Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Victory Forge Military Academy Gave Me My Son Back

Hello Colonel,

I wanted to write to thank you, and to give you an update on how my son, Clay Jackson, is doing.

The transformation in him since he attended your camp is phenonmenal. You can see if you read his application that some of the reasons we wanted him in the camp were his disrespect for authority, especially the authority of his parents, extremely poor grades, sassing, getting in trouble with friends and hanging out with the wrong crowd.

I'm VERY proud to say he has come around 180 degrees! He has 5 A's in school, ALL 100% or higher. He also has one B and one C, no D's or F's. That is up from 5 F's at the end of last year. We knew he is intelligent and can do it, but he just didn't care the last two years. He is no longer calling me stupid. He feels the need to work for whatever he gets. He doesn't like to take anything without working for it.

His birthday was September 11 and all he wanted were items from the website.

I told him I received the survey from Victory Forge and that you asked if he would be back. I told him I put no because he is too old. He said he would like to go back, but not in the same capacity! I guess he would much rather help than go through the camp!

Finally, his history teacher from last year goes to our church. She was sitting in front of us Sunday and I leaned up to tell her how well Clay is doing. After Clay walked away, she told me "parent to parent because she knows Clay would never actually tell us this", that he had come to her room last week to tell her how he was doing, and that he was beaming about it. He then told her his parents sent him to a camp this summer and that he was really glad we did because it really changed him. Wow. That's huge, when CLAY admits THAT. He really did enjoy all of it, except PIT.

I want to thank you for what you did for especially my son but also my entire family. It is so much more enjoyable to parent a child who listens and tries to get good grades.

You will likely see his little brother in the future!

Thanks again,
Tracey Jackson

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Victory Forge Military Academy Recieves Prestigious Award

Victory Forge Military Academy Receives 2009 Best of Port St. Lucie Award

U.S. Commerce Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement

WASHINGTON D.C., June 8, 2009 -- Victory Forge Military Academy has been selected for the 2009 Best of Port St. Lucie Award in the Schools category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA).

The USCA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USCA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2009 USCA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USCA and data provided by third parties.

About U.S. Commerce Association (USCA)

U.S. Commerce Association (USCA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USCA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.

The USCA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.

SOURCE: U.S. Commerce Association

U.S. Commerce Association

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Victory Forge Graduate heading to Iraq

Military Academy Graduate headed for Iraq

SPC. Tyran Ortiz a 2006 graduate of Victory Forge Military Academy in Port St Lucie is preparing to deploy to Iraq in October as part of The US Army Mission in Iraq. He serves as a Fire Support Specialist in the 3rd Infantry Division currently stationed at Ft. Benning Georgia. He is a hometown resident of Stuart and Port St Lucie Florida.

SPC. Ortiz enjoys being a soldier and describes America’s involvement as “crucial to stabilization of this part of the world”. Ty is looking forward to this combat deployment after having served a year in Korea as well.

Tyran recently was asked how the training he received at Victory Forge Military Academy helped him in his current job with the US Army, He said “ The academics, programmatics, and values that I received as a student at Victory Forge Military Academy has been a tremendous help to me as I serve my country”. He added, “the style of learning provided by Victory Forge helped me achieve a high ASVAB score as well as prepare me for the sometimes ominous experience of Army Boot Camp. I owe a lot of my achievements to the skills I acquired while attending Victory Forge Military Academy.”

This is an absolute honor for us hear at the Forge. We have many young men serving in our armed forces.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My Son The Alien

Hi Molly and Colonel Wierman!

Wow, it’s been 2 weeks since you sent my son back (or an alien can’t quite figure out if it’s him or not). I’ve been wanting to write every day to thank you and each day I hear, see, experience one more thing with Sammy that has to do with his camp experience! Everything you said happened! He came home a new young man and it was a life changing experience for him. He said he will never complain about his life again. Colonel he talks about you all the time, he has the highest respect for you. He’s told me your story, he told me about church on Sunday’s and how much he enjoyed the singing and what you had to say. “If things arent going your way, change what you are doing”. Everything you instilled in him are things I’ve been trying to teach him (of course coming from your mom isn’t always as effective). He’s had some fair male influences at school, but nothing like you. His teachers are much too liberal. This is just what we all needed. I still can’t get over it. He’s so proud to be sporting his high and tight (just like the colonel) for his first day of high school tomorrow. He shared with us that when he wants to date he needs to ask the parents first. Believe me everything stuck. We are even having bacon day once a week. I feel like I know some of the fellow campers, he tells so many stories about them.

He has so much self control now and respect. He has been able to walk away from confrontations with his siblings. He used to be a chronic complainer and I haven’t heard any complaining until yesterday and it was extremely minor.

I tried to prepare him for what camp was like and it still wasn’t enough, because he said the first few days was not what he expected, but he said he ended up really liking it and would like to go back next year. He said he wanted to go back to do some of the things that he didn’t get a chance to experience due to non-compliance of others. I told him he could be in the same boat next year. Have you ever thought about having a camp for returners? Even if it’s for a shorter period of time? Or over holiday break? Or maybe we can rent the colonel for a long weekend or 2? J I’m serious about some type of return. Sammy was a good kid I knew he had so much more in him – You’ve made this single mom of 4 children so happy and proud.

Sammy finally understands my situation and what I’ve been trying to show/tell him for a number of years.

Like I said before, I left the orientation and had a huge weight taken off me once I realized the colonel really had the boys best interest at heart. It was so great to know that he understands what us mothers go through and how hard it is leaving our boys in someone else’s hands. My friends and family were surprised at how well I handled my 3 weeks.

Once again, I can’t thank you and your staff enough. It’s almost hard to believe how happy my son is. Totally different outlook on life.

