Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
Warfighter Gardens is a 501c3 that focuses on using alternative self-therapy methods for treating PTSD specifically Individual Faith, Gardening, Agriculture, and Music therapies and more. We service Veterans, Law enforcement, First Responders, and their families. We are veteran founded and run.
WARFIGHTER GARDENS IS STAFFED 100% BY VOLUNTEERS. NO ONE TAKES A PAY CHECK.
Our mission is to provide:
1. Therapy gardens at no cost to Veterans, first responders, and their families.
2. Exposure to multiple different alternative modalities in self-therapy.
Hello Meet SSG Mike Nelson (Assassin 1-7)
Mike entered the US Army in May of 1988 after graduating from East Noble HS in Kendallville Indiana. He was avid in Baseball and wrestling and was excited to join the military. Mike entered the Army with an Airborne / unassigned Ranger contract. Mike went to basic training at Ft Benning GA and was part of a 4/36 located at Harmony Church. Upon Graduation he entered airborne school and was assigned to Delta co. Mike was injured but made it through the last 3 jumps. When R.I.P. began is when his injury was noticed and away to Ft Bragg he went. Mike did his time in 2nd Brigade Bco 325 AIR. He deployed to Central America in support of operations in Honduras in 1989. He graduated Anti Armor School and became a Dragon gunner/ M60 machine gunner. Mike joined the Indiana Army National Guard in 1997 and was assigned to C co 1/293rd. While there He completed and graduated PLDC, BNOC, Risk assessment Courses. Also went to Vermont and attended Mountain Warfare school summer phase with C co 1/293rd. While there He was a Machine Gunner, Fire Team Leader, Squad Leader, Combat Life Saver, Pre Basic Cadre. Shortly after 9/11 Mike was chosen to stand guard at one of Indiana's major airports as part of Majestic Cardinal. Once that mission was completed the Battalion was deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. It quickly turned into Operation Iraqi Freedom and the 293rd Battalion went north into Iraq. Upon returning home He transferred to Fox Company 293rd LAT (light anti-tank) and took a position as a Platoon Sgt. He exited the Army in Feb 2006. He is married with 5 children.
Army SGT Tim “TJ” Johannsen was on his second deployment when he was left a double amputee after an IED explosion in Iraq in June 2007. Shortly after a position rotation which left him as the driver of an HMMWV, SGT Johannsen’s vehicle rolled over a pressure plated IED that exploded through the floorboard, immediately amputating his right leg below the knee and his left leg above the knee. Quick reaction by the medic and medevac team saved TJ’s life as he was stabilized and transported to a local hospital before later being airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany and finally to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he remained for 2 ½ years while completing his physical rehabilitation. Sgt. Johannsen first visited the Vail Veterans Program in 2008, and moved to Colorado in 2010. SGT Johannsen enjoys spending time with his wife Jackie and his 2 sons Oliver and Sullivan. He loves outdoor activities including, golf, fishing, hunting and anything else that get him outside. He spends alot of time drawing, painting and reading as well.
Marine Lance Corporal Kade Hinkhouse was in Ramadi, Iraq in October 2005 patrolling on a late night mission, when the vehicle in which he was riding in was hit by a dual stacked improvised explosive device (IED). The vehicle exploded, ejecting LCpl Hinkhouse and leaving him near death with injuries including a depressed skull fracture, collapsed lungs and a severe leg injury.
Airlifted to Landstuhl, Germany it was determined that his right leg required amputation and 45 percent of his skull needed to be removed in order to alleviate the swelling, and to allow his brain to heal. Upon returning to the United States, LCpl Hinkhouse spent several months at Bethesda Naval Medical Center before transferring to Walter Reed Army Medical Center where he spent more than a year and a half recovering from a cranial plastic surgery to repair his skull, and enduring countless hours of rehabilitation.
His household is all girls led by his wonderful wife Becky and daughters Zoe and Makena. In November 2019, Kade was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in his right ear, adenoid cystic carcinoma. 2020 has been full of surgeries, radiation and cancer scans. Hoping for a quiet holiday season - happy and healthy.
Meet Staff Sergeant Kyle James. He was born in Karlsruhe, Germany and into the military life as his father was in the Army. He enlisted into the Air Force in September 2008. He attended Basic Military Training (BMT) at Lackland AFB, TX and Technical Training at Hurlburt Field, FL. Upon completion of training, he was awarded the Air Force Specialty Code(AFSC) 1C431, Tactical Air Control Party(TACP) and stationed at Ft Carson, CO at the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron(ASOS) in 2009. Throughout his career, he also awarded the Joint Terminal Attack Controller(JTAC) certification and qualification, and served in additional operations management and instructor roles. During his first three and a half years at the 13th ASOS he deployed three times to both Afghanistan(2009-10/2012) and Iraq(2010-11) where he was directly engaged in combat operations aligning with multiple Army units and their Commanders providing vital airstrike control, surface-to-surface fires coordination and intelligence collection.
In 2013 Kyle’s daughter Ellie was diagnosed with a benign tumor which later in 2014 progressed and grew into a malignant(cancer) tumor. Throughout Ellie’s 20 month battle Kyle was able to step back from operations into a limited role and support his family until Ellie sadly passed away June 2015. This has had an expected lasting effect.
