Did You Know? Career and Education Readiness (CER)

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities support wounded, ill and injured Soldiers’ transition processes, whether they remain in the Army or transition to Veteran status?  All Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers set career goals as part of their Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP).  Career and Education Readiness activities are designed to provide eligible Soldiers with the skills and knowledge they need to advance towards these career goals.

You may already know that Soldiers receive a Transition Coordinator (TC) during the in-processing stage.  You may also know that the TC is a key resource for Soldiers eligible to participate in CER activities. Transition Coordinators specialize in navigating career and education options based on the Soldier’s individual circumstances.

What you may not know is how many CER options are available to Soldiers. Career and Education Readiness activities may include internships, work site placements, training, professional certificates and education programs (including bachelor’s and master’s degree programs).  Soldiers who remain in the Army and choose to pursue a new Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) are directed towards specific internships and training courses that will best provide them the required skills and knowledge for their new MOS.  For those who expect to transition out of the Army, there are valuable work experiences and university courses that can set those Soldiers on the right path to achieve their post-transition career goals. The number of programs that the WTUs work with ensures that every Soldier finds a meaningful CER activity.

For more information on Career and Education Readiness, visit the Career Planning webpage and take a look at the Career and Education Readiness fact sheet.

Stay tuned for the next blog post on the Career and Education Readiness team members.


Did You Know? WTU Resilience and Performance Enhancement Training

By Caitlin Morrison, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that resilience and performance enhancement training is an important part of recovery and transition for all Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers, their Families, Caregivers and Cadre?  Resilience training is a key component of the U.S. Army Ready and Resilient initiative, which defines resilience as the mental, physical, emotional and behavioral ability to face and cope with adversity, adapt to change, recover, and learn and grow from setbacks. Each WTU works closely with the Army-wide Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness Program (CSF2).  The program utilizes hands-on training and self-development tools to train Soldiers, Families and Cadre on twelve resilience and 6 performance enhancement skills:

RESILIENCE SKILLS

  • Hunt the Good Stuff
  • Real-Time Resilience
  • Problem Solving
  • Put It In Perspective
  • Avoid Thinking Traps
  • Detect Icebergs
  • Activating Events – Thoughts – Consequences
  • Mental Games
  • Identify Strength in Self and Others
  • Strengths in Challenges
  • Active Constructive Responding and Effective Praise
  • Assertive Communication

PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT SKILLS

  • Mental Skills Foundation
  • Goal Setting
  • Building Confidence
  • Attention Control
  • Integrating Imagery
  • Energy Management

You may already know that performance enhancement training is part of the Soldier’s Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) Phase II Goal Setting requirement.  You may have even already participated in the first round of resilience training during in-processing.  In fact, resilience training is required quarterly for every Soldier on post at a WTU.  For Soldiers who wish to participate in one-on-one mastery sessions or follow up on their progress, Master Resilience Trainer – Performance Experts (MRT-PEs) support each WTU.

What you may not know is that Families and Cadre are also encouraged to take resilience training.  It is important for Cadre to have personal resilience before they can support and mentor others. The Cadre Resilience Course (CRC) was created in 2012 as a precursor to the WTU Resident Course in San Antonio, Texas.  Over the course of FY 2013, more than 400 Cadre members were trained on personal resilience skills that they can incorporate into both their own lives and into mentorship interactions with the WTU Soldiers they support.

Families can also greatly benefit from resilience training.  While each WTU is unique in its involvement with Families, many advertise resilience training opportunities for Families through social media and the Family Readiness Group (FRG) email chain. Spouses are eligible to attend the MRT Courses.  CSF2 Training Centers also coordinate with the Soldiers and Family Assistance Center (SFAC) to provide quarterly workshops and other resources for Family members.

In addition to the mandatory quarterly training at the WTU, Soldiers and Families can opt to take digital scenario-based Comprehensive Resilience and Performance Modules (CRMs) after completing the CSF2 Global Assessment Tool (GAT). With more than 60 modules, such as social resilience and effective communication, Soldiers and Families can work toward strengthening themselves in many areas.

