Veterans Unstoppable

Veterans Unstoppable is our confidential, no-cost program and service to warriors and their loved ones facing post traumatic stress injury and other invisible wounds of military service. This program currently has three sub- programs; peer support groups, retreats, recreational therapy and service dogs.

ABOUT OUR UNIQUE PROGRAM

Veterans Unstoppable is an individually tailored 5 step life skills development program that fosters healthy life adjustments for Veterans. This addresses differences in each Veterans experiences – we recognize there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to Veteran reintegration. Veterans Unstoppable guides Veterans through the transition process in a supportive and safe environment free from distractions.

5 Step Program:

Phase 1: Managing exposures and their effects

Phase 2: Reducing Social Conflict

Phase 3: Finding Closure to reduce stress and anxiety

Phase 4: Finding Purpose and direction in life by making a plan

Phase 5: Recreational Therapy through Fly Fishing

STATISTICS

Emotional wounds or PTS injuries can interfere with a Veteran’s ability to navigate relationships. Since 9-11-01 we have lost more active duty service members to suicide than to combat.

• 1 in 5 Veterans return with some degree of Post Traumatic Stress (PTS)

• Recent studies reveal that an average of 22 Veterans commit suicide each day

• Divorce and homeless rates are double civilian rates

We have never lost a Veterans Unstoppable program participant or graduate in the war at home

To enroll in a retreat, or join a peer group please contact (570)242-0810 or email mbaylis@valorclinic.org

We are currently looking to train peer facilitators to open new peer groups.

Hope for the Homeless

This is our multifaceted community assistance program which includes outreach, monthly Stand Down events, and moves – in assistance for Homeless Veterans. This project meets a glaring community need for short term transitional and/or emergency housing.

Wearing our distinctive neon yellow VALOR shirts, we seek out homeless Veterans in the wooded areas along water edges, in abandoned buildings and under bridges. We need your help! Please notify us when you become aware of a local homeless person so we can offer assistance.

Our bi-monthly Stand Down events provide clothing, food, health checks, permanent supportive housing assistance, referrals and haircuts to our Veteran homeless population. Check our Facebook page for scheduled events.

You can help by donating food, clothing, money or your time as a volunteer to make these events effective. When donating food remember that life is different for the homeless population. Pull top cans, foil pouches, jars of peanut butter and the like are wonderful.

We provide move-in assistance to newly housed Veterans by giving them an initial supply of food and housewares. People living outdoors rarely have furniture, linens or kitchen wares. We provide these items to set them up for success when they move into a home. You can help by donating serviceable items or volunteer to help them move in.

Resilient Warrior Program

Our Resilient Warrior Program is our no-cost program helping Veterans file for access to care and benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, their state and other resources through non-government organizations or individuals.  The intent of this program is to assist Veterans in maintaining a normal lifestyle in the face of adverse life conditions, and occasionally assist with more than paperwork. 

If you would like assistance filing your paperwork please contact us at (570) 534-2812 or abamford@valorclinic.org to make an appointment today.

Holiday Meals Program

Is our confidential, no-cost program that provides holiday meals to our warriors who may be struggling financially.

We do not think any Veteran should be forced to choose between celebrating a holiday and paying the electric bill or taking their child to the dentist. We provide this service around the holidays three times a year –  spring, fall and winter.

We have a standard food basket we deliver. During the winter holiday we also provide age and gender appropriate gifts for children still in school. (Sorry but college kids are too old for toys.) This program has a high demand for volunteer support to both build and deliver the meal boxes. To nominate a Veteran and their family, or donate items for this program, please contact us at 570-534-2854.

