Month: June, 2010
The Veteran’s Farm was started by Sgt. Adam Burke, an OIF/OEF combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient who was wounded in battle during a 15 month tour in Iraq. In 2009, Adam was moved when he noticed a young able and willing veteran sitting in the mall hungry and depressed. He could see the veteran was too proud to ask for help and knew he had to find a way to help his fellow soldiers. Just a hand out would not be sufficient, but a sustainable way to get their life back on track was the key. This is where the concept to combine therapy, work, education, and socialization through growing blueberries and blackberries was discovered.
The veterans farm was developed to unite disabled veterans and to help them overcome disabilities such as (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and (TBI) Traumatic Brain Injuries through “Horticulture Therapy”. Through different programs, veterans will have a chance to “Earn While They Learn”. The Veterans Farm will be a place that veterans can work and enjoy being in the outdoors. The farm will provide a place to find a spiritual connection and to socialize with others.
This type of work will provide the much needed horticulture therapy. Based on sound research evidence, horticulture therapy has been proven to help with cognitive issues by helping veterans learn new skills and language, as well as improve decision making and problem solving skills. It also helps veterans with psychological development, physical improvements from working in the fresh air, moving their bodies and adapting to physical changes in a non threatening environment. Horticulture therapy can stimulate both gross and fine motor activities for those who have TBI. This would assist to retrain their muscles and brains. This would provide personal life control with cognitive and meaningful activities.
Photographed are two chairs in a farm field under an oak tree where Adam Burke spoke with another returned veteran from Iraq to talk about their fears and disabilities; one in particular PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), the number one mental disability of our returned soldiers today. After a few hours of conversation under this big old oak tree in Adam’s farm field, our veteran said to Adam, “This is the most peace I have had in years. Thank you.”
Dear Brickman Group,
I can once again feel pride in the gardens & landscaping around my home. I was thrilled when “Green Care for Troops” called me a month ago to say that the manager of our local Brickman Group had been in contact with them. He wanted to help a family in the area who had a deployed-family member. We were chosen.
I wouldn’t say my husband, currently deployed with the Army, is the primary green-thumb in our family. I even do most of the mowing when he IS home. There are other things though that he is in charge of to keep this family of five running smoothly. Those things (both major and small) have all fallen onto my plate since he has been gone. The gardens and trees around my home had all sadly-fallen to the way-side this spring and summer.
Today my gardens are weeded, dead flowers are cut, landscaping is ‘trenched’ and the trees are all trimmed, not to forget the two old decorative pines that have been removed. My home smiles brightly today. My heart has been cheered.
Thank you. A company that supports the troops like this climbs to the top of my approval ratings!
Leanne KocsisRead more
Thanks for coming over today, it was a pleasure to meet you.
Volunteering your services is an incredible thing and you are a very special person for helping people who really need it. I can easily put my pride aside and admit I can’t do it all while my soldier is away, or at least do it all well.
We look forward to seeing you in the future and appreciate any and all help you can give us.
Attached is a photo of my husband who is currently deployed until the end of this year. He was arriving home on leave for the birth of our son 4 weeks ago today. My daughter and I were picking him up at the airport.
Below are a collection of testimonials from military families.
“Just wanted to touch base and let you know how wonderful Mark was today when we met about our lawn. I was truly touched by his compassion and understanding to our family’s situation and needs. Thank you for partnering with such caring companies!
“Joy, thank you for coordinating lawn services for my family through Green Care for Troops! With two young children, it was nearly impossible for me to take care of my lawn while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan. Matt and his team at Magnolia Landscaping had our yard looking great after months of winter neglect. Prompt, helpful, and courteous, their hard work allowed me to be able to enjoy my yard again without sacrificing time away from my family.”
- Virginia Beach, VA
“I just want to personally thank you for what you are doing. I know that lawn care isn’t something you think of as a big deal in life, but while out here it has been hard to get in touch with neighbors and what-not and your program has really lifted a lot off my shoulders knowing that my house will look as if I never left. So again I want to thank you for what you do everyday in helping your fellow Americans.”
“I am a wife of a deployed soldier in Iraq. I just received an e-mail about what you are doing and I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for such a wonderful service you are providing for military families. The stress, especially on military wives, when their soldier is deployed can be unimaginable and this service is probably the best idea. Please thank your contractors who are volunteering so much for their generosity! ”
- Angie Davis
“Thank you so much for such a wonderful gift! I really appreciate it. It is hard to get out and keep a yard when you have a family and a job. All of a sudden you are a single parent and running the show, not to mention all the sleepless nights! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
- Katie Curtis
“I don’t know what I would have done without your wonderful service of helping to provide free lawncare for military families. I had just had a baby when my husband was deployed and your program was a life saver. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.”
- Lacey Lautenschlage
I am the mother of an Army officer, West Point Grad, who is leading an elite platoon of combat engineers in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan right now. They are part of the surge in the most dangerous part of the war right now. Just this week his sister platoon while on mission took some serious casualties due to a pressure plate IED. The youngest private became an instant triple amputee. I do not believe that anyone in his company has need of this service due to the fact that they are stationed out of White Sands New Mexico, however, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart with deepest appreciation for what you are doing in regards to your service of snow removal for all service member families. These types of services are such a blessing to those left at home waiting or to the houses left unattended. I know for a fact from my son’s experiences that the less he has to worry about at home, the more he is able to concentrate on his men and the mission. Your contribution could in fact be saving soldiers’ lives by allowing the service members one less worry at home allowing their thoughts and minds to be fully engaged on the mission, not to mention the fact that they feel loved and their efforts appreciated by such thoughtful gestures. Thank you for the sacrifice of your volunteer service in honor of their sacrifices.
- Military Mother