Goal setting is an important part of recovery and transition.  CSF2 staff lead the Phase II Goal Setting training for Soldiers. This training includes the development of mental skills, building confidence, attention control, energy management, goal setting, integrating imagery and a capstone exercise.

Resilient Soldiers, Families and Cadre are better equipped to overcome adversity, transition back to the force or onto civilian life and to leverage mental and emotional skills and behavior. This is why resilience training is especially important for wounded, ill and injured soldiers.  Check out the Resilience section of WTC’s new website to learn more about WTU resilience training

Launch of the New WTC Website

By Brig. Gen. David J. Bishop

The Warrior Transition Command (WTC) is excited to launch the new WTC website which will provide wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans, their Families, Caregivers and Cadre with increased access to information. Based on feedback directly from you, we launched a more user-friendly website with in-depth information on all aspects of the recovery and transition process. Being the proponent for wounded, ill and injured Soldiers means ensuring you can find accurate information easily, using today’s technology.

Visit the new, user-friendly website at www.WTC.army.mil. To learn more, check out the public website redesign factsheet at this link. The new site provides in-depth information on many topics, including but not limited to:

You and your Family can access the website on any device, including smartphones, tablets and desktop computers. This way information is available to you whether you are healing at a Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) or at home. We relied on recovery and transition experts from WTC, WTUs and other elements of the U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) and the site will continue to grow to keep up to speed with the information you need.

I urge you to explore the new site and learn more. Your feedback is important in shaping how the website will grow and evolve to meet your needs. Send us an email at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil. Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook page and Twitter page for more updates.

 

United Kingdom and Warrior Transition Command Focus on Similar Goals

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Communications Division

Thomas Webb and Lt. Gen. Gregory

Lt. Gen. Andrew Gregory (left), United Kingdom Chief of Defence Personnel and Thomas D. Webb (right), Deputy to the Commander for the Warrior Transition Command, met to discuss ongoing effors to provide superior care and support to wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.

Wounded, ill and injured Soldiers prove on a daily basis that life continues after injury, and the Warrior Transition Command (WTC) continues to work hand-in-hand with allied counterparts to assist with this “new life” regardless of geographical location.

In an ongoing effort to provide superior care and support to wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Lt. Gen. Andrew Gregory, United Kingdom Chief of Defence Personnel, met with several key leaders of WTC to discuss current practices.

“Our commitment to our service members doesn’t end in theater,” said Thomas D. Webb, Deputy to the Commander for the Warrior Transition Command (WTC). “Coalition partners serve alongside us in threat, so it’s a natural extension.”

“Some of their service members go through some of the same experiences as our wounded, ill and injured,” Webb added. “It only makes sense to compare the similarities and differences of these two countries’ programs to learn some best practices.”

Gregory is the principal adviser to the UK Secretary of State for Defence, Ministers and the Defence Board on personnel and training policy.

One of Gregory’s  main responsibilities include creating policy to allow transition of service personnel to civilian life and for ensuring Veterans’ care is delivered appropriately by wider government, including to the wounded, ill and injured..

“The volume of our wounded, ill and injured population is different, but the challenges are the same,” said Gregory. “The challenge is encouraging wounded, ill and injured Soldiers to be independent rather than dependent.”

During the meeting, Gregory reiterated the importance of gaining the trust of those who serve and ensuring they are supported.

Although this is not a new meeting between the two countries in relation to warrior care and transition, WTC leadership capitalized on the importance of learning best practices and lessons from each other.

“In order to be effective, we have to develop and nurture relationships with our partners to leverage the successes they have had,” said Webb. “Wounded, ill and injured service members can take solace in the idea that we are leveraging all resources to provide superior care that will help our population successfully return to military service or transition into the civilian workforce.”

Gregory also noted the similarities in the two programs and how both programs are essential to ensuring both population’s wounded, ill and injured are receiving top-notch care.

“From my perspective, it behooves us to take from each other to continue our efforts to make sure we set our populations up for success as they continue their journey,” Gregory said.

For more information on how WTC continues to support Soldiers who become wounded, ill and injured prepare for the next step in their careers, whether they’re returning to the force or transitioning to civilian life, visit www.WTC.army.mil.

