At VetREST, our mission is to facilitate Restoration, Encouragement, Solace, and Training for our nation’s veterans suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) by helping them identify the cause of their PTS in an environment where our signature program can promote healing.
Currently, about twenty-two veterans a day take their lives. In 2015, 475 current serving Active Duty, Reservists and National Guardsmen committed suicide—greater than one per day. “That's a suicide every 65 minutes . . . Nearly one in five suicides nationally is a veteran, even though veterans make up about 10% of the U.S. population.” If we can identify the personal cause of a veteran’s PTS and provide direct coaching help, there is a strong probability that we can drastically reduce these staggering numbers and help veterans begin living a healthy lifestyle.
VetREST began in 2013 as an initiative formed by Major General Dan York to help veterans suffering from PTS. With the help of several West Point graduates and friends concerned about veterans, MG York came up with the name of the organization and VetREST launched to healing our Veterans.
The conviction to form VetREST came from two key observations:
Through meetings with soldiers in the Army assigned to Warrior Transition Units (WTU) and soldiers assigned to his own units, MG Dan York learned that the primary method the Veteran’s Administration (VA) and military medical units used to treat soldiers suffering from PTS was the application of drugs. Unfortunately, drugs do not solve the problem of PTS or eliminate suicides. They merely address the symptoms and often cause soldiers to incur unwanted side-effects from the medications they were prescribed.
There are about 45,000 nonprofits in the United States that operate with a mindset vision of helping veterans. The majority (70% +) are local organizations with a focus on helping veterans within a community. Veterans Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, USOs, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) are organizations that exist on a national level with local chapters. Unfortunately, there is not a national organization that has a single focus of providing help to veterans by identifying their personal cause of PTS and providing coaching to bring relief. The vast majority of these organizations do nothing to find and address the cause of PTS, and often raked in millions of dollars from donors that were spent on advertising, corporate salaries and overhead expenses. This will not be the case with VetREST.
The VetREST Executive Team is honored to announce their newest partnership with Unite US, a coordinated network to support Veteran referral tracking, collaboration and communication between service providers, and to be our technology partner in optimizing operational processes. We will facilitating and tracking fifteen unique episodes that may be contributing to the Veterans PTS: Benefits, Education, Food, Housing & Shelter, Legal, Social Enrichment, Sports & Recreation, Utilities, Clothing & Household Goods, Employment, Individual & Family Support Services, Money Management, Spiritual Enrichment and Transportation. For more information, please visit their website.
2016 was an exciting year. Chapters formed in Colorado Springs, CO, Portland, OR; Atlanta, GA; northern Virginia, New York City and New Jersey. Our goal is to operate 23 chapters - comprised of a Chapter Director, Coordinator, three Peer Coaches, Event Coordinator and a Farm Director - in cities with large veteran populations.
Our farming Director, Nate, owns and operates a 20 acre organic farm in Zolfo Springs, Florida. He will be responsible for helping VetREST establish for profit organic farms for each chapter. The US today is short approximately 1 million farmers, and our Veterans will step up to the challenge. Each farm will house veterans recovering from PTS, teach them how to farm, and for those who desire, help them own and operate their own farm.
Robert F Vicci, LTC (Ret), CEO, spearheaded the efforts to build chapters in NY, NJ and PA and has recently been selected as the new CEO. Rob is a Veteran of 34 years of Military Service, both Active Duty and the NJ Army National Guard. He a decorated Veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and flew over 30 missions as an Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot and commander. “Veech” received his Commission from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1981 as an Infantry Officer, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. He was also a four year Army Football player and brings a wealth of leadership and Team focus to our VetREST Team. Mr. Vicci is a proven leader in commercial real estate for the past 30 years, managing nationwide portfolios. He is presently the Vice President of EmployAGI and 19Kilo Coffee, two companies that help Veterans and their family members through transitional times, and is energized to take on a full time role with VetREST to bring as much assistance to Veterans and their families as possible. “Our Veterans and their families pay a high price for our freedom, and they deserve our care.”
We Need Your Help!
MG Dan York and Robert F Vicci, LTC (Ret), will be more than happy to meet with you regarding how you can be involved with VetREST. We are seeking five, Five Star General sponsors willing to help underwrite the needed $5,000,000 to fully launch this organization. Some sponsors may wish to contribute $400,000 to launch a local chapter, act as a mentor, and/or participate as a Chapter Board Member. All gifts are tax-deductible. Your help in the restoration of our nation’s veteran community is so much appreciated.
VetREST is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Any contribution made by you is tax-deductible to the extent