Mental Health, Crisis Intervention

American Military Family (AMF)

aka AMF

Firestone, CO


American Military Family provides emergency financial assistance and mental health therapy intervention to combat veterans and their families who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or reintegration issues and thoughts of suicide.

Our Purpose: To inspire, empower and improve the quality of life for our combat veterans and their families.

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Debbie Quackenbush McElhinney

Board Member

Chris Walton

Main Address

PO Box 238 % Debbie Quackenbush McElhinney

Firestone, CO 80520 USA


veteran, military, family, PTSD, mental health therapy, emergency financial assistance





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Mental Health Disorders (F70)

Corporate Foundations (T21)

IRS Filing Requirement

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Programs + Results

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Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Combat Veterans Assistance Program

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Charting Impact

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What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

Very simple: STOP VETERAN SUICIDE...............

22 Veterans and 1 Active Duty Service Member PER DAY falls to suicide. The traumas of war have left devastating side effects, not only for the veterans, but for their families as well. Severe depression, suicidal thoughts, nightmares, marriage and anger issues, overmedication, financial and reintegration concerns are just a few of the pressures facing our veterans who have served on multiple and repeated deployments. Financial worries can throw a family over the top, producing a higher incidence of divorce and suicide. We hire licensed combat veteran therapists, all of whom have been in combat and understand the triggers that enrage their PTSD. We provide the Emergency Financial Assistance to eliminate one of the many stresses facing their daily lives, enabling them to focus on healing their mental wounds which are a catalyst to disabling them for moving into the their new normal as a civilian.

It's midnight and the phone rings. It is a number we do not recognize. We answer the call. There is a soldier on the other end. He sounds drunk, drugged and/or disoriented. He asks for emergency financial assistance to pay his rent or he and his family will be evicted. He has a three (3) day notice to pay his utility bill or the power will be shut off. His children need food or diapers, “do you have any gift cards". Their need is immediate and their situation is dire. “Can you assist?" We hear the urgency in their voice. We have had hundreds of similar phone calls. We take the time to listen to them. We have learned to distinguish the need between those who are in serious trouble and those who are looking for a handout. We ask them questions. How long have you served? Were you deployed? What was your job? How many tours? Have you been diagnosed by VA? What is your VA rating for disability with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and/or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? Do you headaches, sleep apnea? When was the last time you got 8 hours of sleep? Do you have anger issues, trouble finding a job? Are you currently employed? They want to talk. They are desperate to talk, but they are more desperate to be heard. We listen – We hear them. And we do something about it.

Veterans contact American Military Family when they have reached their breaking point. There is no food in the house. They are about to lose their home. Their marriages/relationships are broken and they are desperate. They pick up the phone and make the call and ask for funds to take the immediate pressure off, but their need is so much greater than money. They need hope. They need to know someone cares and someone listens. Money is merely the straw that breaks their back. The source of their problem is much bigger than money. They are trying to reintegrate into a society where less than ½ of 1% have served in the military. They are broken, lost and confused. Many are on the wait list for back pay from the VA. As they wait for their pay, their bills do not. We provide emergency financial assistance to take the urgent burden away, but that is where the real work begins. We “strongly" encourage them to participate in the AMF Combat Veterans Assistance Program for treatment of PTSD where we provide one on one therapy sessions with our Licensed COMBAT VETERAN Therapists. Our therapists have been to war, they have lived through war and they understand what these veterans, troops and families are going through. They too have experienced the traumas of war and reintegration into the civilian world. They understand the “triggers" that provoke PTSD and they teach these veterans how to deal with their triggers when they occur. Our therapists work with their families as they all serve and suffer in different ways. Our therapists travel to the veterans homes. We provide one on one therapy sessions in the comfort of their surroundings.

American Military Family has been providing services to our troops, veterans and their families for over 11+ years. We have established our relationships with the various military communities throughout Colorado. We have a team of very talented veterans who understand the traumas because they have lived through the traumas. No better way to serve the needs of our veterans than to have veterans serving other veterans!

Long Term Success:
Long term success is for the family to be a family - the family system is still together. This also means that the family system is healthy and able to communicate their particular needs, compromise in the issues that may affect the family and to show love and to care for each other. Lastly, to empower them thereby concluding that they will no longer need the services of our licensed combat veteran therapists.

Short Term Success
In early 2013, AMF received a grant in the amount of $37,750.00. We disbursed 100% of those funds to the AMF Mental Health Therapy Assistance Program. 32 Veterans and family members were served through this grant.
Prior to counseling services, 80% had thoughts of suicide. 98% had marriage/relationship issues. 100% had anger/coping issues. After services, 0% have thoughts of suicide, 96% are still married and 50% have anger/coping issues. There is still more time and work to be done, but this exhibits short term success.

"...If I had not had any mental health therapy, I would either be in jail or dead by now". AMF Patient.

"....With the help of the counseling services that were provided to me, I am now able to communicate with my spouse"
AMF Patient.

With the growing number of returning troops, there is a huge need for these services. How do you monitor progress?
As the first twelve sessions come to a close, the time intervals between sessions are greatly increased; two three weeks....four weeks....two months.....six months. This will ensure that the family is able to adapt to the therapists absence. The family is given time to learn the skills that have been taught to them. The follow up process is a means to check on the family system and if the skills that have been taught have been implemented and solidified into their everyday life.

What is the best example of program success? ? Is The Family Still Together??? If the family unit is healthy and able to communicate their needs, compromise in issues that affect the family and show love and compassion for each other.

We have accomplished as much as funds will allow. Our requests for urgent assistance are so high that are funds are spent as soon as they arrive. If we had enough funding, we could better serve more veterans struggling with thoughts of suicide.

External Reviews


American Military Family (AMF)

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

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Board Leadership Practices

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SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?