Holistic Healing and Resource Material
Veterans Families United is an all volunteer organization providing Resources for Veterans and Their Loved Ones. We have compiled links with service organizations, therapeutic avenues, pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical treatment possibilities, and funding sources for those in need.
Veterans’ Families United (VFU) was founded by 2006 Oklahoma Mother of the Year, Cynde Collins-Clark. Cynde’s son Joe, returned from active duty in Iraq with undiagnosed but severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In her quest for resources, psychotherapist Collins-Clark discovered that she needed significant education to find what would best serve her son’s painful recovery process. In order to educate herself, she had to become proactive and self-advocating since the resources she needed were not readily available. Collins-Clark also learned that many, if not all families of returning Veterans were in the same boat.
Vital and even life-saving resources were difficult to find. Returning vets with PTSD were ill prepared and sometimes incapable of advocating for themselves. Collins-Clark compassionately began to assemble a network of healing, educational and empowerment based tools for veterans and their families. This compilation is an ongoing project. Collins-Clark would like to create a community of support and service for a population that has supported and served America. She is diligently developing VFU while simultaneously taking care of her son.
VISION AND MISSION
We believe in the empowerment of Veterans and their loved ones in the healing process.
Veterans Families United will provide gentle, accessible and holistic healing resources for Veterans.
VETERANS FAMILIES UNITED GOALS
- VFU will provide referrals for therapies that serve veterans, their families and loved ones.
- VFU will offer regular retreats for veterans, their families and loved ones to provide opportunities to share experiences, integrate, grow, heal and form community.
- VFU will develop a web site with resources including articles, books, tools for healing, resources, networks, information of vital interest and service to veterans, their families and loved ones.
- VFU will cultivate a list of therapists willing to serve the community of veterans, their families and loved ones.
- VFU will offer workshops, seminars, presentations and programs of vital, healing interest to veterans, their families and their loved ones.
- VFU will sponsor ongoing groups so that veterans and all those affiliated with them are impacted by their suffering will have an opportunity to dialogue, connect, form community, recover and heal.
- VFU will provide holistic healing services, serving mind, body and spirit.
- VFU will document its outreach, the experiences of those served, and will make every effort to publicize this documentation so that many more will benefit.
- VFU will actively seek to generate improved health care services for veterans, their families and loved ones.
- VFU will promote an awareness of the true experience of veterans both in war and when they return to their homes and communities, thereby enhancing the deepest understanding of the magnitude of need for these populations.
OUR BOARD AND COUNCIL MEMBERS
Active Board Members
- Cynde Collins-Clark, LPC, NCC Executive Director and mother of OIF veteran, 2018 Elizabeth Dole Foundation Fellow for OK. https://hiddenheroes.org/story/cynde-collins-clark/
- Joe Collins, U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.) OIF Veteran
- James L. Clark, brother of Vietnam Veterans (Army and Navy) and stepdad of OIF veteran, retired educator
- Brigadier General Pete Costilow (Ret. Oklahoma Army National Guard) currently Commissioner at the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs
- Irene Costilow, 2009 Oklahoma Mother of the Year and wife of Vietnam Veteran
- Lt. Col. Brett Crawley – (USAR) OEF and OIF veteran
- Jennifer Crawley – Wife, OIF/OEF veteran (USAR)
- Beki Gibson – Granddaughter, sister and former wife of OIF/OEF veterans (Army and Marine) and project manager large industrial equipment company
- Stephanie Mines, Ph.D. – Founder, TARA Approach for the Resolution of Shock and Trauma and Neuro Psychologist
- Danielle Provence, Nurse Practitioner – Granddaughter of Korean War and WWII veterans and former spouse of an OEF/OIF Marine that served 3 tours.
- Paul Sullivan, Community member with a passion to serve veterans. Father-in-law, OEF veteran
- Tim Fannin – Founding VFU Board member since 2007 and VFU Advisory Member beginning 2013. USMC and Gulf War Veteran
- Shane McKinley – OIF Veteran (Army) and proud mother of 3 and wife of OIF veteran. Former VFU Board Member
- Elizabeth Nichols – Attorney
Past Board and Advisory Council Members
- Grayford H. Chesher, (deceased, 2010) Founding VFU Board Member faithfully serving from 2007-2010. Korean War Veteran, US Navy on the USS Brinkley Bass.
- Nelda Ferguson, Ph.D. – (deceased, 2011) Faithfully serving as Advisory Support 2007-2011. Psychologist and wife of WW 2 Veteran KIA.
- Connie Fox, Ph.D. – Licensed Professional Counselor and past president of Oklahoma Counseling Association (OCA) (Founding Board Member 2007-2020
- Sara Green, Founding VFU Board Member serving from 2007-2011, Counselor and mom of an OEF veteran, the late Robert Cody Green.
- Dorothy Hammert – Former OK Mother of the Year and wife of Korean War Veteran
- Walter Hammert – (deceased, Sept. 30, 2015) Founding VFU Board Member faithfully serving from 2007-2015. Korean War Veteran USAF.
- Jack McCallister, 1st Lt. USMC, Vietnam Veteran (Board Member 2008-2020)
- Merradyth McCallister, Wife, Vietnam Veteran and Holisitic Healing Advocate (Board Member 2012-2020)
- Christi Stringer – Former marketing Director, Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, relocated TX (Founding VFU Board Member 2007-2019)