (donors, partners, vendors, volunteers) who are helping our organization, and America’s Veterans GROW into their full God-given potential. I boldly ask for your continued and increased support for our efforts. This is good soil! In a short time, God has allowed us to mature into a unique capability to return at-risk Veterans to their families, their communities, and to America. This is also priceless!

I know you will be inspired by reading more in:

Meet the Team: Mike Braham

  • Diving Deeper: Discussing transformation and growth in our first official cohort, highlighting moments of personal and spiritual breakthroughs.
  • Plays of the Day: Resilience God Style Graduation, Lancaster Event with Quarry View Building Group, A Special Thanks, Liberty University FACS Class Visit.
  • In the Media: Roscoe Cohort Graduation, Invictus Cohort RGS Game, Dark to Light Video Highlighted at the CNP Summit.
  • 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.

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 Mike and Lisa Braham, NCHV Board Member
    We are pleased to have Mike Braham on NCHV’s Board of Directors. Mike recently launched Vertical Takeoff, a new company where he serves multiple organizations as a Fractional CXO and Board Member in the Healthcare, Telecom, and Aging-in-place industries. Starting his career as a Marine Corps Fighter Pilot he has navigated leadership roles in technology, crisis management, and healthcare technologies allowing him unique “Situational Awareness” and problem-solving skills as he leads through challenging times.

    Mike is a champion of integrated Physical and Behavioral health solutions addressing Chronic Co-Morbidities and treatments for PTSD, stopping suicide, and supporting individuals and families with depression and behavioral health issues.

    As former CEO of Trapollo, a Telehealth and Connected Care company owned by Cox Business, Mike was responsible for all aspects of strategy and execution of the Trapollo business plan before and during Covid, serving many of America’s largest healthcare providers as everyone pivoted to telehealth and Remote Patient Monitoring as a new normal.

    Before his leadership role at Magellan Health, Mike served as Chief of Staff, Head of Strategy and Innovation, and Head of Member Engagement and Digital Assets for Aetna’s $8 billion Medicare division. Focused on operational execution and enhancements, he championed several strategic initiatives including the design of a new member engagement strategy and the transformation of Aetna Medicare’s web-based enrollment capabilities.

    Mike loves to lead at the intersection of Behavioral Health, Physical Health, and Technology, working closely with CXOs at healthcare provider organizations, medical schools, and major universities to create new delivery and monitoring capabilities for chronically ill and aging constituents in both urban and rural underserved communities through emerging Connected Care and Telehealth solutions.

    Diving Deeper

    By: Aaron Blaine – Patriot Program Director

    What a journey! When the Roscoe’s came to Valor Farm, they were all wide eyed and nervous. They were unsure of their present, future or even their identity. Throughout the nine months with these Patriots, we all developed relationships that were cultivated through ups and downs. There were many challenges, and there were many highlights, and it is those I would like to focus on. 

    My favorite part of incoming day is when the Patriots arrive, and I get an opportunity to pray with them. The day Anthony arrived, that opportunity presented itself. As I prayed with Anthony, I opened my eyes to see how it was being received. He was wide-eyed and looking at me like that prayer was the last thing he wanted. Later that week I asked him about his thoughts on God and he told me he was not sure if there was a God. Over the next several weeks he asked many questions and soon gave his life to the Lord. He immediately wanted to be baptized at his parents’ church in Gainsville. So, we made the 3-hour drive, and I had the opportunity to baptize Anthony! That is just one of the many highlights I have had the opportunity to share with these Patriots. Watching Jeff navigate through an internship interview, or watching Chris get his driver’s license for the first time in 22 years. Being a part of seeing Jimmy learn his identity as a farmer. Or seeing TJ grow into the man that God has called him and created him to be. 

    Throughout this journey, we all are grateful that we get to be a small part of watching these Patriots return to America healthy. It is rewarding watching them transform right before our eyes. Without a doubt, the most incredible moment I remember most happened during graduation. As I was standing there presenting the certificates of graduation, I began to look out across the crowd. I saw before me volunteers, staff members, people from the community, supervisors, business owners, and most importantly family members.

