National Veterans Foundation

National Veterans Foundation

Our Mission:

  • To Serve the crisis management, information and referral needs of all U.S. Veterans and their families through: Management and operation of the nation’s only toll-free helpline for all veterans and their families.
  • Public awareness programs that shine a consistent spotlight on the needs of America’s veterans.
  • Outreach services that provide veterans and families in need with food, clothing, transportation, employment, and other essential resources.

The founder of the National Veterans Foundation, Floyd ‘Shad’ Meshad has been working with Veterans since 1970. Meshad was a Medical Service Officer during the Vietnam War, where he counseled soldiers in the field who were suffering from a multitude of psychological and emotional problems resulting from their experiences in combat, including what would later become known as ‘Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,’ or PTSD.

After the war, Shad continued to counsel Vietnam veterans through his work with the Veterans Administration in Los Angeles. He co-founded the VA’s ‘Vet Center’; program — 206 storefront facilities throughout the country, located away from VA Hospitals, where veterans walk in off the street to receive mental health counseling. He also authored a critically acclaimed book called “A Captain for Dark Mornings,” which chronicled his experiences both during the war, and after coming home.

Today, Meshad remains one of America’s most sought after experts on Combat Stress, Trauma Therapy, and the readjustment issues confronting returning soldiers and their families.

In 1985, Shad founded The Vietnam Veterans Aid Foundation (VVAF), a non-profit, 501- c (3) human service organization. The mission of the VVAF was to help veterans and families in need with a variety of issues. Due to an overwhelming number of requests for help, the VVAF established a toll-free number in 1987 to help veterans and families in need more easily connect with the assistance they required. The VVAF was the only veteran’s outreach service offering nationwide benefits information, resource referral, and crisis counseling via a toll-free helpline. By 1992, VVAF had become a recognized resource for veterans of all wars who were struggling to access benefits, locate services, or overcome the emotional scars of war. As a result, in 1992, the VVAF formally changed its name to the National Veterans Foundation, a human service agency committed to serving the crisis and information needs of all veterans and their families.

Staffed by a team of veterans (from Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan) who are specially trained in the delivery of crisis information and referral services, as well as a team of licensed volunteer counselors to whom all crisis calls are routed, more than 275,000 veterans in need of medical treatment, substance abuse or PTSD Counseling, VA benefits advocacy, food, shelter, employment training, legal aid, or suicide intervention, have now been served by this unique, one-of-a-kind resource. Also, as a recognized leader within the community of organizations that specialize in providing human service programs to veterans and their families, NVF frequently plays a key role as advisor, partner, and collaborator.

Over the past two decades, this has included providing financial assistance, training, and donations of food, clothing, and other goods to other non-profits serving the specialized needs of veterans’ including New Directions (CA), The Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (NJ), LA County Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (CA), Desert Storm Justice Foundation (OK), Point Man of Northern California (CA), Veterans Coalition of the Hudson Valley (NY), Westside Stand Down (CA), Stamford Homeless Project (CT), US VETS (CA), and Swords to Plowshares (CA), among many others.

The NVF’s extraordinary record of service has not gone unnoticed. As one of the world’s most sought after experts in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the U.S. Government asked Shad Meshad to provide training to the counselors at Ground Zero after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The NVF continues to evolve. Shad, his team and the board of Directors are committed to continually seeking and developing the most effective means to help those who have served our country and their families. The NVF is open to all who seek emotional support and other assistance. thanks the NVF for all they do to help and support our Veterans.

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Veteran Homestead





Veteran Homestead, Inc. is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization based in Fitchburg, MA.   The organization was founded by CEO Leslie Lightfoot in 1993 in Leominster, MA.   It has since expanded into various facilities in New England and Puerto Rico.   Our mission is to provide medical, psychological, and spiritual care to Veterans who are diagnosed with a terminal illness, elderly, disabled, or otherwise in need.   We provide these services without regard to race, religion, or sexual orientation.   All of our programs are drug and alcohol free and every effort is made to help those seeking abstinence. 

