Vets Journey Home USA, Inc.

Rating: 4.97 stars   29 reviews

Issues:

Location: 8989 N Port Washington Road Ste 227 Milwaukee WI 53217 USA

Mission: To serve those who served our country, by offering this compassionate and welcoming retreat, where any story is heard without judgment and hearts are healed
Results: VJH USA is newly formed, although the work has been going on since 1989. Hundreds of vets have experienced emotional healing through Vets Journey Home since its inception.
Target demographics: All military veterans
Direct beneficiaries per year: dozens of Veterans
Geographic areas served: USA
Programs: free weekend retreats to heal emotional wounds and trauma.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My name is Charlie, I'm a vietnam vet, and I was a participant at Northwoods VJH in 2010. That experience changed my life in many ways, but the most important way was that their are thousand of men and women who could benefit from a VJH weekend. I have staffed in 2011,12,and 13 and have witnessed how much participants can change for the better in one weekend. I'm looking forward to staffing again in 2014 to help heal our vets who deserve more than what their getting.
Please join us I'm sure you won't be sorry!!!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Please just continue doing what your doing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My intent, at first, was to help another Vietnam Veteran. After reading the cost, I tearfully realized it was my healing that was needed. Camp Bird is a closed campus which was essential for me, no escapes for 3 days, not need to escape. Civilian and Veteran supports were always there, always supportive.
I can't not volunteer after volunteering once. The process is heart opening and is not painless. The healing is opening up and moving through the scar tissue, much less painful than keeping the pain around by avoiding it.
Do what you can, nothing more. then help others, simple.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Make all weekends closed.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The VJH Experience:
I can honestly say that staffing VJH has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life.
I have made many great friends, and have received many gifts.
Every Weekend is challenging, demanding, and ultimately uplifting.
The healing that occurs is of course mainly focused on the participants, and we staffers often benefit in unexpected ways
As long as my health permits, I intend to continue to volunteer my time and energy to this wonderful program!
Thanks for accepting me as a staffer! See you all soon!
Jamie

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

expand to offer more weekends in more locations!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

After publishing my book, Prelude to Reveille: A Vietnam Awakening, I wanted to donate partial profits to a hands-on group led by dedicated, honest, veterans. I asked several Vietnam veterans for ideas, and the name Vets Journey Home quickly came to the top of the list. I contacted Founder and Director, Gene McMahon, who is also a Certified Instructor and Instructor Trainer. He invited my husband, a Vietnam veteran, to attend as a participant, and me to attend as a staff member. Gene and his trained staff worked with each veteran, collectively and individually. Within hours, the participants had bonded like "a band of brothers," already experiencing changes in their lives. I witnessed nine veterans who arrived in pain from combat experiences heal throughout the weekend. By Sunday night, the terrible burden they had carried, some for decades, others for a few years, was lifted. My decision to support VJH financially and physically was easy. Vets Journey Home puts veterans back together and makes miracles happen.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have since staffed 5 Vets Journey Home weekends and joined the West Coast board, and I'm totally hooked on this organization. We do so much good, and pick up where the VA and other governmental agencies leave our vets with nothing to sustain them. I've heard several grads of the program say that we provide a family, and it's true. Vets can return to staff weekends and continue their connection with our extended "family," all the while paying it forward and feeling good about themselves and their contributions. This is a nonprofit that is all heart, and it deserves all the support and recognition it can get.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Vets Journey Home has become a new passion in my life. I staffed my first VJH weekend in January of 2011 and fell in love with the program, the participants, the rest of the staff, and the leaders. As a facilitator for similar programs that are not specifically for military vets, I really value that Vets Journey Home provides an essential service, free of charge, to those who have served our country. The sheer magnitude of the healing and transformation that occurs on these retreats is something that has to be seen to be believed.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

hearing from the vets who have attended the program about the difference it's made in their lives. Also, the more people who volunteer to staff this program, the greater the awareness is in the community about vets and their unique issues with homecoming.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

improve the promotional materials so that they are more printer friendly, so that volunteers like myself can easily and cheaply print them up ourselves and pass them out. The current materials are costly to reproduce because they use so much ink on a personal printer, or require 4 color reproduction at a print center.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Vets Journey Home is an honorable welcoming intensive weekend. It was started by a Viet Nam veteran that felt a need to welcome home Viet Nam veterans that had gotten no support from the general population. It has morphed into a multi state organization that has brought home many hundreds of Veterans of all services, that have served in war and peace time. A major benefit is the women that attend these weekends. They are able to tell their story in a very safe container. As an instructor for these weekends, I have seen many hurting veterans find the peace they are looking for and have seen them return to the joy that they so richly deserve!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

Vets Journey Home came to early on when it was Bamboo Bridge. I took Bamboo Bridge in 1997 and have been active in what is now Vets Journey Home. In taking the weekend back in '97, I, for the first time in many years was able to tell my story to people that could and would understand. It was, literally, a life changing weekend. That was the weekend that I started my journey home. I had been lost and shut down for a long time.talking abut my 'Nam experience, and getting out in the open served to start healing the emotional wounds that I have experienced. Now staffing the weekends, giving back, has helped me to continue to heal and has started the healing process for other wounded vets.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

helping my self and other vets

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

recruit as many students as possible

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have been to several of the "graduations" held at the end of the weekend & I know the facilitators and some volunteers. They truly love what they do, they love vets and serve them in a way vets need. This organization is making a difference in the lives of those that have sacrificed so much for us. They deserve to be recognized & supported. Thank you. God Bless America and those who serve.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A little

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This program is an exceptional honoring of veterans from all wars. The work done at VJH lifts and celebrates veterans in such a way that they often feel it's their first true welcome home. I was so inspired by the program that I felt compelled to write about it along with oral histories from Iraq and Afghanistan soldiers returning from war. I included their program in the book because it reveals the hope that comes from healing wounded hearts. Anyone who has served deserves this program! Readers can learn more about it by purchasing my book, Veterans' Journeys Home: Life after Afghanistan and Iraq. Half of the royalties from this book are donated to VJH!! That's how important the program is. Lori Holyfield

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

meaningful ways.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

create more VJH sites throughout the United States

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Once I registered, "Larry the Vet" called to keep me updated. It was an intense weekend in Wisconsin's Northwoods. The campsite was awesome and the food terrific. The staff/volunteers were so KIND it was almost uncomfortable. (I got used to it). The eye to eye contact was also a bit overwhelming to me. I think the biggest thing I had to work through was staying on task and not switching subjects to avoid my PTSD issues. And breathing. The weekend was exactly as the name of the of the non profit suggests-vets returning home-to their hearts. I am grateful to have attended and I know I have some more healing to do. It was amazing to watch many hardened vets let go and take off their masks. I was very appreciative of the free weekend.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Comraderie-meeting veterans/family members who have the courage to face themselves and take off their masks.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

include more rest time for the vets.

How did you find this group?

I went to a Women Veterans Health Event at Zablocki VA Center. I met Rick Benoit at his table and he encouraged me to sign up-so I did.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

That people do believe my story.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I never thought of myself as needing help because I thought I had conquered my issues. VJH allowed me to open myself to the
many buried emotions I had as the result of being the child of a vet with PTSD. This program is an invaluable asset to all who allow themselves the opportunity to participate. The camaraderie, the warm support and welcome experienced within the context of a safe and nourishing environment are just a few of the benefits of participation.

I am now a proud volunteer.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

learning to value my own service as a reservist.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

make sure more groups using this model were available.

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