Army Chaplain’s Faith Strengthened Through Working with Wounded Soldiers

By Chaplain (MAJ) B. Vaughn Bridges, Warrior Transition Brigade Chaplain, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), Guest Blogger*

CH Bridges Praying

CH (Maj.) B. Vaughn Bridges, WRNMMC, prays with Soldiers and their Families during a Navy Lodge dinner. (Photo courtesy of CH (Maj.) B Vaughn Bridges)

In October 2013, I began serving as the Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) Chaplain at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda, Maryland.  Shortly after my arrival at the WTB, I had the privilege of meeting with WTB Soldiers and their Families at our monthly evening meal in the Navy Lodge.  This setting provides many ministry opportunities for military personnel who have been wounded in combat, injured and those with illnesses and other medical concerns.

Every day presents its own unique challenges and opportunities for ministry.  As one example, a Soldier and her mother requested to speak with me when I arrived in my new position as WTB chaplain.  They just wanted to come by to say hello and have a discussion about spiritual matters, just like they had done with the former WTB Chaplain.  The Soldier explained to me that when she first received the news from the doctor that her condition was incurable, she put her trust in God to help her cope with such a hopeless prognosis.  She also recalled her own experience with despair when the doctors said there was nothing else they could do.  As I reflected on our conversation, I was astonished with the Soldier’s faith and acceptance and her ability to reflect, having the personal awareness to articulate her thoughts and feelings as she embraced this difficult challenge in her life.

This Soldier, knowing that she might not be healed, experienced a crisis of faith.  She chose to have hope in God.  During our conversation, I was reminded of the words of the late great preacher and theologian James S. Stewart from Scotland.  Stewart wrote, “Let us consider the most inescapable ‘Either/Or’ of life; either despair – or faith.  Either blank, unrelieved pessimism, or a gambler’s throw with your soul.  Either darkness and futility and ultimate night, or the vision of God standing within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.”

Ministry with wounded, ill and injured warriors provides us with many teachable moments.  My own faith increases and is strengthened when I meet people like this Soldier who choose to embrace life’s struggles with such courage and resilience.  As the WTB chaplain, I seek to offer hope as I build and nurture relationships with these warriors by listening to their story.

 

*Note: The expressed comments and views of guest bloggers do not reflect the views of WTC or the United States Army.

Army Impresses at Joint Services Sitting Volleyball Tournament

By Emily D. Anderson, WTC Communications Division

SVB Team

Army’s Sitting Volleyball athletes listen to the National Anthem before the start of the third annual sitting volleyball tournament held at the Pentagon on November 21. (Photo LuAnn Georgia, WTC Communications Division)

Exciting, fast-paced and inspirational were a few words used to describe the Third Annual Joint Services Sitting Volleyball Tournament hosted by the Office of Warrior Care Policy, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness.

“This event is a big deal, and I am happy and nervous to be an Army representative and looked forward to the level of competition,” said Sgt. 1st Class David Hall, assigned to the Warrior Transition Brigade, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“For a while I didn’t know what activities were out there that I could do,” Hall explained. “I think sitting volleyball is a great sport that puts everyone, regardless of injury, on an even level.”

The annual event consisted of Service members and Veterans from every branch of the military and the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) competing against each in an adaptive reconditioning event that highlights the importance of remaining active after injury and illness.

“I think the event went pretty good, and we were definitely holding our own against the other teams,” Hall added. “The coach was great, and I would compete again.”

J.D. Malone, the Army’s sitting volleyball coach, had nothing but good things to say about the team and Hall’s performance during the tournament. “I’m pretty amazed that they came together so fast, and Hall was a team player who would take what was asked of him and go back to the net and execute it.”

“In two days, the athletes learned to aggressively play at the net, and they were able to serve with accuracy,” said Malone. “At one point, I could call a zone on the court, and the athletes were serving to that area.”

SVB team in action

Soldiers assigned to Warrior Transition Units prepare to block a serve by a member of the Special Operations Command’s team at the third annual sitting volleyball tournament held at the Pentagon on November 21. (Photo LuAnn Georgia, WTC Communications Division)

For the past two years, Army secured a spot in the final rounds, but this year the Army’s team competed for third place against the SOCOM’s team.