In 2018 after one more Active Duty deployment in 2017-18, Kyle transitioned from Active Duty and into the Air National Guard to become an F-16 Fighter Aircraft Integrated Avionics Technician to continue service, but in a part-time role. This allowed Kyle and his wife Rachel to move to Murfreesboro, TN to embark on a journey to honor their daughter Ellie.
This is where they launched Ivy Wild Foundation, with a mission to support families that have been affected by pediatric cancer by providing a lakeside gathering place and community. This is now their main mission.
Ron joined the U.S. Navy after graduating from CMVTI, Lewiston, Maine studying structural and civil engineering. Ron joined the Navy, following in his dad's footsteps who served in WWII in the Pacific on PT Boat 129. Ron was informed that the Navy no longer has PT Boats, just river assault craft severing in Vietnam in the Mekong Delta region. The River Assault Group was established in 1967, and the Navy was aggressively recruiting for that group. Ron explained why joining the Navy was to avoid Vietnam on land and not be at sea for months. The recruiter asked about Ron's background and suggested the Navy Seabees.
Ron went to the Great Lakes for basic training, then assigned to the 20th NCR, Gulfport, Miss. Navy Seabees typically build fortifications for the Marines and Navy bases, outposts and often see combat. Therefore, Seabees, especially Seabee Teams, have combat training. Ron was assigned to MCB 74, spending the next six months in combat and weapons training and construction under combat conditions. Ron deployed to Combat Base Rhodes, Quang Tri RVN in the Northern I Corp, supporting Marines at Dong Ha. The NVA was building for a major offense along the DMZ, and his battalion was ordered back to Danang. Ron and 200 Seabees received orders to remain at Combat Base Camp Rhodes as part of Detail Alpha to continue supporting the 3rd Marine Division defending against a major offensive by the NVA. The offensive was delayed by the Marines defending along the DMZ.
Ron, along with five other Seabees, was sent with the Tunnel Rats to Happy Valley (location unknown) to dam up a river, flooding tunnels above the dam, lowered the river below the dam, and exposed tunnels. Ron wisely declined the TR's offer to explore inside the tunnels. With the NVA build-up, Ron and Seabee Engineer Paul Petretti were sent to a desolate location to quickly position and install a foul weather radar unit before monsoon season and without the Vietcong's knowledge. The radar was necessary to provide continuous supplies flown into the Marines defending the DMZ during foul weather. Well stationed at various LZ's and firebases, Ron and his fellow Seabees were assigned perimeter patrol, ammo resupply during combat, and other necessary tasks should their bases be attacked.
In August of 1969, Camp Rhodes came under heavy fire when four 22mm rocket makes a direct hit. Ron and approximate 50 Seabees' life were spared when a rocket hit 50 feet away landed in a deep bog. Rockets attacks and small arms fire continued over the next four months. Booby traps and land mines continued throughout their deployment.
Navy Seabees Teams are combat-trained thirteen men teams to support the war effort in many ways. Ron's combat experience gained on assignment with Detail Alpha in the Northern I Corps. He was assigned to Seabee Team, returning to RVN after six months of weapons, combat, escape, and evasion training before redeploying. Seabee Team 7405 and 7406 were assigned to Civic Action Teams living in a supposed friendly small Vietnamese village at the South Vietnam government's request to defend if necessary and improve the villagers' lives. Orders were changed as part of President Nixon's troop withdrawal program in 1970 and reassigned to Micronesia, Turk Island, a Trust Territory of the United States.
During Ron's services with MCB 74, Detail Alpha, and Seabee Team, they received several military ribbons other than the typical armed services ribbon all service personnel receive. He and his fellow Seabees receive the Navy E for Excellence, Combat Action, Navy Commendations & Meritorious Service, RVN Gallantry Cross, Army, Marine, & Air Force Commendation, and others.
Ron was discharged in June 1971 and considered reenlisting if he could not find a good job to support his wife and two infant children. Reenlistment bonus, pay grade promotion, and knowing he would be going back to Vietnam had to be considered. Ron married his high school sweetheart in August 1967, has three adult children, six grandchildren. Ron's younger brother served in the Army from 1978 to 1982. Ron returned to college with a degree in business communication. Ron worked fifteen years before starting a small consultant engineering company over twenty-five yrs, retiring in 2014.
Brian Walker was born just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1979. He moved to McCalla, Alabama in 1993. Brian graduated from McAdory High School in 1998. In 2003, he joined the United States Air Force. Brian has been stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico and with the 164th AW in Memphis, Tennessee. With a deployment and numerous TDY’s, Brian earned his eligibility in the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 2009 with a Operation Enduring Freedom deployment 2009-2010. Brian was discharged from the Air Force in December of 2015. During his time in service, Brian earned 33 medals, ribbons and attachments. He was the 2008 Airman of the Year for the 164th Air Wing. In 2011, Brian was the Unit Career Advisor of the Year for the Southeastern United States. In that same time, Brian was bestowed the title of Colonel Aide de Camp by Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam. Brian is a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Brian was a 4 time All-State Post Commander and a 3 time All-American Post Commander with Post 1965 and Post 5066. On June 27, 2020 Brian was elected as the State Sr. Vice Commander of Tennessee. Brian is currently campaigning to become the State Commander for the State of Tennessee Veterans of Foreign Wars. Brian currently resides in Cordova, Tennessee were he is a student at the University of Memphis. He is is married to Elizabeth and they have two sons Austin and Noah.