The purpose of the Valhalla Project is to help soldiers, as well as combat zone civilians, become more productive members of society by focusing on their mental well being. The programs will be designed to complement and supplement existing government-sponsored programs that are generally tailored to address the most serious cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and physical injuries. Over time, the Valhalla Project will reduce the government’s expenditures with respect to soldiers and civilians, who may have difficulty reintegrating into society.
The Valhalla Project intends to achieve this mission by developing a center in Northwest Arkansas that offers participants a secure environment of peer discussion and fellowship, and useful, multi-faceted work, as well as numerous educational opportunities. Integral to the choice of this location is the ability of the Organization to construct a working model of a rural, self-sustaining center that will use and develop independent energy production, creative building techniques, and produce foodstuffs in such a manner as to enable participants to appreciate and learn skill sets that can be applied in every-day life. The center will also be designed to provide physically injured individuals, who may have limited mobility, the ability to participate as fully as possible in all activities.
The center will not be used as a medical treatment facility. Instead, the Valhalla Project intends to fill a need for those soldiers and combat zone civilians who have been affected by their experiences, but might not qualify for or meet the urgency of need requirements established by Veterans Affairs or active duty or state National Guard agencies. Evidence of the sharply growing population of soldiers in particular includes reports of thousands of homeless veterans, steep unemployment rates, suicides, family stress, anger issues, and problems with substance and alcohol abuse. While many qualify for government programs, many others will not. The Valhalla Project is designed to address this overlooked but significant population.
Concomitantly, many civilians have spent months or years in combat areas assisting soldiers with their needs. Many of these personnel are similarly affected by combat stress and would welcome the opportunity to continue to work with and around soldiers and to contribute to their mutual support and welfare. There are virtually no programs of significance, private or public, designed to address this need.
The Valhalla Project operates on the premise that productive, focused work of all kinds in a structured environment is a valuable tool to permit soldiers and others to make an effective transition from combat stress back into families, jobs, and society. Important to these lessons will be the overall philosophy of enjoyment of living: One can and should be able work and enjoy oneself at the same time. The Valhalla Project’s motto is “Everyone works; everyone has fun.”