After 33 years of service, Lieutenant Colonel and Homegrown By Heroes FVC member Tim Doherty has shifted his focus to agriculture and its therapeutic benefits for veteran rehabilitation.
“It’s like getting send home unexpectedly from a job that you love and having to leave your brothers and sisters in arms behind as well as the mission you love. You have a huge void and have difficulty relating with others and difficulty finding a purpose.
You train for your deployment, on deployment, you’ve got that purpose and you’re operating at the highest level you’re trained for.
Then you come home, go back to your civilian job and you’re not involved in that duty and you’re not around the people you’d spent every day with, 24/7.
You get addicted to the adrenaline. You don’t have that purpose when you come home and you don’t have that adrenaline rush. I’d found a new purpose, something to look forward to. Keeping bees.”
Doc’s Healing Hives is Tim’s non-profit. It provides opportunities to veterans, who struggle with physical and mental challenges associated with service and deployments, to heal their service wounds.
Fun fact: As the co-chair of the legislative committee for the Georgia Beekeepers Association, Tim helped develop the Georgia license plate to save the honey bee.
“The solution isn’t going to be to talk to someone who doesn’t understand what you’ve been through or found in a prescription. The solution is being purposeful and being around people that you can relate to. Beekeepers and vets have a ton in common. It’s a can-do [mindset] to take care of our bees as we take care of each other.”
Michael O’Gorman hands it over to newly appointed
Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo
It started as a vision in a strawberry field overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Three women who stood there alongside Michael O’Gorman had alllost their sons in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Fatalities were high in 2007, and the country was deeply divided. O’Gorman’s idea of starting a campaign to create viable careers and places to heal on our nation’s farms for men and women returning from war felt electric. “It felt positive, optimistic, and healing for all of us,” reflected the lifelong farmer.
In 2008, O’Gorman’s idea sprouted its first roots when he started Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) in the back of his pick-up truck.
After a decade of leading FVC, O’Gorman is handing over his pitchfork to newly appointed Executive Director Jeanette Lombardo.
We are exuberant that these 3 new chapters are now part of the FVC Family. We commend the leadership teams in each state who dedicated hours to their formation in collaboration with our Deputy Director Sarah Dachos.
Oct 12 was National Farmer’s Day, and Founder Michael O’Gorman appeared on Fox & Friends to share the good word on FVC! Joined by Mark Bowen, President of FVC Vermont chapter, Michael took the stage on the Times Square set in conjunction with Tractor Supply Company, who we thank for their continued support of our farmer veterans.
Last month we handed over the keys to a brand new Kubota
tractor to Jake Sass!
These ceremonies are always full of high energy and emotion,
and this one in particular as it coincided with the Grand Opening of a new
Kubota dealership in Kansas City. A Westpoint grad, Jake served three
deployments with the Ranger Regiment as platoon leader and reconnaissance
section leader. He and his wife Abbey now grow hops for Minnesota craft brew
producers. Their Civil Sass Hops hopyard in Chattfield, MN is Homegrown By Heroes
certified and they pride themselves on being a place to radically connect a
beer community with those who grow it. A very deserving awardee, Jake beamed “I
always loved tractors as a kid!”. We can imagine his anticipation in taking a
first ride on this brand new orange one of his very own.
Thank you Kubota Tractor Corporation for continuing to make
big kid dreams come true with your Geared to Give program.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an application to the 2019 Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund. We received a record 354 applications this year. The application review process is underway and we expect announcements will be made by the end of April. All applicants will be notified via email once the review process is complete.