“Sitting volleyball is pretty interesting especially if you’re not extremely mobile.” said Hall. “It lets you still play outside the normal perimeters and try something new.”

Hall said he was happy to be a part of a team and still experience activities despite his injuries. “I’ve always been pretty athletic and into sports, so with limited ability I thought I would be more of a watcher instead of a doer, but I realize that’s not true,” he said.

To watch a recap of the action, visit DVIDS and to learn more about adaptive reconditioning benefits and programs visit the WTC website.

Did You Know? Transition Coordinators

By Amanda Koons, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that Transition Coordinators (TC) assist eligible Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) Soldiers with career and education goals according to their selected career path?

You may already know a lot about the interdisciplinary team that works together to help wounded, ill and injured Soldiers focus on their recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. Cadre members provide support and guidance to Soldiers and their Families in developing the Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP) and play a positive and active role throughout the Soldier’s transition plan. You can learn more about the Cadre on the Cadre Roles and Responsibilities section of the WTC website.

What you may not know is that there is one individual who serves as the Program Manager for Career and Education Readiness (CER): the Transition Coordinator (TC). The TC assists WTU Soldiers with Career and Education Readiness (CER) activities according to the Soldier’s career and education goals. CER activities may include internships, worksite placements, training, professional certificates and education programs (including bachelor’s and master’s degree programs).  Whether the Soldier goes back to duty or into their civilian communities, the TC focuses on the next step in the Soldier’s career. TCs specialize in navigating career and education options based on the Soldier’s individual circumstances.

TCs are available by walk-in or by appointment. If you are unsure who your TC is, check with your Squad Leader. While not all units currently have a full-time TC, but all units have someone acting in the TC role, with designated TC responsibilities. There are currently 37 TCs across the country, including 17 full-time TCs at WTU brigades or battalions and 20 part-time TCs at Community Based Warrior Transition Units (CBWTUs).

Interested in an internship that can bolster your résumé and help you gain valuable skills? Maybe you would like to first return to school to earn a degree in a new field? Or maybe you would prefer to take a training course or gain a certificate to explore a new career? Your Transition Coordinator can help you get started in any of these next steps for your career and education.

U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) Veterans have similar transition resources available. The AW2 Career and Education Section provides direct resume referral to a network of employers with an expedited hiring process for severely wounded, ill and injured Veterans.  They also educate employers about reasonable accommodations. Contact your AW2 Advocate to discuss your personal situation and career goals.

“Did You Know?” Series

Using your feedback, the WTC Communications Division identified five topics where wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Families and Cadre want additional information, particularly around Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) resources, benefits and policies that impact their recovery and transition. We’ll post one blog per week on these five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during Warrior Care Month:

1)   Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)

2)   Community Support Network

3)   Internships

4)   Adaptive Reconditioning

5)   Transition Coordinators

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your Career and Education Readiness (CER) story? Post a comment here or email us at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil.


 

Wounded Soldier Uses Adaptive Reconditioning to Assist Others As He Continues to Serve

By WTC Communications Division

Pascascio Archery

After significant injuries in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Giovanni Pascascio discovered how much more he can still offer the Army while recovering at a WTU.

Army Staff Sgt. Giovanni Pascascio will always remember July 8, 2007. “You kinda remember the day you got blown up.”

During his second deployment to Iraq, a truck full of explosives detonated near his squad’s convoy. Pascascio sustained second and third degree burns over 30 percent of his body, shrapnel wounds to his body and inhalation injuries from the fire.

Pascascio and eleven other Soldiers will compete in the Third Annual Joint Services Warrior Care Month Sitting Volleyball Tournament hosted by the Office of Warrior Care Policy, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Athletes will represent the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Command and Department of Veterans Affairs.

“No matter if the Army wins or loses, it is about everyone coming together as a team, competing and celebrating. But I am rooting for the Army all the way,” he said. “I hope Army wins.”

“Sitting volleyball is completely different than regular volleyball. It doesn’t look hard, but when you get out there to play it’s a different story. “You have to use your core a lot and it helps with stability and balance.”

