We empower veterans, active duty service members and their families to establish strong roots in their community.
The GRuB Veterans Program offers opportunities for veterans to transform their mission to one that cultivates life, while nourishing our families, our peers, and those in need.
Our Veteran Programming supports military veterans throughout their lifelong transition back into civilian life. We empower veterans, active duty service members, and their families to establish strong roots in the community through continued service, peer-to-peer support, and a deeper connection with the natural world. While transitioning to civilian life, veterans face a multitude of barriers. We strive to support military veterans throughout Washington state by connecting them with the GRuB community and our nationwide resource network. With projects supporting entrepreneurial endeavors in agriculture; beekeeping; volunteer gardening activities; and our monthly Veteran Council–a meeting space for Veterans to connect with other Veterans; we're empowering veterans, active duty service members and their families to establish strong roots in community through continued service, peer-to-peer support, and a deeper connection with the natural world.
Together, we are welcoming veterans home, growing good food and building community.
“Through my efforts in healing the land, I ended up healing parts of myself.” - Shepherd Project participant
“I loved the gardening classes (at the SRU) and never thought of myself as a gardener. Thank you for continuing to work with me as I get my business started.” - VA Farms / Shepherd Project participant
"This has been just such a positive and awesome experience and I am excited to help more. This was the 1st organization that connected us to the community after the military. GRuB led me to Evergreen [farming program] and this whole thing for agriculture." - 2018 Veteran Farmer
About GRuB's Veteran Program
GRuB offers a variety of activities and projects to build strong relationships and meaningful engagement between and within our local Veteran communities. Community takes on various forms for GRuB's Veteran Program. It is built on the concept that our work is an invitation to participate, learn, teach, and help bridge the divide between veterans and the community at large.
Read about some of our exciting projects below:
VA Farms Project
GRuB is dedicated to decreasing Veteran isolation and increasing community connection by engaging Veterans in peer-support activities and community based work. With funding from the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), and through our partnerships with local, state-wide, and national organizations serving veterans, this program helps provide hands-on experiences for Veterans at regional incubator/learning farms, while prioritizing the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of the farmer Veteran. We help offer a unique subset of training and resources available for Veterans, their families, and project partners; such as PTSD and suicide prevention workshops and peer-to-peer support training.
The Shepherd Project
GRuB’s Shepherd Project, funded through Boeing's “Our Heroes” project and in partnership with Washington Chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC-WA), seeks to actively engage and guide veterans seeking to transition into agriculture through direct mentoring, coaching, and connecting with resources and training. We aim to work closely with these beginning farmer veterans to help them navigate through the complexities of starting an agricultural enterprise. In working with our partners, such as Cultivating Success and Enterprise for Equity, we can help get beginning farmers the training and resources they need to make their agricultural dreams come true.
Healing Through Hives Project
Healing through Hives aims to support a new generation of Veteran beekeepers and Veteran-owned apiaries across Western Washington, in partnership with the Washington Beekeepers Association (WASBA), and the Washington Farmer Veteran Coalition (WA-FVC).
The Healing through Hives project supports Military Veterans to receive beekeeping training/support to achieve their beekeeping goals, whether as a hobby or a business. Through this project, we offer scholarships and other educational and networking opportunities and a chance to become a WASBA certified beekeeper from beginner to master levels. Hands-on, in-person opportunities to learn and connect with other Veterans and beekeepers are offered at our growing number of Community Apiaries in Western Washington. By 2025, we strive to provide mentorship for Veterans to support beginning beekeepers in meeting their agricultural enterprise goals by providing pathways, networks, and relationships. Sign up for upcoming beekeeping classes here.
Community integration begins with an introduction, a conversation and active listening. Healthy relationships and human connection are our number one priority. Each participant, from veteran to neighbor makes up one part of our community. GRuB has partnered with Veteran Rites to offer weekly virtual veteran-led Circles of Return sessions as an avenue for veterans and allies to connect, check-in, and gather to get to the heart of our shared experience with those that get it. . Visit Veteran Rites to sign-up and learn about their other opportunities.
Victory Farmers are an integral part of the Victory Garden Project, building gardens with low-income people and families in Thurston County, Washington. From 2014-2020 veterans helped build over 500 gardens in the community. These gardens are providing people with opportunities to increase their health and self-sufficiency by growing good food right in their own backyards.
On-Base Plant Teachings
Starting in 2022, GRuB began offering gardening and plant teaching workshops on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, at both the Madigan Army Medical Center’s Soldier Recovery Unit (SRU) as well as several on-base community gardens. GRuB adapted its plant teaching curriculum for the Veteran community to introduce transitioning and active-duty service members to the many benefits of growing food and connection with the land.
Click here for a curated list of available resources and opportunities local, state, and nation-wide for Veterans and beginning Veteran farmers and entrepreneurs.
If you have questions or would like to connect with GRuB’s Veteran Program to learn more about any of our projects, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are an organization that would like to discuss partnership or networking opportunities with GRuB’s Veteran Program, please reach out to email@example.com.
Special thank you to our partners!