Manataka® American Indian Council



Proudly Presents



Warrior Society





Northeast Veteran Training and Rehabilitation Center


Veteran Homestead


Focusing On Amputees, Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD, and Burn Patients Veteran Homestead



It is with great pride that the Veteran Homestead Inc. announces the opening of the Northeast Veteran Training and Rehabilitation Center in Gardner Massachusetts.  This new facility offers no cost housing, therapy (physical, occupational and emotional) and education to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who have received traumatic injuries.


These services are not limited to the veteran alone but also to his or her family.  This is the only facility of its kind that simultaneously addresses the health, economic and education issues that are responsible for the breakup of so many military families.  With the divorce rate among returning veterans at 84% this facility will provide the services necessary to keep families together and provide hope for the futures of these returning heroes and their families. 


 In an effort to ensure that the Native American population is aware of these services we would like to invite any veteran or their representative to tour the facility so we can explain the range of services we provide.  More information can be found on our web site or by calling our main office at (978) 353-0234.  As someone with Native American heritage and a member of the Yakima Warrior Society, our director, Leslie Lightfoot, feels a unique bond with the needs of all Native Americans.


Hope for the future is what the Northeast Veteran Training Rehabilitation Center (NVTRC) is all about. The loss of a limb, a disfiguring burn, a traumatic brain injury, or an emotional scar due to post-traumatic stress are all life changing events that affect both the Veteran and his or her family. The idea of not being a whole person or having your loved ones perceive you as someone seemingly much different than whom you were can leave emotional and psychological scars that dwarf the physical. Our focus will be on education, physical, occupational, and emotional therapy with an emphasis on family counseling along with the life and recreational skills that are so often taken for granted. The NVTRC will address all of rehabilitation and community reintegration, restoring the whole person to a life in which he or she can live and interact with friends and family in a healthier and more functional manner. Some of the highlights of the


NVTRC program are:

The NVTRC will be situated on ten to twelve acres of land donated by Mount Wachusett Community College in Gardner, Massachusetts. There will be a golf simulator, an indoor swimming pool, jogging track, weight/exercise room, gymnasium, trout pond, and a variety of other amenities designed to prepare the residents for a life in which his or her disability will be less of a burden. These services would be both difficult and expensive to provide if not for our partnership with the College. All of these facilities are in place at MWCC and their departments of physical therapy and human services will be invaluable in providing the therapists necessary for the project. Heywood Hospital, located directly across the street from the proposed facility, departments of physical, occupational, and speech therapy in addition to the hospital's wide range of general health services will also be available to the program. The Center will have a main building with a mock-up apartment for therapy, several therapy pools, and a small business office. The clients will be housed in separate condo units located on the NVTRC grounds. These condo units will be approximately 1000 sq ft with two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen, and living room. This living arrangement will allow the clients to practice their daily living skills and provide privacy for both the Veteran and his or her family.

The Veteran is a unique type of client. These men and women have been trained to overcome adversity, to trust their leaders as well as the men and women who fight beside them. Their warrior mentality, confidence, and dedication will be powerful weapons against the depression, anxiety, and emotional turmoil that will be their constant enemy. The success that will follow will be a victory for all, as each Veteran takes pride in their accomplishments.

When you review Veteran Homestead's experience and history of success in serving the Veteran community, the excellent educational opportunities available at Mount Wachusett Community College, and the quality health care accessible through Heywood Hospital, what you shall see is an outstanding facility serving our nation’s heroes that cannot be matched anywhere else in the country. We also strongly believe that this program can and should be duplicated in other states. Especially coming from a state that has lead the way in Veteran care, this is certainly a possibility that we are more than willing to promote. Through compassion, care, and achievement, we are putting the words “support our troops” into action and you can too!

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We are currently in the development stage of this project and will need approximately seven million dollars ($7,000,000.00) to complete it. The City of Gardner Department of Community Development and Planning has approved our site plan and the architects and engineers are heavy into building design and state and local permitting.


Contacts for Project Progress    
Leslie Lightfoot, CEO of Veteran Homestead Inc.      978 353-0234
Ray Fanelli, Director of Development      978 353-0234
Ron MacLachlan, Project Director of Operations      603 731-5841
Charles Roberts, Architect      413 259-1603
Scott Peoples, Engineer      978 464-7701
Ed Terceiro, VP Mount Wachusett Community College      978 630-9103
David Holmes, State Building Inspector      413 736-3628