When Women Veterans Return Home

VA offers many readjustment solutions

Letting go of your active duty lifestyle can be tough, especially after returning home. Are you wondering how you fit in with your family, friends and loved ones? Do you feel alone and isolated or that your relationships aren’t as close as they used to be? If so, VA offers a variety of services to help women Veterans readjust to life at home. Learn more.

1st Colorado VMFC Enrolled in 2019

This year began with Pastor CJ Counts enrolling Grace of the Lord Bible Fellowship in the VMFC program; Bob Curtis is the VMFC lay leader.

Sr. Pastor CJ Counts

During the enrollment, Pastor Counts stated “We desire to help vets in any way we can.” This comment precisely follows the mission of the church.

  • Follow Jesus
  • Reach The Lost
  • Raise Up Disciples
  • Send Out Leaders

“All that we do and say is oriented around these matters, as they are of the highest importance to us.”

Let’s welcome and pray for our newest VFMC.

Merry Christmas

Words cannot express the appreciation 
we have for your service to our country. 
You’re in our thoughts and prayers 
each and every day. 
Wishing you peace, love and joy throughout 
this holiday season. 
May God be with you and protect you always! 

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Happy Thanksgiving

On October 3, 1863, in the midst of the bloodiest war America has ever fought, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

All of us wish the men and women of our Armed Forces a Happy Thanksgiving.  We thank you for serving our country and we pray for your safety.  We also wish a Happy Thanksgiving to our military families – the most special group of all.

Only those who have experienced an airport or pier-side goodbye hug for a loved one leaving in uniform truly know what they endure.  Alone on this Thanksgiving, they bravely shoulder their families’ burdens because words like “duty” and “service” mean something to them.

Thank you and God Bless all of you this Thanksgiving.

VA takes key step to improve its website to provide Veterans an enhanced digital customer experience

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2018

WASHINGTON — This week the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) took a key step in its digital modernization effort by
revamping its website accessed by 10 million customers per month who use VA’s tools and content online.
To improve this experience VA’s Veterans Experience Office and VA Digital Service gathered feedback from more than 5,000 Veterans,
service members, their families, caregivers and survivors.  Continue reading “VA takes key step to improve its website to provide Veterans an enhanced digital customer experience”

Parenting for Service Members & Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is offering a new parenting course resource for Veterans and their families. This free online course provides parents with tools that strengthen parenting skills and helps them reconnect with their children. There are 6 modules within the course that focus on the following areas: [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] 

• Back into the family
• Promoting positive parent-child communication
• Helping your child with difficult emotions and behaviors
• Positive approach to discipline
• Managing stress and emotions as a parent
• Parenting with emotional and physical challenges

The courses are intended to:

• Helps parents deal with both everyday problems and family issues that are unique to the military lifestyle.
• Features stories from actual Veteran/military families, interactive activities, and practical parenting tips.
• Is anonymous and registration is not required. No personal information is ever requested or stored by the website
Please visit https://www.veterantraining.va.gov/parenting/ to get started.
Don’t have time to review the entire course?
• Quick links are available for each module of the course that allows you to review the information that is most relevant to you.
• A Parenting2Go mobile app is available to users of iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch).
• The app is free and can be downloaded here.  [/read]

Helping Hands program giving away shoes and school supplies to kids in need

As the time to head back to school approaches Rio Revolution Church in Maryville Tennessee is giving away free shoes and school supplies to thousands of kids in need; actual attendance was over 8,250 with 670 volunteers.  The Rio Revolution Church is a proud member of the Military Chaplains Association of America’s /Military Friendly Congregation and conducted their 14th annual “Helping Hands” program.

“One gentleman who is a grandfather, was leaving the group after I spoke and he turned around and he looked at me and said ‘if it wasn’t for this event these grandchildren would not have shoes because my daughter is in prison’,” said Pastor Pacer Hepperly Rio Revolution. “He said thank you so much for just doing this.” [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”]

“A minimum of $50 dollars a piece,” said Susan Spalding, who came with her eight children. “That’s $400, so, it’s a huge savings for us and a great help.”

Rio Revolution is also ministering to those who want to hear God’s word.

“We have our pastor and Nick to talk to them,”  said Charlie Ewing with the event.  “Talk to them about Jesus and give them an opportunity to accept Christ which to us is very exciting.  This is what we live for.  We want to minister to the kids of Blount County.  It is awesome.”

