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HealthCare Chaplaincy Network Introduces National Service Addressing Spiritual Needs of Veterans, Current Service Members, Military Families

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Resource Unveiled at Event Commemorating ‘Four Chaplains Day’

HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) on February 3rd introduced ChaplainCareforVeterans.org, a national service that provides spiritual and emotional support to veterans, active service members, and their families, including the opportunity for one-on-one conversations with professional chaplains via phone, email and video call.

The nonprofit organization unveiled the service at its event commemorating “Four Chaplains Day” to honor four U.S. Army chaplains of differing faiths who gave up their lives to save others when the torpedoed U.S.A.T. Dorchester, with 902 soldiers aboard, sank on February 3, 1943.  The event, held appropriately at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, also honored today’s chaplains as well as all men and women who have served or are currently serving our country in the military. 

Designed specifically for military and their families, HCCN’s ChaplainCareforVeterans.org features online information, resources, and supportive counseling to address painful feelings such as hopelessness, guilt, loneliness, anger and grief that can lead to spiritual distress. Central to this free and confidential service is Chat with a Chaplain, which allows individuals, regardless of religion or beliefs, to connect with a professionally-trained multi-faith chaplain 24/7 via the Internet, phone (844-CARE4VETS), or video call.

ChaplainCareforVeterans.org complements the support that military chaplains, Veterans Administration chaplains, and other organizations that serve veterans and the military community provide. 

“We want these heroic Americans to know we are here for them,” said Rev. Eric J. Hall, HCCN’s president and CEO. “There is increasing recognition that both public and private sectors must pitch in to meet the needs of veterans, current service members, and their families. At the same time, changes in our overall health care system underscore the need to adjust how we deliver care for the body, mind and soul—for both military and civilians alike.”

Research indicates that strong spiritual connections can significantly and positively impact the mental health of military and their families to cope with the impact of war. A 2011 Pew survey reports that 44 percent of post-9/11 veterans are having difficulty adjusting to civilian life. 

Other speakers at the “Four Chaplains Day” commemoration included Larry Hermann, a member of the Four Chaplains Foundation board of directors and a former major in the U.S. Marine Corps; Jamal Othman, Deputy Director, New York State division of Veterans’ Affairs; Aurelia Greene, Deputy Bronx Borough President; and Richard E. Powers, MD, a psychiatrist who served in the U.S. Army and has practiced in Veterans Administration hospitals for 30 years.

Mr. Hermann recounted the tragic events of that day in 1943 when the Dorchester went down in the icy, choppy waters. “There was panic on board.  Survivors tell us the only sense of organization came from the four chaplains helping others into lifeboats.  The chaplains consoled the wounded and then handed out life jackets.  And when the life jacket locker was empty, they gave their own to the remaining soldiers, knowing that was their only hope for survival.”

“The story of the four chaplains is a remarkable tribute to our humanity,” commented Ms. Greene.  “On that ill-fated day these four men of faith truly gave selflessly in order to help those in need both physically and spiritually.  I applaud those who have chosen to step up and serve our community daily as chaplains.”

Mr. Othman observed that more than four decades have passed since we lost the four chaplains, “however their spirit lives on with the great work done by chaplains past and present, and by the excellent work done by the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network. Therefore on behalf of Governor Cuomo I’m delighted to present the Governor’s Proclamation to Rev. Hall and the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network which declares February 3, 2105 as Four Chaplains Day in the Empire State. “Seven decades later,” the proclamation said, “we solemnly remember the four chaplains and their devotion to their fellow man and the cause of freedom, and we continue to be inspired by their story and example of brotherhood.”

“Addressing the spiritual needs of the veteran and the family are essential to helping these individuals resume their lives with the peace and comfort that existed prior to their wartime experience,” said Dr. Powers. “It takes a chaplain or other spiritual advisor to walk with that veteran as they resolve the spiritual conflicts that can be caused by the complex stressors of war.”

Please spread the word about HCCN's new ChaplainCareforVeterans.org. In addition to this page, you can share our one-page flyers in 4-color or black and white. 

This new resource is part of HCCN’s efforts to augment the practice of hospital-based chaplaincy, by offering technology-driven services that provide professional spiritual and emotional support to people in health care and residential settings.

 


 

Photos from the event:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_1LT-Birchfield.jpg

 b2ap3_thumbnail_Jamal-Othman-_-proclamation.jpg

 b2ap3_thumbnail_Hall-Greene-Herrmann.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_Dr.-Richard-Powers.jpg

 b2ap3_thumbnail_American-Legion.jpg

b2ap3_thumbnail_4Chaplains-w-preserver.jpg

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Comments

  • HealthCare Chaplaincy Orders
    HealthCare Chaplaincy Orders Wednesday, 11 February 2015

    This is the most significant offer in the article: “Addressing the spiritual needs of the veteran and the family are essential to helping these individuals resume their lives with the peace and comfort that existed prior to their wartime experience,” said Dr. Powers. “It takes a chaplain or other spiritual advisor to walk with that veteran as they resolve the spiritual conflicts that can be caused by the complex stressors of war.” - I am relieved that this network is now available to our veterans as I have been frustrated to have been "aged out" by the present V.A. job site.
    I am presently a Hospital Chaplain who wants to be available to support our veterans and their families on my off time. Please count me in! Mary Ruth Ewell, L.M.F.T, Associate of Professional Chaplains.

  • Guest
    Jim Siegel Wednesday, 11 February 2015

    Mary -- thanks for your comment. Can you please email me (jsiegel@healthcarechaplainy.org) your email address as I wish to reply offline.
    Jim Siegel
    EVP
    HCCN

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Guest Thursday, 13 August 2020