Veteran’s Healing Farm Seeks New Home - TribPapers

Veteran’s Healing Farm Seeks New Home

Megan Landreth and Alan Yeck offer healing programs for vets. Photo by Christine Robinson.

Asheville – The Veterans Healing Farm (VHF) in Henderson County is a very special place where veterans and their families can go for camaraderie and healing—whether it be from separation from the military, PTSD and other mental health issues, dealing with a family member who is experiencing these problems, or the very worst, the loss of a loved one.

The farm has been in its current location for 11 years and has helped thousands of veterans and their families, but they will lose their land lease in August 2024. While this seems like a setback, Executive Director Alan Yeck and Director of Operations Megan Landreth agreed that VHF has actually outgrown the farm. They have big plans for the future of the Veterans Healing Farm, but first they need to find a parcel to purchase where they can create their “forever home.”

Yeck said, “Normally a capital fundraising project is a minimum of three years, but we’re doing it commando style, and I know we’re going to be successful because there are so many great people out there.” In fact, since Yeck took over as executive director three years ago, the number of volunteers has doubled each year, with around 300 volunteers today. To continue to carry out the good work they are doing, VHF is asking for help from the community, businesses, and anyone else who wishes.

Veteran’s Healing Farm Mission

Yeck, Marine Corps and Foreign Service, and Landreth, Air Force, understand the problems today’s veterans face, the top issues being self-isolation and veteran suicide. Their VHF mission is to “enhance the mental, emotional, and physical well-being of our nation’s veterans and their families.” They want to stop veteran suicide, now about 40 per day, according to Yeck.

Helping Military Families

Including military families is a huge point. There are a lot of programs for veterans, but they don’t include their families. Both sacrifice so much and have to bear the brunt of what their loved ones bring home. Landreth said, “Everyone has a different healing journey; it could be PTSD, depression, social anxiety, and females in the military have other traumas. We provide different programs for them to try out, and it is all free, so family members, caregivers, and volunteers can all come do any of the workshops for free.” One of the important new programs is to train people in suicide prevention. Sixty-nine people have now been trained.

A Family Member Speaks about VHF

Anne Adkins is a volunteer at VHF and a Gold Star Mom, meaning she lost her son in active duty. He was 24. Matthew enlisted in the army after 9/11. Through her son, she learned that the military is a family. In fact, the guys in Matthew’s unit called Anne and her husband mom and dad.

After their son died, Anne quit her job to work with veterans and worked for many charities. She knew she had to, so when they moved here, she went to the VHF. “What Alan has done there is exceptional,” exclaimed Anne. “I mean, oh my God, the seminars and classes they offer. I haven’t seen a charity that has put so much effort and work into what has been done out there.” One of the most poignant things Anne shared, a thing that helped her to heal, was when she talked about seeing the vets working the soil: “I see them out there working the farm, and they look like they are being so healed, and I think, ‘they have held death in their hands, their friends, and now they are bringing something back to life.’”

The Dream

Yeck and Landreth have a dream to make what they are doing a pilot program that can be done across the country. But they need help to do that. Their initial goal is to raise $600,000 to buy land, but the ultimate goal is to raise $5.5 million to build structures and create an endowment, guaranteeing that vets and their people will always have a place to go.

If you would like to help with fundraising or volunteer in any way, or if you know a veteran that needs help, you can start a fundraiser on your Facebook page, talk to friends, or go to to see how you can help. Detailed videos with Alan and Megan can be seen on the Tribune Papers Facebook page at, or just search for Tribune Papers on Facebook.