Dear NCHV Friends,
On this Veterans Day 2021, we must ask ourselves a very important question: “Where would we be without our Veterans?” What if they had concluded it was too windy, too wet, and too uncomfortable to venture onto the beaches of Normandy in June 1944? Gratefully, they didn’t sink to such self-serving motivations — they were there, they went across the beaches, and they unhinged an entire continent from an evil empire, they were “all in” … on behalf of future generations. As a result of their efforts, and the continuing efforts of our troops and families of today, we are the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. America will remain the Land of the Free because of our brave veterans who gave their very lives for the future of America, as well as our military who today selflessly serve at home and abroad.
Perhaps a few mental snapshots will bring this important remembrance into better focus for all of us. While Veterans Day and Memorial Day have their own distinct emphasis, respectively on living veterans and those who have fallen on the field of battle, let me for a moment gain altitude to honor our veterans, both past and present. Consider the following:
• “Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones,” the title of a song written by Senator Orrin Hatch, commemorates Arlington Cemetery and the countless rows of grave markers, representative of fields around the world where our nation’s noble warriors have been laid to rest.
• Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
“… It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
• From the Apostle Paul, “The time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race and I have kept the faith.” We do well to honor “the good fight” of each of our faithful fallen warriors. We do well to value our current Veterans. And we do well to respect and encourage those who stand on Freedom’s Frontier this very moment on our behalf.
• From the great Roman orator Cicero, “Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes fails to remember and honor them.” May we honor those who fight, bleed, and die for us and future generations. Our nation is at true peril when we fail to remember those who have made it all possible.
• For the family who has lost a loved one in the military, every day is Memorial Day. Perhaps that should be true for all of us… every day we honor the fallen and give thanks for the living who have served or continue to serve.
The message on Veterans Day 2021 is simple: We honor those who serve at home and abroad today. As well, we honor their families— the great stroller brigades …. the priceless sprint into the waiting arms of a returning military member – Welcome home, Mommy. Welcome home, Daddy. We as a nation also honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. We pray for God’s abundant comfort for those loved ones left behind, including those fellow warriors saddled with the guilt of survival. Finally, uppermost on this Veteran’s Day, we honor our Veterans – America’s untapped national treasure.
Where would we be without our Veterans? Gratefully, we don’t have to ask that question. They have always been there for us. Now … we must be there for them, America.
For this edition we have altered the format to appropriately place the spotlight on Veterans. I know you will be inspired by some of the stories you read. As well, please go to our social media pages and tell us about your favorite Veteran. What is their story?
Note also our upcoming Veterans Day Commemoration on November 11 with Dr. Ben Carson. Please join us if you are within striking distance. This will be a special day to honor Veterans and to be inspired by a great American icon – Dr. Ben Carson. Registration instructions are in the body of this newsletter.
As always, may God Bless You… and may God Bless America.
Robert F. Dees
Major General, U.S. Army, Retired
NCHV President & CEO
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November 11, 2021
Join the NCHV at Valor Farm this upcoming Veterans Day for a special Veterans Day Commemoration & Concert featuring the PromisedLand Quartet!
Book signings by Dr. Ben Carson and Dr. Dan Gade!
Don’t miss out on the pumpkins, fresh eggs, and gourmet Valor Farm dinner plates available for purchase! You don’t want to miss this!
Stories have the power to convey messages that reach the depths of who we are. Stories, like the ones below, captivate us and help us to realize that each of us have been created with a unique purpose. As you’ll read about in the Diving Deeper section below, Valor Farm Office Manager and U.S. Veteran Diana Rider describes her own experience with the VA healthcare system, and states: “Therapy alone wasn’t enough to get me back into life, but fortunately I found other veteran organizations which helped me see that I was not alone or broken.” To better appreciate our Nation’s veterans, we introduce three Veteran Voices: Josh Rock, Constance Peresada, and Mike Brady.
Mr. Rock served in the United States Army as an Infantryman from 2002 to 2009. Assigned to multiple units during his tenure, he was deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom with 1st Armored Division 1st Battalion 36th Infantry Regiment (Mechanized). During and following his time in service, he experienced the challenges of substance abuse, depression, and crippling panic attacks related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The solution at that time was the Military Justice system via Courts-Martial, without proper regard for mental and behavioral health considerations. According to Josh, he is “an advocate for service members and veterans to receive the best care possible, as I know first-hand how it feels to feel alone and cast out due to my mental health issues.”
Valor Farm’s Office Manager on Veteran Care in America
Very little information was available about post-traumatic stress in 2004 when I returned home from Iraq. It wasn’t really even a thing at that time. I knew that I wasn’t the same as when I left but without any information, I didn’t seek help. My symptoms gradually worsened over the next six years even as I continued with life. No one who knew me before Iraq was close to me when I came home and no one in my new social and professional circles knew there was anything wrong because that was how I always behaved to them. I saw a civilian psychologist in 2009 after a breakdown at work but was in denial that I had an actual problem. I thought I could handle anything. That wasn’t the case. Everything was falling apart-my marriage, my career, my faith, my family. It was then that I sought help from the VA.
More and more service members like me were coming home with PTSD, and the VA knew it needed to do something. By this time, the VA began to do research and had an entire section of its webpage dedicated to PTSD and its treatment. Things were beginning to change. I am one of the lucky ones who had a great VA therapist who helped me figure out my symptoms and my triggers and taught me how to deal with them. Therapy alone wasn’t enough to get me back into life, but fortunately, I found other veteran organizations which helped me see that I was not alone or broken. It truly does take a variety of resources to deal with the complexity of PTSD. This is why the holistic, whole health approach used at National Center for Healthy Veterans is so great. We focus on the whole veteran and not just one area. I’m thankful to have found the NCHV and believe that God truly does bring us who and what we need when we need it.
- Pray that God would steady the hand of the 22 Veterans a day that are considering ending their lives.
- 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 — horses, rivers, cattle, valleys, chickens, the fruit of the land, the beauty of the fields, the wonder of His Creation.
- 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. May we together, “Return Healthy Veterans to America”.