When folks come back from war, it can seem that there aren’t many people that will understand the psychological impact of war and the process of reintegration. But Veterans have increasingly turned to clergy members of all beliefs to help sort out the complex issues of life, death, and faith.

VA stood up free workshops for clergy members in rural areas to learn about services and benefits so they, as leaders of the community, can help Veterans receive the help and care they need. It’s an effective model that has seen some success.

From the Associated Press:

A quarter of Americans in need of mental-health services will seek help first from a minister, said Chaplain Jeni Cook, associate director of the VA’s National Chaplain Center. That may be especially true of military service members fearing a stigma or a career setback if they are known to be going to a psychiatrist.

“You’re the people out there who first see them when they’re hurting and looking for help,” Cook told about 100 area clergy members at a daylong conference at General Butler State Park in Carrollton this spring that was geared toward helping veterans in their communities.

With the flood of information out there on Veterans benefits and resources, it’s important for local leaders to cut through the noise and help out Vets one-on-one. Check out this page for more information on dates and locations if you’d like to get involved.

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Published on Jul. 10, 2012

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11 Comments

  1. Ray Carter July 16, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    This is a good thing for Veterans. In the article the writer uses the term ‘stood up.’ I’ve been involved in ‘stand downs’ with the VA several times. I cannot find a definition for stood up other than the common one of ‘not being met as expected’, as in ‘my date stood me up.’

    Can you direct me to an accepted English interpretation of this term?

    Thank you
    Ray

  2. Vincent Clarke July 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I agree that individual community members should make an effort to connect with and provide services for struggling veterans, and this is something I want to work more on. It can be easy to assume that there are so many services in place that you can’t contribute anything else, but, as you point out, seeking out some of these services can come with an unwanted stigma. And, some of these services are just too swamped to provide all of the services needed.

  3. Marie Kline July 12, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I would like information about improved pension for wartime vets.

  4. John Martin July 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    The Church’s e-mail is sanpedroumc@sbcglobal.net
    Thank you again,
    John Martin

  5. John Martin July 11, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    I am a Lay Leader in a local Methodist Church in San Pedro, Ca with a history of PTSD from Naval Medical service. I understand how difficult re-integration to civilian life can be, I lived it. If any one is in my area, reaching out, I’m here reaching out to them. Please pass this on.
    John Martin
    Lay Leader,
    United Methodist Church of San Pedro, Ca
    580 W. 6th St
    (310) 548-1001

  6. RONALD R. BUTTS July 11, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    I am inquiring about help benefits for my father in law. He is a vet. 78 years old and just went through a by-pass surgery, aortic anerism surgency and has been in Shands Hospital in Gainsville, FL since 3/10/12, just getting to Charlotte Harbour Medical center for Rehab so he can learn to walk again. He is just getting to be able to feed himself without spilling food all over the place, because of weakness of lying in bed for so long, due to infections. He is now up to 140 pounds from 180 pounds before surgery. Between his wife and himself, they get $1200.00 of social security per month I think. We fear that he won’t be able to get into a bath tub/shower when he gets home, and want to know if an origaniation with pay to install a walk in shower for when he gets home?

    • Sonja Deloatch July 27, 2012 at 6:05 am

      Try contacting your father local Va retirement center for disable vets. check out a local social service and ask for a case worker, if your father is in a Reh center, it may have a social worker that can also provide you with some local agencies who can help for some churches or city and state programs that help person and get them qualified due to income and upgrades can be done to his home.
      When it comes to the VA depending on his disability and the percentage of his disability is service connected the VA sometimes has funds to help. I hope this gives you start

  7. rc July 11, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Kate thank you for trying to help in this matter but i just went back and check the blog today July 11 and the only thing on my end that shows posted from yesterday july 10 is my comments and one from Sandy Smith. I dont see any replies or comments from Pamela for yesterday July 10.Her last reply is dated July 9. It still is not showing a reply to click on anymore, so im assuming Pamela cant reply back either. I will try to email you Kate at the address above. Could you please let me know if you receive it. Thanks again.

  8. rc July 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Alex, i have been communicating with someone(Pamela Allen) from a older post dated June 19,2012 on Agent Orange. I went to that post today and its not allowing her to be able to reply to my comments and my replies are still waiting to be posted. Is there away for her to still be able to reply back to me from a older post? There is no reply to click on anymore. We were trying to figure out away to email or call one another but we didnt want to provide that personal information here, so this is the only way we can communicate. Could you please post my comments. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

    • Kate Hoit July 11, 2012 at 11:03 am

      Hi RC,

      I just looked back at the Agent Orange blog post you are referring to. I approved a few comments from Pamela yesterday in response to you—so they seem to be going through fine! If you and Pamela would like, I can link you both up via email that way you don’t have to put your emails out there. Shoot me an email at newmedia@va.gov if that’s okay.

      Best,
      Kate

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