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Joining forces to honor our veterans. 


Four organizations are joining forces to plan a leading edge Veterans Restorative Care Center (VRCC) for disabled veterans at the Hot Lake Springs Resort near La Grande, Oregon. The founding partners are Warrior Bonfire Program, National University of Natural Medicine, Hot Lake Springs Resort and Spa and DyneAquaculture.

The center aims to heal the bodies, minds and dreams of our veterans and their families with an integrated and personalized approach to restoration. This will be accomplished through a highly synergistic partnership of non-profit and for-profit organizations to be funded largely by private revenue streams.


Warrior Bonfire Program, based in Clinton, MS. The Warrior Bonfire Program was founded by Dan Fordice III to provide opportunities that improve the lives of warriors wounded in combat. The focus is on creating activity based programs in a safe, secure and stress free environment with other warriors who have similar experiences, and to promote camaraderie and therapeutic treatment on their journey to recovery and healing.

The Veterans Restorative Care Center will be owned and operated by the Warrior Bonfire Program. Mike Chesne, Vice President, spent 25 years in the military and is a wounded warrior himself.

The Warrior Bonfire Program is extremely excited to be involved with this project at Hot Lake Springs and the outstanding team that has been assembled. The Veterans Restorative Care Center will allow us all to help those who have given so much for our country.

Mike Foss

Warrior Bonfire Program, President


National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) based in Portland, OR is the oldest accredited naturopathic medical school in North America and a globally recognized leader in natural medicine education, training and research. NUNM’s programs focus on optimizing physical, mental and spiritual health, and treating disease in a patient-centered model of natural health care.

NUNM will provide the medical staff and services on site for the VRCC. David Schleich, Ph.D., serves as President of this non-profit health provider educational system.

We’re proud to participate in this unique opportunity to discover innovative solutions that will bring change, education and deep healing to the men and women of our armed forces who have contributed so much to protect the safety and security of the world we live in.

David Schleich, Ph.D

National University of Natural Medicine, President


Hot Lake Springs, in La Grande, OR is an iconic 100+ year old Inn and hot springs mineral spa.  Hot Lake Springs has been a place of rest and healing since the days of the Oregon Trail (and for 1,000 of years before that by Native Americans). This 100,000 square foot property with 44-rooms, dining facilities, and spa is located in the beautiful foothills of Eastern Oregon and has been privately owned by Lee and David Manuel for the past 13 years.

This historic and beautiful environment will be the location for the new Veterans Restorative Care Center.  Lee and David Manuel have caringly led efforts to restore this wonderful property and are central to its future.

The Manuel family considers the restoration project at Hot Lake Springs to have been a great privilege. We are thankful for the opportunity to have been a small part of its past, present, and future. 

David and Lee Manuel

Owners, Hot Lake Springs Resort


Dyne Aquaculture based in Dallas, TX is an aquaculture and hydroponic operations. DyneAquaculture’s operations on the center’s adjacent property will provide funds and career training for the VRCC. Recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) are the core technology of the DyneAquaculture system. They use global state-of-the-art technology for raising fish in land-based closed containment environments that are highly automated artificial ocean-like environments.

DyneAquaculture President and CEO (Lt. Col. US Army retired and disabled veteran)  is passionate about helping veterans.  Former Governor and Homeland Security Secretary, Tom Ridge, is a long-time acquaintance of Bickel, is on the Dyne Board of Advisors as is Gen. Wesley K. Clark (US Army, 4 Star general, former NATO Commander retired).


“My team and I look forward to collaborating with these tremendous organizations, Union County, and the state of Oregon to develop a place where we truly help improve the lives of many of our Veterans, their families, and local citizens.

John Bickel

DyneAquaculture President & CEO

The Veterans Restorative Care Center Team


Please join our efforts to help us reach our first milestone.  

All donations to support the VRCC are through the non-profit Warrior Bonfire Program.