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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Vets Journey Home USA, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

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.

Community Stories

65 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was invited to a VJH weekend by a Friend who had also attended. I was dealing with grief and anger from the loss of my son several years earlier. I had tried different sources for grief support and therapy but I was still angry and hurting. Upon arriving that weekend, there was only one other male participant who was to be my room-mate. When I turned to greet him, it was if the years slipped away. He was a shipmate that served with me on the same Submarine 33 years earlier. Not only was he a shipmate, but a friend that I would actually socialize with and get closet to. It really helped to make the weekend special. On dealing with my BOULDER or BLOCK as they may call it, I was also blessed to have a certified grief counselor on staff that weekend. They helped me to see I could still converse with my son, and that I could talk with him anytime. They helped me to let out the tears I was also afraid to show in front of my wife, and to see my feelings were normal and important to talk about in dealing with my son. It was a true healing weekend and I am forever grateful to have experienced what Vets Journey Home does for Veterans.

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 4

I went to the VJH weekend not knowing what to expect, hoping to deal with issues of anger and resentment. But finding out the my grief over losing my twenty-one year old son from an overdose of drugs was causing me more problems than I knew. Good and caring people helped bring me through some of the hardest parts of acceptance in this area.
One of the most amazing things was walking into the registration area and finding out that my room-mate for the weekend was also a Shipmate from my Navy days who I had not seen in 32 years! It was more than a coincidence, it was unbelievable. We were not just shipmates we were good friends too! So the re-connection was instant and although it brought back a ton of memories most of them were great and there was a good deal of healing on the weekend. I learned a number of things about my grief, I learned how to look at my relationship with my son in a different light. Just because he wasn't here in the physical sense didn't mean he didn't exist to me anymore. He lives on in my memories and in my heart forever. The staff was caring, competent and really interested in helping. I was asked to go into the weekend with an open mind, that's what I did. I didn't judge what may happen I just tried to allow it and see where it took me. I shared this all in excitement with my wife when I got home, and took it slow in explaining how to connect with our son in a different way. It was a great lesson that I am grateful for and I would love to experience this again to deal with other boulders or blocks that may hamper me from living my life to the fullest. Thank You Vets Journey Home. I appreciate what you do! - JD

Client Served

Rating: 5

This past weekend, I was given an extraordinary opportunity to heal and learn about my damage...yes, I healthily accept it as such, leaves room for growth. Vets Journey Home afforded me so very many things, most importantly there are actually 2 bullet points

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The retreat experience can not be fully explained because it is completely individual for each vet. What every major issue is standing in the way of success this program can help to move it. The staff are both veterans and civilians, from this point forward I will never say civilians don't get it. These people were there to listen and support veterans like I have never experienced before. If you allow the teachings they offer to assist you amazing healing can take place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was partnered with Vets Journey Home with a Wellness Retreat for Veterans, I had seen some great transformations during that retreat. Vets Journey Home truly has the veterans interest at heart.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Keep up the great work. This organization has helped me with understanding myself more.

1 Jenny111

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Clint and a volunteer with VJH!! It is an amazing experience and organization no matter which way you decide to do it!! I would recommend VJH to anyway!! It has helped my husband and I in many ways!! Great job VJH!!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a Vietnam Vet, and barely stayed out of trouble. My Vietnam experience was totally ingrained in, and drove me. I had no emotion or 'Heart'. I trusted nobody.
I went to Northern Wisconsin for a 'free' Vets Retreat , and found myself in a building with Veterans, and 'civilians'...civilians? Whoa! No way.!
I shared just enough to get to the point of, no 'backing out'. But no one had 'judged me' - strange.
That weekend the Staff had found a way for me to trust; and - open my Heart.
Now, when I staff a Vets Journey Retreat, I allow my Heart to do as much as possible.
No one would have enough money to pay, for me to do Heart Work.
Humbly,
Jimy Hering

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

VJH is an awesome program that helped me get over a bridge that I thought was impossible to cross. I aM deeply thankful for the program and the continued support I receive from not only the program, but also from the other Vets that faced similar experices. I recommend VJH to any soldier or couples that are facing challenges after returning home from deployment or that have had any significant experience in the military that needs focus and healing.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've just completed the weekend of Vet's Journey Home in Wisconsin.
I had no idea what to expect from the werkend.
I learned of VJH by way of another non profit I'm pat of the past 9 years as of Nov '16.
This past weekend we were given the opportunity to write a farewell letter to a fellow service member who had 'fallen' in service.
Mine was mostly a peace time experience and I had not known a fellow fallen solder.