Nearly a month and a half after his injury, he woke up at Brooke Army Medical Center in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

At the Warrior Transition Battalion, Pascascio developed a personalized Comprehensive Transition Plan with short- and long-term goals across six domains of life: physical, social, spiritual, emotional, Family, and career. His journey in meeting his goals included adaptive reconditioning programs, including archery and sitting volleyball. He credits both sports with helping him recover mentally and physically.

“The command at the WTB encouraged me to explore new things,” said Pascascio. “Learning to play sitting volleyball was another challenge that I faced head on.”

After a Physical Evaluation Board found him physically unfit for duty, Pascascio applied for Continuation on Active Duty (COAD) status, a program that allows soldiers meeting certain criteria to continue serving.

He was assigned to the 7th Army Noncommissioned Officer Academy in Grafenwoehr, Germany to develop plans for accommodating wounded, ill and injured soldiers at the academy. He mentored many of them, relying heavily on his own recovery experience.

“I know what they’ve been through, and I was able to say I’ve been there. I’ve done that. These guys may not be able to do everything physically, but they can accomplish a lot.” Pascascio said.

Pascascio currently serves at the Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2), supporting the Army’s most severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Veterans and their Families.

“He serves as the AW2 Advocate Support Branch (ASB) Operations noncommissioned officer in charge and provides additional insight into the Soldiers and Veterans in this program because at one time he was going through this process,” explained Venus Bradley, AW2 ASB Division Chief and Pascascio’s supervisor. “He has been a great contributor and an asset to our team.”

“Pascascio epitomizes what a Soldier and a noncommissioned officer is, and we are fortunate to have him on our team,” said Bradley. “We look forward to supporting him during the tournament in the same way he has and continues to support our severely wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and Veterans.”

Watch the joint services sitting volleyball tournament at http://www.dvidshub.net/webcast/3562, and to learn more about Warrior Transition Units or COAD, visit http://www.WTC.army.mil.

Did You Know? Adaptive Reconditioning

By Amanda Koons, WTC Communications Division

Did you know that adaptive reconditioning contributes to a successful recovery for Soldiers, whether they are transitioning back to active duty or to civilian life? Adaptive reconditioning includes activities and sports that wounded ill and injured Soldiers participate in regularly to optimize their physical, cognitive and emotional well-being.

You may already know a lot about adaptive reconditioning. You may have even participated in one of WTC’s Warrior Games training and selection clinics.  In fact, adaptive sports is one of the most highly featured topics on the WTC blog with 111 posts, including coverage of Warrior Games since 2010. You can read past blog posts by clicking “Adaptive Sports” on the right hand side of the page.

What you may not know is how adaptive reconditioning plays an important role in the six domains of the Soldier’s Comprehensive Transition Plan (CTP). The CTP supports Soldiers with personalized goals in six areas: career, physical, emotional, spiritual, social and Family.  Adaptive reconditioning connects activities and sports with each of the six CTP domains. One adaptive reconditioning event at a WTU may positively support goals in different domains for different Soldiers. Let us know what you learned in the comments section below.

Career – Adaptive reconditioning supports career goals by helping Soldiers build the confidence and self-esteem necessary to develop their career. Adaptive reconditioning may also provide opportunities to network and meet people with shared knowledge and goals. Finally, adaptive reconditioning may open doors to internships, shadowing opportunities, certified educational courses and activities that assist with promotion points.

Physical – Adaptive reconditioning supports physical goals through physical reconditioning based on guidance from the Adaptive Reconditioning team and WTU physical therapist. Competition is available through the Warrior Games, Endeavour Games, Valor Games, National Wheelchair Games and many other high level competitive events.

Emotional – Adaptive reconditioning supports emotional goals by building self confidence and helping Soldiers heal emotionally. Activities such as fishing, horseback riding, music and art provide Soldiers with a calm arena to recover.

Spiritual – Adaptive reconditioning supports spiritual goals by assisting Soldiers in strengthening a set of beliefs, principles or values that sustain and provide resiliency to a person.

Social – Adaptive reconditioning supports social goals through team building, developing leisure skills and exploring new communities. Programs in wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, water polo and track relays are great at team building.

