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Man Turns Land into Place Where Fellow Veterans Can Heal

John Mahshie said he felt “alone and isolated” after leaving the Air Force in 2008, yet “sucked it up and pressed on.” He knew other veterans were struggling with their own issues but might not know how to reach out for help. So, in 2013 he decided to plant fruit trees, berry bushes, herbs, and flowers on nine acres of land he owned in Hendersonville, North Carolina. With that, the Veterans Healing Farm was born.

There are bunkhouses on the property for vets to stay in. Since some of the vets have been struggling with unemployment, depression, or homelessness, they can gather together amid the woodpeckers and the bees and "continue their military mission of service before self.”

Mahshie says,

In civilian life, relationships form and evolve at a different pace. Veterans feel the difference when they get out of the service. Here, veterans learn that they can trust other people and that they are valued. The acts of growing and harvesting help them form friendships with people who share the same mission. It's so gratifying to see these relationships form.

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