    To see the hope restored in the eyes of those family members was the greatest highlight of this cohort. I’ve said this before, and I will continue to say it being part of this ministry is the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. I will eternally be grateful for the lessons, laughs, tears, joy, and friendship that has been developed with the cohort named Roscoe’s.

    Plays of the Day

    Resilience God Style Graduation:

    Our Invictus cohort, 5 Patriots, recently graduated from the RGS 10-week course. We could not be any prouder of the progress they have made. Congrats to each of them as they navigate their second trimester, the Reboot Trauma Recovery Curriculum.

    Lancaster Event:

    Bob and Kathleen Dees, along with Tim and Ashley Cyphers recently visited Lancaster, Pa., where thanks to our dedicated friends and partners at Quarry View Building Group, we had the amazing opportunity to present our mission, vision, and progress to over 35 new friends! The supportive event allowed us to expand our community of advocates and spread awareness about the vital work we do for veterans. 

    A Special Thanks:

    A special thank you goes to Listrak, our very first corporate champion! For the past three years, Listrak has consistently gone above and beyond: from heartfelt direct mailings on our behalf and numerous inspiring visits to our farm, to generously funding two houses in Village 1 and holding dedicated fundraisers for our veterans. Listrak exemplifies true partnership, and their dedication allows us to continue serving those who have served our country. Thank you, Listrak, and to all our corporate partners who make a difference! 

    Liberty University FACS Class Visit:

    Dr. Janet Brown, Family and Consumer Sciences department chair at Liberty University, brought her “Families Under Stress Class” to tour the Farm and to learn more about our efforts to help build resilience among our veterans and their families. Our farm General Manager, Jacob Corwin, was able to give them a brief colt starting demonstration and talked about the role horses play in our patriot programs through therapy and horsemanship. 

    In The Media

    Roscoe Cohort Graduation:  We celebrated a milestone on March 11th with the graduation of our first full cohort from our new nine-month program. The ceremony brought together families, friends, and the local veteran community to honor these five Veterans who successfully completed the program. For 9 months we have had the privilege of watching these men gain the tools and support they needed to heal from trauma and transition back to a healthy, fulfilling life. We are thankful to be sending them back into America, all with jobs and a bright future.

    Invictus Cohort RGS Game:  The reality is that all of us need resilience as we battle trials and tribulations, and the body slams of life. We each need the ability to get better and not bitter when the unexplained storm of life assault us, our families and friends and our very identity. The Resilience God Style training game serves as the graduation exercise for each cohort. This game is fun and relevant as we address how to “Build bounce,” how to “Weather the storm” and how to “Bounce back without getting stuck.”

    CNP Summit Dark to Light video:  An edited version of our video, “Dark to Light,” was featured at the Council for National Policy (CNP) Summit on March 8th and 9th! The CNP is a prominent gathering of conservative leaders. This impactful placement helped raise awareness about the challenges veterans face and the transformative power of our mission and programs here at the National Center for Healthy Veterans. 

    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
    • Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. Scheduled if interested.
    • Thursdays: Community Campfire at Valor Farm 6pm Come join us for fellowship!

    APRIL 2024

    • April 19, 2024 – Gen Dees and Dr. Al Sarno speak at Liberty University Mental Health Summit
    • Saturday, April 20, 2024: Volunteer
    • April 26, 20024 – Gen Dees Speaks to Amway Leaders Conference

    MAY 2024

    • May 2, 2024 – Gen Dees addresses the National Ground Intelligent Center, Charlotte
    • May 2, 2024 NCHV attends State of the Union of Virginia Suicide Prevention Seminar 
    • May 22, 2024 – Returning Healthy Veterans to America Reception and Fundraiser, sponsored by Hillwood, a Perot Company
    • May 30, 224 – Philadelphia Veterans Appreciation Dinner – featuring Joe Piscopo, talented musicians, live auction, and NCHV patriot cameos. Union League Club of Philadelphia

    NOVEMBER 2024

    • NCHV Veterans Day Commemoration, Guest Speaker TBD

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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