Russell Tadych was 17 years old when he entered the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD in
1963. He was on active duty during the Vietnam War, serving on two nuclear submarines.
He considers it an honor to serve on the board of Valor Retreat and help returning combat veterans
reconnect with their families and heal from the ravages of war.
“When I applied to the Naval Academy at 17, I did not have a good understanding of the military or the
academy,” Tadych, a Mentor resident, recalls. “I chose the academy because it had high standards and
an excellent academic reputation. A desire to serve our country developed during my years at USNA.”
“I am very proud to have served our country in the manner in which I did,” he says. “I salute veterans
who have served. To those who are currently serving, both officers and enlisted, I would say thank you
for serving at a time when society and the world are less tolerant. Your service makes a difference in
protecting our freedom.”
Tadych’s service on Valor Retreat speaks to his continued commitment to his brothers and sisters in
arms. “Veterans serve so that others may enjoy the freedoms our country offers. I can think of no more
noble mission than this. Those who are free owe a debt of gratitude to these individuals; their words
and actions ought to reflect the value they place on their freedom. They ought to honor those who
fought for it.
Valor Retreat is a 501C3 nonprofit organization building cabins in Hocking Hills, Ohio. The mission of this
charity is to provide a complementary vacation for those who have given so much by providing a
tranquil respite for combat veterans and their families. The organization hopes to eventually build a full-
equipped, handicap-accessible lodge where special programs will be made available through the
Department of Veterans Affairs. When requested, they will be able to receive free, one-on-one
counseling, family counseling, PTSD therapy, art and music therapies, and other evidence=based
The Valor Retreat Board of Directors is comprised of retired U.S. military veterans from several branches
of the Armed Services as well as men and women residing in Northeast Ohio who are passionate about
giving back to combat veterans.
“I joined the Valor Board because I felt it was an excellent way to give back to those who have endured
so much more than I did,” Tadych says. “I was never injured. I never saw the enemy. I never served in a
combat zone. Others have done all this and more. Those who have sacrificed so much deserve every
assistance that can be provided to make their transition back into society as smooth as possible.
Transitioning from the combat zone into civilian life is stressful. The sad reality is that every day, 22
veterans surrender to these stresses by taking their own lives. They fought for us. Now, it is our turn to
fight for them.”
Tadych and his wife Joanne have been married for 51 years and have three children and two
To learn more about or make a donation to Valor Retreat, please visit valorretreat.org or call Valor
Retreat Board Member Barbara Titus at 216.410.8993.