Veterans Wellness and Healing Center, Angel Fire, NMex…and meeting with Richard Fluke…

by | Oct 9, 2012  Quotes from this website…

Veterans Retreat Center, Angel Fire, NMex


Is to establish an environment that is responsive to the needs of veterans and military families using creative therapies and processes that focus on emotional and physical healing.

Helping Veterans Come Home To
A Life Changing Experience

“The National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center (NVWHC), located in the beautiful alpine setting of Angel Fire, NM, had another successful year filled with healing and giving hope to veterans and their families. This year we held 8 week long retreats for veterans who suffer from PTSD and their significant loved one at no charge to the couple. 298 individuals joined us from around the country from New Mexico to North Carolina, and Connecticut. The retreats, built on the three components of traditional therapy, alternative therapy, and Native American healing practices, received much acclaim from the participants. On average, NVWHC retreat-goers experienced a 25% improvement of PTSD symptoms when comparing pre and post retreat.”


“Our innovative PTSD retreats offer traditional, alternative and Native American healing treatments.”



“It was truly a life changing experience and a great combination of therapy, body work, tears, laughter and pure joy in the end. Thank you all for making it possible. I am grateful and thankful to have been part of this”. — Veteran Participant, April 2011
My blog has often included information and references on “mind and body” alternative treatments to help combat veterans and other trauma victims heal from moral injury and PTSD.  I met with Richard Fluke today in Albuquerque, NMex, who is actively involved in the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center (NVWHC).  Richard is a Native American and Viet Nam veteran who has been challenged in his life, not only from early childhood as an American Indian, but also from serving in the US Navy on the USS Oklahoma City in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Viet Nam War.
Richard and I initially connected on Facebook not long before our planned road trip, which included Albuquerque as a point of interest on the way to Florida.  After reading Richard’s comments and thoughts on Facebook and my blog regarding PTSD alternative treatments, it seemed like a natural to set up quality time for a meeting while we visited Albuquerque.  We met at Starbucks near Old Town on October 7th.  Judy and I were immediately taken by Richard’s sincerity and knowledge, especially his active involvement in NVWHC as a post retreat group counselor.  Richard and I have much in common.  We both served in the US Navy during the Viet Nam era, and while Richard is clearly Native American from the Santa Ana Pueblo Tribe, my not so visible American Indian heritage comes from great grandmother Mattie Sparks who was half Lakota.   In addition, we both have struggled with trauma, moral injury, and PTSD.  And both of us have been on a journey of healing, meeting in a time and place not so coincidental, but as a spiritual gift.  I believe that human connectedness is the essence of spirituality.  The proof is in the rare opportunities to meet, connect, and engage with others who are on their own journey to find peace of mind, often later in life as we wisely sort out our life experiences and find ways to heal and make a difference for others.  Richard Fluke is my friend and colleague now in our mutual journey of healing.  Judy and I are looking forward to meeting Richard’s family when we return to Albuquerque in the not too distant future.  In the meantime, social media will keep us connected closely.  Judy and I are both very grateful for the opportunity to meet Richard Fluke, a very special and wise man with a mission of destiny.

Steve Sparks
Reconciliation: A Son’s Story




About the author

Steve Sparks is a retired information technology sales and marketing executive with over 35 years of industry experience, including a Bachelors’ in Management from St. Mary’s College. His creative outlet is as a non-fiction author, writing about his roots as a post-WWII US Navy military child growing up in the 1950s-1960s.
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