Nature Retreat Committee

Valerie Ainsworth

Executive Director

Valerie Ainsworth is a seasoned mental health care professional with a robust background in trauma, PTSD, and services tailored for veterans and military personnel. An alumna of Adelphi University, she holds a Master of Social Work (MSW) and is a licensed clinical social worker. Valerie’s private practice specifically addresses PTSD and veterans, reflecting not only … Read More

Jason Redmond

Deputy Director

Jason is a U.S. Marine with distinguished service from 1997 to 2002, participating in missions in Kosovo and various African regions. Jason was a long time Case Manager for HBA and now serves as Deputy Director. In addition, Jason is a New York State Licensed Guide with Homeward Bound Adirondacks. In the past, he held … Read More

Shane Holmes

Event & Education Coordinator

Shane Holmes is a U.S. Marine Corps and New York Army National Guard veteran who served a combat tour in Iraq (2004-2005). Shane is a Licensed NY State Outdoor Guide, Certified Interpretive Guide, and Certified Nature & Forest Therapy Guide. Shane specializes in offering veterans experiences that harness the therapeutic power of nature. “As a … Read More

James Hernandez Sr

Logistics Coordinator

James is deeply committed to supporting wounded veterans. As a retired U.S. Army service member, he has served in Bosnia-Herzegovina, undertaken combat tours in Iraq, and extended his service to Cuba (GTMO). With his vast military experience, James is adept at addressing the logistical needs of Homeward Bound Adirondacks with dedication and expertise. He remains … Read More

Greg Furlong

Retreat Facilitator

Greg served in the NYARNG from 1969 to 1974, and has since channeled his passion for veterans into various pivotal roles. He is a board member of Homeward Bound Adirondacks and plays an instrumental role as a member of the Homeward Bound Adirondacks Retreat Committee. In addition to his dedication to Homeward Bound Adirondacks, Greg … Read More

Dr. Gus Kappler (MD)

Retreat Facilitator

Dr. Kappler served with distinction as a trauma surgeon for the Army at the 85th Evacuation Hospital in Phu Bai, Vietnam, during 1970-1971. For more than fifty years, he has been a staunch advocate for veterans. Dr. Kappler has conducted extensive research into the underlying causes of PTSD, substance abuse, and suicide, and has put … Read More

Kristian Hofeller

Peer-to-Peer Advocate

Kris is a U.S. Army combat veteran who served honorably from 1987 to 2013, undertaking multiple deployments. Currently, he holds the position of Veterans Peer-to-Peer Advocate for the Joseph P. Dwyer Program in Schoharie County. Kris is certified in Basic Life Support (BLS) and proudly identifies as a JEDI Knight. His expertise lies in providing … Read More

Debbie Couture

Mental Health Professional

Debbie possesses over 25 years of experience in the mental health sector and holds a master’s degree in mental health counseling. She has dedicated approximately five years as a volunteer for Homeward Bound Adirondacks, driven by her personal connection to veterans within her family. A lifelong horse enthusiast, Debbie deeply appreciates the therapeutic potential of … Read More

Mary Ellen LaDue

Mental Health Professional

Mary Ellen has over 25 years experience in community mental health with a focus on Crisis Prevention and De-escalation as well as Suicide Prevention and Education. In addition has extensive experience working with individuals who struggle with dual diagnoses; alcohol and substance abuse. “As someone who has been personally touched with loss to suicide, three … Read More