The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
|Visit the Military Chaplains Association website for more information.|
Weekly Newsgram - April 27th, 2016
Veteran's Courts and Veteran Friendly Congregations
On April 18 of this year the newest Veterans Court in rural eastern Tennessee opened in Roane County. In its initial session three justice involved veterans were accepted into its program. Two were qualified to receive VA benefits and both were scheduled for treatment at the Harriman VA clinic in less than 24 hours. The third did not qualify for VA benefits but through the combined efforts of Vet to Vet Tennessee and other local resources this Navy veteran was accepted for free treatment into a local military service center within less than 12 hours. Three veterans, all who might have been jailed, are now receiving necessary treatment to help them deal with issues directly related to their military service.
A major contributor to this program is Vet to Vet Tennessee, a local non-profit providing peer to peer support for veterans recovering from mental health issues and substance abuse. Using a community based model, a key component of Vet to Vet Tennessee is its support and pioneering of the Veteran Friendly Congregation program the MCA now supports. Not only are the leaders behind the program committed to the role of congregations in supporting veterans in their communities they are also aware veterans are five times (5X) more likely to seek help from their clergy than every VA service combined. The Veteran Friendly Congregation program is essential in helping our congregations understand more fully how to provide a key ministry to veteran members and neighbors they might otherwise miss.
One of our new members, retired Chaplain Josephine Pinkney is now serving as our coordinator for Veteran Friendly Congregations. She is working hard to examine the success of the program in Tennessee and elsewhere and developing means by which we can facilitate this program nationwide. Should you have interest in supporting this essential ministry as a local facilitator and representative please let us know at email@example.com. We will be looking for those committed to yet another opportunity for service as chaplains for life.