Restoration at Valor Ranch: Empowering our nation’s SHEROES

The dining room table is made from a 10’x4′ door, repurposed. It is surrounded by a mix of chairs, with a church pew along one side. (Photo by Kaleb Elledge)

By Joshua Campbell

Restoration. The word is loaded with meaning. We say we are restoring something when we take something broken and fix it, rehabilitate it or make it something new. People also can be restored. Keri Wilcox and Josh Graham of Valor Ranch are in the restoration business. Valor Ranch, a 9.2 acre ranch located in Wise County between Decatur and Boyd, is dedicated to the rehabilitation of female combat veterans. The organization’s mission statement defines its aim as “Passionately empowering our nation’s SHEROES ‘Women Veterans’ to write the rest of their story.”

The organization plans to provide a space for “Sheroes” to live for a year while they participate in activities designed to help these veterans transition into civilian life. Wilcox calls their approach “holistic” including counseling sessions alongside classes on things like budgeting and cooking.

The ranch will even provide equine therapy. The reasons for needing a place like Valor Ranch for SHEROES are varied and complicated. Wilcox explained female veterans “go to fight battles, but the war is when they come home.” Alongside the sheer mind-numbing atrocities of war, female veterans are often victims of military sexual trauma, or MST.

According to Wilcox, the statistic for MST among female veterans is one out of every four. While any veteran can struggle to find themselves after coming home from war, most existing programs tend to cater towards men. SHEROES tend to get overlooked.

To read more, pick up a copy of the September/October issue of LiveIt magazine.