Not every congregation can support such a large program but every congregation can make a difference in our Veteran/Military communities.  Consider enrolling in the VMFC network.[/read]

Suicidal veterans lives with help from Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation and Veterans Court

Monroe County Veterans Court, Madisonville, Tennessee

A high risk suicidal justice involved veteran graduate gives thanks to God, Monroe County Veterans Court Judge Thomas, Helen Ross McNabb Military Services Center Clinical Therapist Tony Weaver, VA Knoxville Outpatient Clinic Debbie Cohan & Christy Cook, Vet to Vet Tennessee (VTVT) mentors and Pastor Chris Moore, First Baptist Church of Madisonville for saving his life.

Robert retired from the US Air Force after 20 years and 9 months of honorable service and is a past VFW Post Commander.  Robert entered the program on January 25, 2018 and needed much more than legal help.

[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] During Robert’s intake, VTVT realized that he needed immediate professional help.  Help that couldn’t wait.  Before finishing the intake, VTVT took Robert to see VA Suicide Prevention Coordinator Debbie Cohan.  One comment Robert repeated said was “I am tired of hurting.”

McNabb’s Clinical Therapist Tony Weaver summed up Robert’s status in a email  he sent to VTVT.

“I am very excited to inform you that R.B. has completed the goals of his treatment plan at Helen Ross McNabb Military Services.  Since admittance into this program the transformation R.B. has undergone has been incredibly awe-inspiring if not, nothing short of a miraculous turn around.  

During his intake, I heart-wrenchingly listened to R.B.’s words as they reflected absolute and utter hopelessness and dejection.  Hearing him talk, his future outlook was one of the bleakest I had ever heard.  His final words to me that day before slowly exiting my office captured the very essence of his mind as he reported, “I’m tired of hurting.  This is something nobody can fix; I’m stuck with it.”  R.B. added, “I don’t think this (treatment) will work . . . but I am willing to try.”  I am so very glad he tried. 

After much effort, time, and extremely painful processing, R.B. now reports that he has found “genuine happiness” and that, “Everything is so joyful.”  I attribute this dramatic transformation to his new-found faith in God, the patient yet persistent work of Veteran’s Affair’s therapist Christy Cook, and the work R.B. has completed in this program.  His travels have just begun down this new pathway but I am nonetheless, convinced his best days are yet ahead of him.”   

During the ceremony, Robert thanked everyone especially God for saving his life.  He said his life dramatically changed when he volunteered at VTVT’s Expungement Clinic hosted Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation First Baptist Church of Madisonville as he worked alongside of Pastor Moore.

God bless you Robert!  Thanks for the hard work and for living.

Click here to view more graduation photos.

VMFCs make a difference.  We encourage you to enroll in the Military Chaplains Association VMFC network.  Click here to enroll.[/read]

 

MCA’s Weekly Newsgram – July 11th 2018

Executive Director Notes

 

This week’s column focuses on the Veteran Military Friendly Congregation Ministry of the MCA (VMFC). This ministry we inherited nearly two years ago has shown some remarkable growth in the last two months, thanks to the great teamwork of CH Ron Skaggs, working with Everett Price of the Episcopal Church’s Brotherhood of St Andrew, Ed Junod, the President of Vet to Vet Tennessee and Jack Figel, the MCA Deputy Executive Director.

More congregations are stepping up to the plate to join in this effort, and you can go directly to their website, www.vmfc-usa.org, to see the current updates of who the new congregations are, which will also soon be available as a  link directly from the MCA website. [read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] 

I know of at least two congregations who would be great additions to this list, one in northern Virginia, and one in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and those are ones that immediately jump to mind. If you have any suggestions for congregations that would be a good fit, please contact Ron at 1stSgtSkaggs@gmail.com, Everett Price at evpricega@yahoo.com or Ed Junod at ejunod@tnvhc.org .

I will next be attending the joint annual meeting the end of this week of The Association of Professional Chaplains (APC) and The National Association of Catholic Chaplains (NACC) in Anaheim,. Representing MCA beside myself will be our President, Chaplain Mike Langston, and Chaplain Jan McCormack. I will report back next week on what is happening with the advanced certification for profession military chaplains, and some of what Jan, Mike and I have done on behalf of MCA while we are there.

Click here to view the entire newsgram.

Fr. Razz Waff, DMin, BCC

RazzW@aol.com

Cell: 847-269-9066

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