Military Chaplain Association Weekly Newsgram

Weekly Newsgram – March 29th, 2017
When War Comes Home Boot Camp

Last year the MCA received the Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation (VMFC) program from the CareForTheTroops organization. This program is a ground -up initiative to assist congregations and other communities of faith in becoming intentionally “friendly” for veterans, actively serving military, and all their families. We currently have over 50 congregations enrolled in five states and the District of Columbia.

A primary supporter of this program is the Vet2Vet TN organization. This unique volunteer service group, operating in East TN, has linked together congregations, veterans’ courts, the Mountain Home VA Medical Center, the Helen Ross McNabb Center for behavioral health, Care Cuts, and many other service organizations to provide for the needs of veterans throughout their region.

Vet2Vet TN is a remarkable organization in which veterans help veterans in every life circumstance. Their enthusiasm and dedication ensure veterans have opportunities denied them in many other locales.

Vet 2 Vet TN hosted a “When War Comes Home” boot camp on Friday, March 24th, and encouraged family members and friends of veterans to attend to learn more about supporting veterans who may have PTSD or other post-war problems.

I joined with them for the day and presented our VMFC program and provided an overview of the MCA. We look forward to continued cooperation with Vet2Vet TN and other organizations dedicated to holistic support services for our nation’s heroes.


Lyman Smith

Executive Director

VMFC Trifold

New VMFC enrolls during Boot Camp

March 24, 2017 Knoxville, Tennessee

First Baptist Concord Church enrolls during the “When War Comes Home” boot camp.

Jenny Testerman, Veteran Champion for the church attended the first When War Comes Home forum in September 2014 and was hoping the church register during the forum.  After 2 ½ years, First Baptist Concord was enrolled by Jenny Testerman.  Please welcome Senior Pastor Dr. John Avant and Jenny into our VMFC ministry.


2nd Veteran Friendly Church in Sweetwater TN

March 22, 2017 Sweetwater, Tennessee

First United Church of Christ Pastor Archie Smart and Lay Leader Melvin Oggs submitted Veteran/Military Friendly Congregation enrollment form on 22nd of March.  This is the 2nd VFMC enrolled in Sweetwater and the 27th VMFC in Tennessee.

We are thankful, blessed and honored to have Pastor Smart to enroll in Church.  Lay Leader Melvin Oggs is a Big Red One Vietnam Army Veterans and Chaplain of Vet to Vet Tennessee.

Pastor Smart and Melvin attended the When War Comes Home Boot Camp on 3-24-17 and were recognized and welcomed into the VMFC ministry during the boot camp as the newest church in the program.

VA and PsychArmor Institute FREE Caregiver Courses

The VA and PsychArmor Institute have created a series of FREE courses specifically tailored to meet your needs. These engaging and interactive courses are available on-line and on-demand.

No registration process – one click and you start learning:

  • ABC’s of Respite
  • Focusing on the Forgotten – Me
  • Good Grief: Finding Hope
  • Goodbye to Going it Alone: Learning to Ask for Help
  • Creating a Space for You: Caring for a Loved One at Home
  • Choosing your Words: The Power of Communication
  • Mantram Repetition
  • How to Connect with your Checked Out Veteran
  • Introduction to Invisible Wounds of War
  • Invisible Wounds of War at Home: What is PTSD
  • Invisible Wounds of War: Symptoms of PTSD
  • Invisible Wounds of War at Home: What Family Members can do about PTSD
  • Invisible Wounds of War at Home: What is TBI
  • Invisible Wounds of War at Home: What Family Members can do about TBI
  • Invisible Wounds of War at Home: Substance Use Disorder
  • Invisible Wounds of War at Home: Understanding Depression

Visit Caregiver training courses to start your FREE learning!

New Classes Coming – From courses on intimate partner violence to understanding the VA for Caregivers, we continue to add new content to our Caregiver School to help you navigate the caregiver world.

With VA’s Caregiver Support Line assistance is just a quick phone call away. Whether you’re in need of immediate assistance or have questions about what services you may be eligible for, the caring licensed professionals who answer the support line can:

  • Tell you about the assistance available from VA.
  • Help you access services.
  • Connect you with the Caregiver Support Coordinator at a VA Medical Center near you.
  • Just listen, if that’s what you need right now.

If you’re just getting started with VA, calling the Caregiver Support Line is a great first step to take to learn more about the support that’s available to you.