Holiday Meal Consist of:

  • Dozen eggs
  • 1lb butter
  • 1lb bacon
  • 1 gallon milk
  • 1 galllon fruit juice
  • Loaf bread
  • Turkey
  • 5lb potatoes
  • 5lb green apples
  • 3lbs carrots
  • 3 cans corn
  • 3lbs onions
  • 3lbs sweet potatoes
  • 3 cans green beans
  • 1 can cranberry sauce
  • 1 can/jar turkey gravy
  • Dinner rolls
  • 1lb brown rice
  • 1 box turkey stuffing
  • 1 can fruit pie filling
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 can cake frosting
  • 1 box cake mix

Retreat Program

There is a huge gap in normal between our Veterans and civilians. We take people who will work 22 hour days carrying 70 pounds on their back in 100-degree heat, while people do their best to kill them and the people they care about without complaining. We immerse them in a society where people get upset if the boss wants them to stay 15 minutes late to complete something. It is social oil and water. Social readjustment.

Service/Companion Animal

Application for Service/Companion Animal

Name:

Address:

City:                                         State:                    Zip:

Phone:                                                                   Home or Mobile

Email:                                                                    Applicant or Veteran

Driver’s License #:                                               State:                        Exp:

Is Veteran service-connected for PTSD or other condition? YES      NO  (if yes, explain)

What are your service-related, or other physical limitations?

Are you living alone?

Are you interested in, or have you met a specific dog at Valor?

Dog’s Name:

Housing

Type of dwelling (house, apartment, etc.):

Owned or rented?

If renting, please provide landlord’s name, address and phone number:

Are you allowed to have an animal?

If no, please explain reason for request:

**ESA dogs qualify under ADA for exemption in most cases of “No Pet” clauses**

Do you have a yard?

If yes, is it fenced?

Please describe yard:

If no yard, how will the service animal be exercised?

How long have you been at this dwelling?

If less than 2 years, give prior address:

Do you plan to move in the next 6mos. – 1 year?

If yes, explain:

Occupation:

Employer:

Work hours/days:

Employers name, address and phone:

Are there others living in home?

Spouse/housemate occupation:

Spouse/housemate employer:

Children in household?

Sex/ages of children:

Others living in the home/relationship to you:

Have all housemates agreed to have a service animal in the home?

If not, explain:

Will you be the primary caretaker of the service animal?

If not, who will be?

Does anyone living in the home have allergies?

If yes, to what?

Where will the service animal spend most of the day?

Where will the service animal spend most of the night?

How many hours will the service animal be left alone daily?

Are you willing to take service animal for obedience training?

If receiving an ESA, will you attend the training with your service animal?

Do you have other pets/animals?

List type/age/sex:

Are other animals spayed/neutered/vaccinated?

If there are dogs, have they been treated for heartworm?

Have you had pets before?

If so, where are they now?

Were previous pets spayed/neutered/vaccinated?

Do you have a Veterinarian?

If so, please give name, address and phone:

Have you considered costs, and will you be able to financially provide for regular medical care and maintenance of your service animal (spay/neutering, vaccinations/heartworm treatment, grooming, licensing, etc.), or in case of illness or emergency?

Have you adopted a pet in the past?

If so, when?

Number of pets you have had in the last 5 years:

Disposition of pets:

Agreement and Acceptance

I swear that, to the best of my knowledge, the above information is true and complete.

I agree my service animal will not be left outside. I will provide proper medical care, including spay/neuter by the date specified, and adequate food and water at all times. I will never mentally or physically abuse my pet. A dog will be walked on a leash at all times.

I understand that if for any reason I cannot keep this service animal, the animal MUST BE RETURNED to VALOR ONLY. There is no exception to this. If there is someone else who may be interested in this service animal, that person will be required to contact VALOR and be interviewed prior to placement.

By signing this agreement, I understand and accept the stipulations stated within. I further understand that VALOR reserves the right to accept or refuse any request for adoption of a service animal, at its own discretion, and that the decision is final.