Let me know about any additional camps!!

Prayers for you and your family tonight!

Jodie Sullivan

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Victory Forge Saved My Son's Life

To whom it may concern, I have read about the recent trouble VictoryForge Military Academy has had regarding abuse allegations and have heard how a few of your law enforcement and family services agencies have handled it. Well, I have a few things to say to all of you. First off, I am a middle class mother of three children. I am well educated and I am a medical professional. I love my children and want what is bestfor them like any other well intended parent. My eldest son became quite the problem child when he hit the ever loved teen years. We tried therapists, psych hospitals, grounding, taking his favorite items but most of all we tried love, support and encouragement.He eventually became out of control. He beat his younger siblings, so much so that their school wanted to call social services saying I was allowing this to happen. I kept the younger children with me as much ashumanly possible, even in the bathroom! He was suspended from school four times in 8th grade and three times in 9th grade before the first semester was out. From fighting to disrespect to school staff and then finally drug possession. He punched holes in all the walls of my home, painted on the walls, swore at me and the younger kids, physically fought with his father, lied constantly and was a master at manipulation. We tried everything we could think of for 2 and a half years. I was afraid my little boy was going to end up in jail or worse yet, dead.

I found Victory Forge on the Internet. The thought of it scared me, but I flew down to check it out. Molly, who runs the office was open and honest and let me know this was not just a summer camp. It was hard and they were tuff on the boys, but they had alot of success at turning around troubled youth. I will be honest, what I saw was hard to watch. Young boys being made to exercise, being yelled at basically like something out of a military movie, but with young boys. I was uneasy after all I love my son and didn't want anyone treating him that way. Then the woman who ran the office told me to go to the police station and look at the public record and I did. I went through piles of paperwork, abuse charges and runaway files. I spoke to several officers who were involved in calls at Victory. All of the charges were found to be false.I drove around and spoke to local people in stores, I did all the research I could on the Internet and finally decided Victory was my last hope. I put my son there and he stayed for a year and a half. It was the worse time in my life. I did not agree with everything that happened there, but I thought it was much better than how he would be treated in jail. There were many times I wanted to pull him out, but the staff would talk to me and I would realize they were right, he wasn't where he needed to be to be successful. So Ikept my faith in them. Now can you tell me why the staff would try and keep him when they already had my money and they would lose nothing? They are in it to change these boys and help the families. Maybe everyone doesn't agree with the way they go about doing that, but I don't see anyone else doing much to help families with boys like I had. Maybe there wouldn't be so many school shootings and jails overflowing if their parents would have gone to the extreme. Anyway, they were hard on my son, very hard.I missed Christmas, birthdays and part of his youth. But in the end it as his decision to act the way he was. He has been home two years now, he has told me many stories of extreme exercise, cleaning things, being held down (the times he threw punches at the staff) eating some "gross food" (all of which was high protein healthy food) but he also tells stories of being proud of his accomplishments, times when the staff would take him aside and have heart to heart talks trying to build him up. But most of all he learned that life is hard work and everyone in the world will not treat him like mom and dad. He learned consequences for his actions and respect for himself,family and authority. He told me he was taken to the doctor when he was sick and allowed to stay in bed and rest when he had a headache. He said they took good care of him when he was ill. Since he has been home,he has held a job, stayed out of troubled, is a functioning part of this family and is graduating with honors next month. His principal has called me several times stating he is amazed at the difference in my son, his teachers love him and he has alot of friends now. I would challenge any of you who do not agree with the way things are done at Victory to walk a mile in the shoes of parents who are at the end of their rope. You need to remember something very important,these boys are not sent to Victory Forge because they are boy scouts, they are kids who have chosen the wrong path and I for one was willing to risk anything to put my son back on the right path, Victory did that for me. The tactics they use may be extreme, but hardly call it abuse. It is tuff love and I bet if some of the inmates in various prisons would have had that, their lives could have turned out differently. My son has thanked me several times for having enough strength to send him there, yes he thanked me! He knows he would have been in jail if I allowed him to stay on the path that he was on. So abuse? Guess that depends on how you define it. But if putting my son there is called abuse, then so be it,the end result is amazing. My son went there a troubled youth in constant trouble, and came home a respectful and centered young man. So to Victory Forge, I say THANK YOU! Respectfully yours, Jamin Ross

Monday, February 9, 2009

Some former Cadets statements about Victory Forge

Dear col. weierman, My name is Josh cardona, or as you may or may not remember me staff sergeant cardona. I recently was recently looking for victory forges website to show my girl friend what I had done when I was younger , and to show her something that was a big part of my life. While I was looking for the website I noticed you had a new case against the bootcamp and quite a few complaints about what you do there. Believe it or not I was really frustrated by all the negative comments and press you were receiving. Even though I had my own issues after the program I cant even begin to describe what positive impacts it made in my life later on, I most definetly could say it made me the man I am today. I never expected the program to have the effects on me it did, but I am definetly a 100% better person due to it. In short I just wanted to write you and let you know if there's anything I could do to help you with your problems, if you still have them that is. Feel free to email me and let me know. I think it would be a real shame for your program to get shut down, completed successfully it can be one of the most helpful things a young man could have in his life and I think it would be really sad that no one else could experience the knowledge and growth i was given just because a few people get the wrong impression and get offended when they find out your program doesn't consist of trying to give the kids motherly love of bed time story's and fairy tales until they change. sincerely, Joshua A. Cardona

Monday, December 29, 2008

Victory Forge changes lives

Due to lies and misstatements by other bloggers and their refusal to post any statements that support VF we have setup this blog to allow parents and youth the opportunity to be heard. Watch this page in the future, I am sure you will be surprised at the numbers of lives that have been changed for the better by this program.
Colonel Weierman