Healthy Veteran Highlights • October 2023


Dear Friends of the National Center for Healthy Veterans, 

On this Veterans Day 2023, 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 ask such a self-serving question — 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 remains the Land of the Free because of our brave veterans who sacrificed for the future of America, as well as our military (and their families) 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 us collectively honor our living Veterans, honor our fallen Veterans, and honor those who currently wear the cloth of our nation.

  • Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones (video), 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.
  • 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 continue to serve.
  • 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.” Our nation is at true peril when we fail to remember those who have made it all possible.

The message on Veterans Day 2023 is simple: Honor to whom Honor is due.
Where would we be without our Veterans? Gratefully, we don’t have to ask!
They have always been there for us.  Now … we must be there for them, America.
To close, I express gratitude to the many hands who are making light work at Valor Farm – staff, volunteers, Patriots and Veterans, and donors who are faithful to provide resources for this noble and urgent fight.  We have extremely important work to do.  Together with God’s guidance and provision, we can and must do this for our Veterans and for America!

Blessings to each of you,


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

    • Resilience God Style (RGS) Graduation – a cohort of 5 Patriots graduated from the RGS 10-week course.  Congrats to each as they move into a week of assessment, followed by the Reboot Trauma Recovery Curriculum.
    • Out of the Darkness Walk – a number of folks from Valor Farm supported this suicide prevention initiative, calling attention to the tragedy of suicide and positive ways to deal with the challenges of life.
    • Equine Legend Visits Valor Farm – Greg Robinson, a national champion horseman and world-class trainer visited Valor Farm to conduct training classes.  He applauded NCHV’s efforts to promote Veteran wellness through equine training and therapy.
    • Grateful for the Generosity – Two wonderful gifts in kind this month – a beautiful church bus from Summerset Baptist in Pittsville, VA, and an “antique” refurbished tractor (a 1947 Ford, Beauty).  We are grateful for this and so many other kind donations and gifts-in-kind this past month.

    Meet The Team

    Kathy Bennett
    Incoming NCHV Market Manager

    We welcome our new Market Manager, Kathy Bennett.

    Kathy comes to us after serving eight years as the Attendance Clerk for the John L. Hurt, Jr. Elementary School in Hurt Virginia.  Prior to that, she served 34 years as a Sr. Administrative Assistant for Framatome, Inc., a Nuclear Energy Company headquartered in Lynchburg, Va.  Kathy served 4 years as a Yeoman in the U.S. Navy under Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, Jr, Admiral Donald “Red Dog” Davis, and Admiral Carlile Trost. Kathy has a love of art and enjoys painting with oils and acrylics, some of which are actually for sale in our Market.  Kathy has two grandsons ages 11 and 7 and one granddaughter, age 6.  She has been an active member of Monte Vista Baptist Church for 42 years serving as the choir director and Sunday School teacher for Senior women.  She loves serving our Lord and eagerly serves Him in whatever capacity He leads.

    NCHV Chief Operations Officer Brenda Swartz notes “Kathy is uniquely qualified to be the NCHV Market Manager.  She is organized, creative, gregarious, and well understands the community we serve after 50 years as a local resident.  We are grateful that God has brought such a talented lady onto our team.”

    Diving Deeper

    “The Greater Adventure”
    By Steve Patten, NCHV IT Manager

    Life is an Adventure and life here at Valor Farm is definitely an Adventure, but there is a Greater Adventure. When our heart is set upon Christ, the Christian life is far from boring. It’s filled with Adventure and many exciting and unexpected moments.

    God’s is at work in us to conform us into the image of Christ. Whether it’s in marriage, in singleness, at work, while volunteering, at church, etc. He’s going to work in us when life is going great, when we’re going through trials, when we make mistakes. If we are in Christ, we can rest assured that He won’t give up on us.

    About this time three years ago I was praying about where to work. I had moved to Virgina and prayed for an opportunity where I could make a difference. Shortly I learned of an opportunity and a mission to help Veterans. My brother was in the Army and died tragically. I thought it would be a way to honor him and help other Veterans, little did I know that it would help me as well. I was going through a very difficult time in my life and as I poured myself into Valor Farm to help build a place of healing and hope for others, I was receiving healing and hope myself.

    Prayer is greatly needed on our Christian adventure. We will not get far on our journey with Christ without prayer. Sometimes God doesn’t change our situation immediately — He’s changing us and He’s helping us to pray according to His will.

    On this adventure we must also not stop trusting in the Lord. Sometimes things might get rough and we have to walk by Faith that God is leading us in the right direction. We have to trust that He is good, and He knows what He is doing.

    Proverbs 3:5-6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

    Note:  Comments above are Steve Patten’s devotion for our daily noontime gathering on November 3, 2023.  The “Word of the Week” was “Adventure.”

    In The Media

    Prayer Points

    • Join us in prayer for the survival of Israel, that good would prevail over evil, and that peace would ultimately prevail in the mid-East.  May God comfort the many who mourn loss.
    • 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
    • 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. 
    • 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. 


    Weekly NCHV Schedule & Upcoming Events

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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

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    NCHV partners with the best in industry and the best educators to help veterans develop the skills they need to transition successfully to civilian employment at ZERO cost to them.

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Transition Preparation
    • Career Preparation

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    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

    The Patriot onboarding period includes familiarization with the farm, its work, living, and recreational areas, an individual assessment, and the creation of the holistic Personal Development Plan.

    Key Activities or Objectives:

    • Onboard & Familiarization
    • Inbound Assessments
    • Personal Development Plan

    Returning Healthy Veterans to America