Please take a moment and visit the Veteran Homestead webpage.Veteran Homestead  It is very impressive to see the work and progress that Leslie and her staff have accomplished.   You can get to Veteran’s Homestead by clicking on the American Flag graphic above or by clicking here:

Northeast Veteran Training Rehabilitation Center

Hope for the future is what the Northeast Veteran Training Rehabilitation Center (NVTRC) is all about. The loss of a limb, a disfiguring burn, a traumatic brain injury, or an emotional scar due to post-traumatic stress are all life changing events that affect both the Veteran and his or her family. The idea of not being a whole person or having your loved ones perceive you as someone much different than you were can leave emotional and psychological scars that dwarf the physical. Our focus will be on education, physical, occupational, and emotional therapy with an emphasis on family counseling along with the life and recreational skills that are so often taken for granted. The NVTRC will address rehabilitation and community reintegration, restoring the whole person to a life in which he or she can live and interact with friends and family in a healthier and more functional manner. Some of the highlights of the NVTRC program are:

  •  Tuition & fees at Mount Wachusett Community College  (MWCC) at no cost to the veteran or their spouse. (VA   benefits and scholarships will be used if available)
  • Physical, occupational, and massage therapy
  • Fitness center, and other MWCC facilities available to the Veteran and their family at no cost
  • Assistance with Child Care services
  • Focus on individual capabilities to maximize potential and aid in successful community reintegration
  • Recreational skill development through various sports, activities, and projects
  • Refinement of all daily living skills in order to achieve
  • Strengthen family bonds through individual & family therapy

The NVTRC is situated on ten acres donated by Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) in Gardner, Massachusetts. There is an indoor swimming pool, jogging track, weight/exercise room, gymnasium, trout pond, and a variety of other amenities designed to prepare the residents for a life in which his or her disability will be less of a burden. These services would be both difficult and expensive to provide if not for our partnership with the College. All of these facilities are in place at MWCC and their departments of physical therapy and human services will be invaluable in providing the therapists necessary for the project. The onsite Therapy Center has a therapy pool and spa, a Wii/exercise room, a PT/Massage therapy room, a common area and a small business office. The clients are housed in separate units located on the NVTRC grounds. These housing units are approximately 1200 sq ft with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a kitchen, and living/dining room and are fully handicapped accessible. This arrangement will allow the clients to practice their daily living skills and provide privacy for both the Veteran and his or her family.

The Veteran is a unique type of client. These men and women have been trained to overcome adversity, to trust their leaders as well as the men and women who fight beside them. Their warrior mentality, confidence, and dedication will be powerful weapons against the depression, anxiety, and emotional turmoil that will be their constant enemy. The success that will follow will be a victory for all, as each Veteran takes pride in their accomplishments.

When you review Veteran Homestead’s experience and history of success in serving the Veteran community, the excellent educational opportunities available at Mount Wachusett Community College, what you shall see is an outstanding facility serving our nation’s heroes that cannot be matched anywhere else in the country. We also strongly believe that this program can and should be duplicated in other states. Coming from a state that has lead the way in Veteran care, this is certainly a possibility that we are more than willing to promote. Through compassion, care, and achievement, we are putting the words “support our troops” into action.

Northeast Veteran Training Rehabilitation Center is just one of six locations!  See below

The Hero Homestead

The Hero Homestead – Leominster, MA

Armistice Homestead

Armistice Homestead – Leominster, MA

The Victory Farm - New Hampshire

The Victory Farm – New Hampshire






Hacienda de Veteranos - Caguas, Puerto Rico

Hacienda de Veteranos – Caguas, Puerto Rico






Veteran Hospice Homestead - Fitchburg, MA

Veteran Hospice Homestead – Fitchburg, MA

Veteran Homestead - Benefit Wines

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Strength At Home

Welcome to Strength at Home!

To veterans, service members, and military families: thank you for your valuable service to our country.

We know that there are many challenges in the transition from deployment to civilian life.  As a result, we are offering two programs designed to help service members, veterans, and military couples strengthen relationships, and reduce arguments and conflict with relationship partners and others. These programs are part of federally funded research projects.

12 Session Men’s Program:

The primary goals of this program are to help veterans and service members of any conflict era improve anger management skills and prevent arguments and conflict in intimate relationships.
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10 Session Couple’s Program:

The primary goals of this program are to help OEF/OIF military couples strengthen their relationship, increase feelings of closeness and happiness, and to prevent arguments and conflict.
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The Strength At Home programs are relationship strengthening programs for veterans, service members and their families who are struggling with conflict, anger, and readjustment after a deployment.  Our programs were collaboratively developed by internationally recognized mental health experts at the National Center for PTSD, Boston VA Healthcare System, Boston University, and other academic and clinical institutions serving military members and their families.  Our team leaders are experts in couple’s treatment, anger treatment, as well as trauma and recovery. 

Click any of the above links or here