I understand that the handling of animals could, at some point, put me in a dangerous position, and could result in injury to me or my personal property. On behalf of myself, my heirs, personal representatives and assigns, I hereby release, discharge, indemnify and hold harmless the VALOR CLINIC FOUNDATION and its directors, officers, employees and agents from any and all claims, causes of action, and demands of any nature, whether known or unknown, arising out of or in connection with my receipt of this service animal.

Signature:

Objective 22

Neon Yellow

Together working as a team we are stronger than the strength of our parts. We often celebrate team accomplishments as we marvel in our collective impact. We celebrate at work when completing a successful project and countless other ways. Maybe the places we most readily identify with team work is our school and sports. Who among us has not identified with their schools colors and taken some pride in its accomplishments?

Did you have to be on the team when they won the game to be proud? We rally around our affiliation usually displayed with the school colors. I still remember the green and white all the way back to my youth playing Pop Warner football on the Shamrocks almost 50 years ago. For 26 years my team wore camouflage. One small player on a nations team of patriots.

Born to a war orphan the team in camouflage was always a part of my life. Another son in a line of family who played for this team, at times in camouflage and others in OD green or brown bombers jackets. Time and branch of service would change the uniforms but not the team. No place exists where the importance of unity of effort and solidarity in purpose and commitment are more important than for this team. The battles endured even when victorious are costly. The cost is not fully known until long after the team returns home. Despite this uniform difference colors of unity for our team remained. Those colors call to me as I type, they are Red, White and Blue. The colors of a nation long in history of their championship team in camouflage serving as freedoms guardians. History has shown our people rally for these colors and cheer for their team whenever they are called upon. The challenge becomes the battle at home for our team in camouflage.

When the Thunderbird, a B-29, was shot down over Japan during WWII it put events in play that would be part of my life daily. In fact my name is Mark in memory of the grandfather I never knew, Mark Miller, killed on that day. Like a story from a fiction book, the sole survivor returned following his release by the Japanese to marry my grandmother. He did his best to raise my mother as his own child, or as Mark would have liked. Survivors guilt strong in his veins, the memories of that day and his time held captive even stronger in his mind. Funny how in reflection to the days of my youth I understand Cliff better now. The sting of battle was stronger for Cliff than for me, so I am sure our outcomes will be different. But once you feel the sting hard enough to leave a mark, you can recognize the mark on another man. Cliff was a tremendous role model and may be the wind under the wings of my life’s current journey.

The battle on the home front walked every step with Cliff. I believe part of that journey is to unite us as a nation behind our team in camouflage for the battle on the home front. I think we need a color. In the spirit of the yellow ribbon, fueled by a sense of alarm, in the face of a national epidemic, I ask your support that that color be neon yellow. Safety green they call the color on shirts. The epidemic must be stopped. The casualties can not speak for the cause.

On the 10th of September I ask that you wear a neon yellow shirt in a display of unity to win the battle on the home front. If you are an organization dealing with the emotional scars of war with Veteran please include the color in your promotions. Because together we can make a difference. Cliff died at his own hand, fighting the war at home. We lose 22 Veterans every day just like Cliff. If for no other reason than there are children who need their role models.

Life Skill (Pending)

Peer To Peer

Veterans Unstoppable is our confidential, no-cost program and service to warriors and their loved ones facing post traumatic stress injury and other invisible wounds of military service.  This program currently has three sub-programs; peer support groups, retreats and service dogs.  We hope to add a Life Skills phase in the future for severely affected Veterans.  We are currently looking to train peer facilitators to open new peer groups.  To enroll in a retreat or join or open a peer group please contact (570)534-2812.

PEER SUPPORT GROUP

This is a Veteran support group moderated by Veterans Unstoppable trained group facilitators who guide discussions and discovery. This phase focuses on helping these men and women become aware of family patterns and life events that shaped their current view of the world.

We believe these events and patterns are aggravated by traumatic events. The result is a cloud that obstructs the Veteran’s view of life. When tested, this clouded judgment can lead to anger management shortfalls, substance abuse and lack of personal warmth. This breakdown in personal skills is the first domino to fall in a series of events causing the alarming statistics.