Immediately I realized I was the man that had not returned home.
My body is intact but my truest life ended 43 years ago. My letter was to myself and the life still back at tech school.
Mine is about MSA (military sexual assult aka MST or, military sexual trauma ).
My letter expressed the great loss I'd come to know after much counseling. My letter ended with me saying to mysrlf; I Cannot leave you at tech school...I Will find a way to bring you (me) home.
The VA offers many forms of treatment. One offering was medication. I've chosen other forms of treatment...inner personal healing work.
I CANNOT say enough or too much about my experience this past weekend with VJH.
I now know I have purpose...Purpose in helpng others toward their healing.
Please consider your own steps toward healing by looking at my invitation to take your Vets Journey Home weekend ecperience.
Be well.
JonnC .

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program far exceeded any expectations I might have had. The program is literally life changing. Stuck for years, I was thinking this was just how it was going to have to be--- no way out, no way around it. Suck it up. Live with. Why can't you just yourself?? Then I participated in a weekend program.... everything has changed. I mean everything.

3 Robin166

Board Member

Rating: 5

VJH changed my life for the better in 2009. Since that time, I have remained affiliated with VJH. VJH is a true non-profit. No one gets paid. We are all volunteers and there is no charge for Veterans to attend our weekends. We truly rely on donations to continue to make our organization successful.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Vets Journey Home is a true nonprofit where all of the money raised goes towards supporting and assisting our Vets...that means that none of the staff members get paid as they are volunteers! The experience of the retreat for the vets is life changing. I have staffed the event and what takes place over the few days makes a difference in the life of the vets who attend. Welcome home Vets!

1 Little John

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a truly wonderful experience I've had being able to staff two of the VJH weekends. So heartening to see the vets be welcomed into such a caring group. The transformations I've seen have been a true gift and I'm honored to have been there for them. I look forward to the next time!!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Vets Journey Home in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania since 2008. I have been amazed at the wonderful healing work done by the Volunteers in this organization. There are no paid staff in this organization; all funds are used to support the programming to offer free healing weekends to Veterans. If you want to support Veterans, consider donating or volunteering with VJH.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This program changed my life by giving me the support and skills to manage my return to civilian life after from combat trauma. The lasting impact has affected all the people around me in a positive way, and now I volunteer so that I give back some of the life-affirming gifts I received. This organization is 100% staffed by volunteers, both vet's and civilians, that truly understand trauma, and create a safe place to begin the journey home.

1 Lin_

Volunteer

Rating: 5

10 plus years as a volunteer with this organization. The staff are 100 % committed to helping our vets and what is very important is this: In addition to helping our vets release their trauma and truly COME HOME, no one is paid to serve on the weekend retreats. This means that ALL the donations go directly to our vets - to provide them a free weekend that is safe and all encompassing - dedicated to healing the wounds of war.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked with men, women, and children who have experienced trauma and PTSD for 25 years. For the last six years I have been involved in working with veterans and then I met others who were involved with Vets Journey Home . I am now an instructor and can speak to the well established practices and dedication of the staff to help our veterans come home. An atmosphere of total acceptance and respect for the vets and their stories is the foundation for this exceptional program. VJH-USA has deepened my life, both personally and professionally. It truly is a beacon for many to come home.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love VJH. Helps heal our Veterans wounds. Nothing like it. I've been involved since early 2012. No one is paid. It is an ALL Volunteer organization. Every dollar goes to support our Veterans. Thank you to the men and women who give their time and service to help our Veterans. More importantly, thank you to all our Veterans who come and share their experiences with us. The Beautiful thing is most of the Veterans that come through our program. Come back and volunteer to help their fellow Veteran's in their Healing process. Again, I love Vets Journey Home. Mike Hanson

PS Inside Joke: Colonel, I'm still waiting for my check.

1 quark12

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a Vietnam era veteran. As I didn't experience active combat I didn't think I had an issue with my service time. I was wrong. When I read the invitation to attend a weekend, I knew in my heart there was work to be done. The weekend healed some and pointed me in a direction to heal some more. Some of the additional pain was healed as a support member of the weekend team. I will be forever grateful to the Wisconsin VJH.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a Vietnam combat veteran. I heard about this program from a veteran friend who benefited greatly from his weekend. The program was totally free. The instructors and staff were all volunteers, about 20 for our 9 veterans. Their process,program, allowed me to share my experiences that I had never shared with anyone. I have never met such a dedicated, understanding group of people that "get it". I witnessed, not only my own personal transformation, but everyone there shared amazing stories of sacrifice and pain. It was a great healing experience for us all. I highly recommend this program for any veteran dealing with service related trauma.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

VJH...this no cost retreat for a well deserved group... Our Vets...
A safe, non judging environment filled with a family of civilians and veterans, a genuinely caring group that has set aside their weekend to be with you. I say this from my heart...I feel honored to be part of this family.
You come to a weekend of uncertainty, with silent and heavy burdens you carried home from your time given to our country ,for all of us....
..I can only say...if you come ...you will leave with a lightness and healing you may think you could never feel again.... Please do this for yourself....
Ps... And thanks to those of you who have, my life has been blessed at each retreat I could be part of... I will forever be grateful....