Healthy Veteran Highlights • September 2021


Dear Friends,

I write this newsletter introduction in the midst of a national crisis and tragedy called Afghanistan. While avoiding the temptation to provide extensive commentary, I will say the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle has placed thousand of Americans and our Allies in peril and has thrown millions of U.S. Veterans and many of their fellow citizens into doubt – doubt regarding U.S. Government competence and compassion, doubt regarding whether the many sacrifices for the Afghani people were in vain, and even doubt in many Veteran’s own identity and purpose in life. While most of us can’t affect the damage control underway in Afghanistan, we can control how we affirm and care for Veterans on the home front. Given these new challenges, our work at the National Center for Healthy Veterans has become even more relevant and more urgent than ever before

Veteran suicide and mental health challenges will undoubtedly rise because of the ongoing “moral injury” felt by so many. This moral injury is really a soul wound which results when the reality that one lives or observes is widely divergent from their deeply held core values. The Afghanistan tragedy results in such injury. The result is not only anger, but questioning of purpose, identity, God, and ultimately whether their life makes any difference. In the “Diving Deeper” section of this newsletter, you will see further comments from our Campus Chaplain Dr. Bruce Crouterfield regarding this topic of Moral Injury. 

With Afghanistan as the current backdrop – the proverbial “elephant in the room” – we can take comfort and joy in the continued progress of the National Center for Healthy Veterans (NCHV) at Valor Farm. While helping Veterans on a day and night basis, NCHV is also building capacity rapidly – new homes, broadening community, expanded work opportunities, and deeper faith by all involved. As you will see in the various segments of this newsletter, God is blessing our collective efforts. We are truly grateful to the “many hands that make light work” on behalf of “Returning Healthy Veterans to America.

I am reminded that “with height comes perspective.”  Let us gain altitude. Let us remember at this moment of tragedy that our Heavenly Father heals the brokenhearted, He gives strength to the weary, He turns our mourning into joy, and with this joy He gives us strength to serve Him and others

Yes, we can’t control many things around us and in our world – BUT we can control how we take care of our nation’s Veterans. Thanks to each of you for joining us in this noble and God-honoring cause.

May God Bless You, and May God Help us all “Return Healthy Veterans to America”.

Robert F. Dees
Major General, U.S. Army, Retired
NCHV President & CEO

Table of Contents

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

  • LIFE TRANSFORMATION: On Thursdays at Valor Farm, the staff comes together for a Bible Study — we’re going through 1 Peter. In last week’s study there was time we focused on 1 Peter 2: 5, “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as spiritual house;” thus, we considered what it meant to be a Spiritual Community — a community of people who related to each other with grace, mercy, and love; a community of people who want to share the grace, mercy, and love of God with others. That same day, an Army Reservist, who has been living in an abandoned home walked onto Valor Farm looking for someone who might hear his story. What did he find? A Spiritual Community who welcomed him with the grace, mercy, and love of God.
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: August was a very special month for the NCHV. It caps 10 months of hard work and networking across Lynchburg, Virginia, and the Nation. We are overwhelmed with our community-based in-kind donations and ever-active local volunteers! These great statesmen have helped accomplish so many things: volunteers work tirelessly across the entire work week and weekends, the local Zitel company volunteered to install and activate our high-speed Internet fiber network, members of the local electrical retiree group helped finish our electrical infrastructure installation, and our Quarry View Building Group partner helped unite us with the great community of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (an instrumental partner in our farm success). All of this would have been impossible without our 35 community-based contractor support companies and over 300 very active community volunteers. This is an unbelievably talented group of active supporters from across the land. Routinely, these great cornerstones of the community have given their time, skills, connections, tools, and heavy equipment to improve our Farm and ready ourselves for incoming Patriots. They come from all walks of life – our Churches, Corporations, Campuses, Local Communities, as well as military and political leaders. Highlighted within our Volunteerism section, we dedicated time to honor them on August 21 with our first Volunteer Recognition Dinner and Concert! These are the joys of the community and the gift of God’s purpose on this great land!
  • FARM ITEMS: Chickens are producing like crazy! These ladies do not take a day off. We currently have 7 piglets in the nursery and Boris and 4 friends. And with these new additions, the community has provided incredible support with supplying the pigs with food scraps. We even get steak and potatoes from Perky’s restaurant up the road!
  • CONSTRUCTION ITEMS: On the construction side of things at Valor Farm, we now have permanent power hooked up to the 1st FOUR tiny homes! A tremendous act of teamwork and hard work, we are so excited for this new phase of completion on Village #1. In addition, we will soon be breaking ground on the Village #1 Community Center. Footer trenching and slab pour preparations for the building will begin the 1st week of September. We’re always looking for volunteers as we prepare to begin construction on the next round of tiny homes (sites 5-8) soon!

Meet The Team

We’d like to welcome Nate York, who serves as the NCHV’s new Farming Director, and Melissa “Missy” York to Valor Farm! Nate and Missy have brought incredible expertise, kindness, and humility to the NCHV, and we are so grateful for them! Nate and Missy both grew up as missionary kids in the Philippines and have known each other since meeting at boarding school in Manila (Philippines). Having a heart for helping those in need, each of their backgrounds is unique in nature.

Missy worked in the Philippines as an interpreter for Operation Smiles and Doctors without Borders. Nate founded an NGO in 2002 with the focus on building girls’ schools in Afghanistan and over the next 12 years of its operation, he built 20 schools and orphanages along with starting up farms and small businesses in 15 countries. In 2013, he moved to Florida where has started his organic farm raising heirloom vegetables, pasture-raised chickens, cows, and heritage pigs. 

For information regarding volunteering for farm duties such as collecting and cleaning eggs and produce, buying produce, donating farming equipment/animals/materials, please email Nate at

Diving Deeper

Valor Farm’s Campus Chaplain on Moral Injury
Moral Injury entails emotional distress when one’s conscience or moral code is perceived to have been violated. There is much research that tends to show a correlation between Moral Injury and thoughts and behaviors related to self-injury.  Further, there seem to be three avenues through which a moral injury can occur: a transgression committed by others, a transgression committed by oneself, or a perceived betrayal by another. 

As we examine the three dimensions of moral injury, we can see that each is based on a relationship. A perceived transgression or a perceived betrayal by another has affected one’s relationship with another person.  A transgression committed by oneself has affected the relationship one has with him or her “self.” People often don’t think about the relationship they have with themselves. As a Chaplain who does a lot of counseling, I often ask people what their relationship is like with themselves. The response I get too often is, “I hate myself.” One of the ironies of life is that people are both hurt in the milieu of a relationship but can also be healed in the milieu of a relationship. At NCHV’s Valor Farm, our goal is to provide people with a healing relationship such that the relationship they have with themselves becomes restored and healed.


Bruce W. Crouterfield, DMin, BCC
CDR, USN, CHC (Retired)
Campus Chaplain

In The Media

Prayer Points

  • 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”. 

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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