Message to Valhalla Candidates

A stay at Valhalla Project isn’t for everyone. Many benefit from their time spent here; some not so much.

Is Valhalla a good fit for you? Let’s see.

Veteran participants who benefit most from their participation in Valhalla have certain characteristics.

They may temporarily be a bit down, both on themselves and society. Some have a sense of dislocation or confusion, having separated from a structured organization (the military) and being suddenly thrust on a culture they view as full of noise and trivia (a lot of civilian life).

Perhaps they attempted to re-kindle a sense of belonging through social media or other virtual reality like video games but found that course to be unsatisfying and unfulfilling. Maybe they tried through such means to regain the sense of meaningful mission and purpose that they had in the military. Most attempts are shallow and unsuccessful.

In many cases they are frustrated with attempts to find a job that pays well or gives them a sense of real accomplishment. In almost every case they miss the comradeship they enjoyed in the military and the comfort of being a member of a select group.

If you can identify with some or even all of these characteristics then maybe, just maybe, you might benefit from Valhalla.

When you come here you quickly learn that there are living things dependent on you. Animals and plants need oversight and care. If you take a shortcut or skip a critical step someone could be in trouble. So you must agree to follow directions and learn the “why” certain things are important.

We’re not a forced-labor camp. You’re going to eat better food than you found in any DFAC and most restaurants while you’re here, and your lodging is provided. In return we require a minimum of four hours daily devoted to on-site projects. If you want to do more, we encourage you to do so, but the four hours are the floor not the ceiling.

Your outside communications are going to be limited to an extent. When you’re involved in a task – and some here on a homestead are dangerous by definition – outside distractions can cause injury or death. For this reason when you’re out on property electronic devices are back in the bunkhouse. Period. If you can’t be comfortable with this arrangement, Valhalla isn’t for you.

We’re not invasive. If you want to talk we’re here to listen but we don’t question or judge. We’ve been around the block a time or two ourselves including downrange with soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If you are curious, inquisitive, eager to learn new skills or improve on existing ones, want to get involved from a hands-on perspective, and are drawn to a challenge you’ll enjoy yourself.

You will definitely learn about homesteading and self-reliant living while you’re here. Homesteading involves a myriad of skills sets and you will get a chance to try most or all of them. You’ll have an opportunity to work with Valhalla’s sheep and goats, our turkeys, chickens, and ducks, and with our intensive growing methods.

We build structures and make things from lumber harvested on site. That involves power and hand tools. Firewood needs to be cut, split, and stacked. That means chainsaws, wedges, axes, and splitting mauls. Predators abound. Coyotes, feral hogs, snakes, raccoon, even a wandering mountain lion or two. The guardian dogs help enormously, but you need to stay focused and alert. Firearms are a part of a homestead and we hunt seasonally and shoot for fun. If these activities seem too dangerous or stressful for you then you won’t want to come here.

There are plenty of enjoyable things to do, too. Hunting deer or turkey in season, fishing in our ponds, hiking the 200-acre tract, watching and photographing wildlife, relaxing on the deck or in the island garden at day’s end with a cold beverage, talking about life with your fellow veterans, and more.

In summary, Valhalla is not a place for “all things for all veterans.” It takes a special kind of guy or gal to fit in and benefit the most. Our guess is that the majority will find it too hard, too challenging, or too stressful. Maybe they don’t want to get their hands dirty. Whatever. The super-sensitive and personally absorbed won’t benefit from a stay here unless they decide to take this opportunity to grow up and face the real world.

If, after reading about us, including our FAQs page, looking things over on our web site and Facebook page, maybe having a conversation or email exchange, you decide that you and Valhalla may be a worthwhile fit, then we'll send you an application form and a liability waiver. Shoot them back to us along with a copy of your form DD-214 (redact your social security number, please). We’ll be in touch.

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