WoW notes Words on Wednesdays of military supporter, Chris Fontana who co-wrote the book Warrior Police with Lt. Col (Ret.) Gordon Cucullu. Proceeds from the book were earmarked for The Valhalla Project and now Chris is hoping you’ll join in celebrating the start of her upcoming half century and contribute to Valhalla directly.
She is marking her 50th birthday very publicly via a Crowdrise campaign. The idea is to have the letters, cards, gifts and even good-hearted teasing that come with this birthday, delivered as funds to improve conditions for both the warrior and the critter participants of The Valhalla Project.
The needs at The Valhalla Project are immediate and ongoing given that it is a living place dedicated to healing with hands-on work in nature and with other people who understand, even without words. The request, however, is pretty modest given the significance of Chris’s birthday and the enormity of positive support the property and its people provide.
Military Success Network covered the early days of the release of Warrior Police and the tremendous opportunity that Valhalla offers. Updates on Valhalla were found both here on MilSuccessNet or directly from The Valhalla Project’s Facebook page.
Chris herself seemed quietly in the background. Yet, we have to assume incredible grit and tenacity as she passionately took on a massive mission on behalf of the people her words served.
First, there was the book which was researched in good part on the front lines. By August 2010, the author duo of retired Lt. Colonel and his collaborator-wife had already spent a 60-day embed in Regional Command East, primarily out of Gardez, Afghanistan, with the 95th MP Battalion (Task Force Sheriff).
From there the duo met deadlines set by St. Martin’s Press by living to write. Without a permanent home at that time in the USA, the couple submitted drafts and received manuscript edits for Warrior Police from various locations internationally and stateside.
“Ever since New Zealand, my wife, Chris, had been chewing away at an idea of establishing a work/retreat center for post 9/11 combat Soldiers,” says Gordon Cucullu. As Chris saw it, “They took care of us while we were downrange. We need to take care of them back here.”
In full agreement, together they worked to describe what they wanted. “Essentially, we would establish a non-profit dedicated to Soldier well-being on a large rural tract in a military-friendly, centrally located, four-season state,” adds Gordon.
Both writers were determined to create a work retreat setting for active duty warriors and veterans to heal in an atmosphere of respect and solidarity, much like the reward of the heroes who rose up to Valhalla in Norse mythology.
Modern day Valhallans bunk in at the Ozark Mountain retreat in Yellville, Arkansas. They can include National Guard and Reserve forces as well as some specially selected civilian war zone workers. Participant guests have usually undergone similar losses and stresses as Soldiers without even the basic safety net the military offers.
“The cold weather months are quickly approaching, so these special birthday donations will be used to replace the broken sliding glass doors in the bunk house and also to help buy feed for Valhalla’s flocks of chickens, ducks, and turkeys as well as the goats, sheep and the livestock protector dogs this winter!”
“No doubt the six guests arriving for a special permaculture event next month will appreciate not freezing their tails off at night,” says Chris.
To support Valhalla at the Crowdrise page
Or to apply read the Military Success Network guest post by Gordon Cucullu.
To support the Valhalla Project and read an excellent book, authored by the co-founders, roll with the Warrior Police.