Family – Adaptive reconditioning supports Family goals by building stronger Family bonds if Family members are able to participate and develop new skills that they can use as a Family group. Adaptive Reconditioning can introduce Soldiers and their Families to new activities or a new way to enjoy a past activity.

“Did You Know?” Series

Using your feedback, the WTC Communications Division identified five topics where wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, Families and Cadre want additional information, particularly around Warrior Care and Transition Program (WCTP) resources, benefits and policies that impact their recovery and transition. We’ll post one blog per week on these five topics throughout our “Did You Know?” blog series during Warrior Care Month:

1)   Special Compensation for Assistance with Activities of Daily Living (SCAADL)

2)   Community Support Network

3)   Internships

4)   Adaptive Reconditioning

5)   Transition Coordinators

 

Is there another topic you want us to cover in the future? Want to share your adaptive reconditioning story? Post a comment here or email us at usarmy.pentagon.medcom-wtc.mbx.strategic-communications@mail.mil.


The Importance of “Being” vs. “Doing”

By Chaplain (Capt.) Dave Christensen, Battalion Chaplain, 3/85 Mountain Infantry Warrior Transitions Battalion, Ft. Drum, NY, Guest Blogger*

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, speaks during a prayer breakfast. (photo courtesy of Capt. Christensen)

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, speaks during a prayer breakfast. (photo courtesy of Capt. Christensen)

It’s all about “being”…not about “doing.”  While I believe that statement is true for the pastoral care ministry of every Army Chaplain, I believe it be most true for a Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) Chaplain.

There’s nothing wrong with “doing” ministry.  During my two years as a WTB Chaplain, I’ve run my share of programs, taught classes, administered spiritual assessments and even helped develop processes and procedures.  All of this “doing” has been good and helpful for the recovery, rehabilitation, reintegration and reconditioning of our wounded, ill and injured Soldiers. However, I believe its importance pales in comparison to “being.”

“Being” is, in many ways, much more difficult than “doing” ministry.  There is no method or procedure to “being.” It’s all about your presence, and not just your physical presence.  It’s easy to just show up where Soldiers and Families are.  Anyone can show up at a remote care muster, an adaptive reconditioning event, a Family Readiness Group meeting or even the hospital room.  “Being” is that ability to be emotionally present.  It’s having the courage to grieve when there is grief and to celebrate when there is joy.

“Being” is the  aptitude to be spiritually present.  Spiritual presence is the capacity to discern where a Soldier or Family is in their spiritual walk and appropriately come alongside them in that journey. As you can probably tell, “being” doesn’t brief well.  It’s hard to quantify and report.  For the most part no one will ever observe it and commend you for it either.  So, how do I even know that “being” has any effect? While I can’t objectively quantify its effect, I know it’s there because of the things Soldiers and Families tell me.

There are two stories about the effect of “being” that stick in my mind.  One day, I got a phone call from the wife of Soldier I had visited in the hospital while he was struggling with the effects of PTSD.  Since he slept the majority of the time, I spoke mostly with her.  She was calling to tell me how much it meant to her that I was there and how much my visit had helped her put things in perspective both spiritually and emotionally.

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, (front row, second from right) regularly gets together with WTB Soldiers outside of normal chaplain activities in order to "be.” (photo courtesy Capt. Christensen)

CH (Capt.) Dave Christensen, WTB Fort Drum, (front row, second from right) regularly gets together with WTB Soldiers outside of normal chaplain activities in order to “be.” (photo courtesy Capt. Christensen)

Another day, I got a call from an NCO who was a part of our remote care program and receiving care in her local community.  She was struggling with a relationship issue. She told me that when I spent a day with her unit at a quarterly muster, she knew I was someone she could trust to help her when she needed it the most.  In both these cases, I don’t remember giving insight, offering prayer, or even counseling these people.  I only remember doing my best to remain emotionally and spiritually present. These are just two of many stories I could share about the effects of “being” on these Soldiers and Families.

“Doing” WTB ministry is often physically, emotionally and spiritually exhausting.  However, a ministry of “being” in the WTB is often physically, emotionally and spiritually refreshing. I encourage you to have the courage to “be”.

 

*Note: The expressed comments and views of guest bloggers do not reflect the views of WTC or the United States Army.

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