PEER RETREAT COUNSELING

There is a huge gap in normal between our Veterans and civilians.  We take people who may have worked 22 hours days, carrying 70 pounds on their backs in 100 degree heat, while people did their best to try to kill them and the people they care about without complaining, and we immerse them back into a society where people get upset if the boss wants them to stay and extra 15 minutes to complete something.  It is social oil and water. This kind of social readjustment is paramount.

This phase of the Veterans Unstoppable program is for the moderately and severely affected Veterans. It consists of a blend of education and life projects spread over several months. The program, conducted in a retreat setting with professional counseling staff, begins with a discovery of each individual’s past, and ends with an empowering self-made plan for their future. This is a series of six retreats.

PHASE 3 – LIFE SKILL APPLICATION

For some Veterans it will take some time to practice their skills before returning to “normal life.”

Our Phase 3 is intended to immerse a Veteran in life situations to practice these new skills, without fear of failure. The goal is to gradually increase human interaction as the Veterans progress, until they are able and ready to advance to the workforce. This transition will provide the best opportunity for the most severely war affected Veterans to succeed and have a healthy readjustment to civilian life.

In order to successfully integrate this phase of the program, we need a facility where Veterans have the opportunity to interface with people in a working environment. Currently, Paul’s House (and soon Kevin’s House) serves this need. It creates diverse job opportunities with varying degrees of human interaction overseen by staff familiar with the Veterans Unstoppable program. The skills required to perform here are ideally suited to the community needs of the tourism-based economy of the local area.

Finding Closure

Traumatic events in war stay with Veterans. Finding closure can relieve some of the burden of these tragic events.  We help Veterans make a plan to find some closure.

The weekly peer to peer support sessions pave the road to a brighter future through our Veterans Unstoppable program.

• NO Convicted Felons

• NO Dishonorable or “In Lieu of Court Martial” Discharges

• NO Active Addiction

Who We Help

We help those who served our country in uniform from all five services, including the Reserves and National Guard.

We do NOT help Veterans with dishonorable or “in lieu of court marshal” discharges. We welcome hometown heroes into our Veterans Unstoppable program. Our first responders deal with very similar challenges faced by our Veterans.

Our Law Enforcement heroes, in particular, deal with suicide at alarming rates as well.

Valor Houses

APPLY FOR A ROOM

Download Application

Move In Assistance

We conduct move in assistance by providing food and housewares to newly housed Veterans. People who are outdoors rarely have furniture, linens or kitchen wares.  We provide these items to make their new place a home.  You can help us by donating serviceable items to help outfit these newly housed Veterans, or volunteer to help move them in.

Call 570-534-2854 to request assistance in the matter.

Stand Downs

We conduct Outreach by venturing into areas the homeless frequent to look for Veterans down on their luck. These locations are often in wooded areas along water edges, abandoned buildings and under bridges. You can help us do outreach by informing us when you learn of a local homeless person.

Stand Downs provide clothing, food, health checks, permanent, supportive housing assistance referrals. and haircuts to our Veteran homeless population. Our Stand Downs are currently conducted monthly in the cities of East Stroudsburg and Bethlehem.

You can help us  hold Stand Downs by donating food, clothing, money or your time as a volunteer to make these events possible.  Remember, life is different when you are homeless, so pull-top cans and foil pouches are the way to go!! Jars of peanut butter are wonderful.

Resilient Warrior

Resilient Warrior

Our Resilient Warrior Program is our no-cost program helping Veterans file for access to care and benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, their state and other resources through non-government organizations or individuals.  The intent of this program is to assist Veterans in maintaining a normal lifestyle in the face of adverse life conditions, and occasionally assist with more than paperwork. 

If you would like assistance filing your paperwork please contact us at (570) 534-2812 or abamford@valorclinic.org to make an appointment today.