The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - September 12th 2018
Our Nation Remembers
U.S. Chief of Chaplin's Army Maj. Gen. Paul K. Hurley provides the invocation before the 9/11 Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Sept. 11, 2018. During the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, 184 people were killed at the Pentagon. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Amber I. Smith)

ARLINGTON, Va. (from NBC News) - At dawn, along the west wall of the Pentagon, an American flag was unfurled over the point of impact to mark the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.

Alongside family and building survivors was Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Paul Selva, as well as other Department of Defense leadership and Queen Elizabeth's youngest son, Prince Edward. President Donald Trump traveled to the site of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, with the First Lady for a memorial service.

Mattis, who recently returned from an unannounced trip to Afghanistan, began his remarks by addressing the family members in attendance.

"To our most honored guests, the families of those we lost, seventeen Septembers ago, let me say to you here in the shadow of our rebuilt Pentagon, we are all part of your larger family," Mattis said. "Though evil visited us on a cloudless Tuesday morning, courage and strength answered amid the fire and smoke in New York City, over a Pennsylvania meadow and in this very building."

Pence began his remarks by describing the bravery of those in the Pentagon who rushed into the burning building to rescue those trapped inside. "It was the Pentagon's finest hour," Pence said to the crowd of survivors, family members and Defense department employees.

Since the September 11 attacks, the collective wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria have cost U.S. taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion, according to a Defense Department report.

In Memoriam

Captain, US Navy, Retired
born September 12, 1930
deceased September 3, 2018
Evangelical Lutheran 
Sun Lakes, Arizona

USSOCOM marks 17th anniversary of 9/11 Photo by  Michael Bottoms
U.S. Special Operations Command


Executive Director  Notes

I'll begin this week with an administrative note, and then a reflective note. The administrative note: I have received a number of emails from you asking where you can go online to register for the National Institute, from 5-7 November, at the Sheraton Pentagon City, Arlington, VA. As I am writing this column on Tuesday, 11 September, final work is being done with the hotel and with the schedule to get all of the last pieces in place. We anticipate that all will be in place by next Wednesday's Newsgram, with a link from which you can register online. More to follow next week. 

On a reflective note: As this is being written on September 11th, 2018, I am drawn back to where I was and what I was doing seventeen years ago on this date. I was the newly hired Director of Pastoral Care, Ethics and Interpreter Services for Victory Memorial Hospital in Waukegan, Illinois, and I was in the New Employee Orientation, both to be oriented and to provide the orientation for fellow hospital staff on what the Department of Pastoral Care provided for patients, families, and yes, for staff, when I got a call about what was happening in New York, which was then followed by the event at the Pentagon. I was asked to lead a prayer for the assembled group of employees, and did so asking for guidance for all of us. In my "other" life as an Army Reservist, my life certainly changed and over the next few years I found that I was being a lot more "Army" and a lot less "Reservist," which culminated with my last ten years in uniform being on constant active duty orders on the East Coast. I am positive that for all of you who were in uniform seventeen years ago- Active, Reserve or Guard- you have a similar story to tell as well.

However, with seventeen years of war in what some have referred to as the "Forever War," I am very concerned about the specific toll it has taken on chaplains who give so much of themselves for others, and have been worn down themselves by the consistent deployments and the "new normal" of always knowing that if not on the current deployment roster, it will not be long before the next deployment. Having talked with Chaplain Doug Carver, Chief of Chaplains for the Army when I started my East Coast time with the Army, and then with his successor, Chaplain Don Rutherford, that in the Army the mental - and spiritual - wounds of war were (and still are) profound for chaplains, to include those who have attempted suicide, and sadly, those who completed their suicide attempt. 

My current observation is that the stress and strain has not eased up, and my prayer for all of you are still in uniform is that a) you will look out for each other as chaplains and b) that if you need help, you will seek it out. I have often used the analogy that chaplains are somewhat like gas stations, helping to refuel others when they run low on spiritual and emotional gas. However, if the gas station itself does not get a tanker truck on a regular basis, pretty soon it is bone dry and has to close up shop as it runs out of gas. 

Self-care, and more importantly, self-awareness is critical for chaplains in this time of continual deployments. The stresses on the chaplain, family and close friends is real and palpable. My prayer for you is to know when you need to "refuel" yourself, and have the self-awareness to do so. As this war continues, know that the leadership of MCA has you in our prayers, and are ready to do whatever we can do to support you.

Fr. Razz Waff, DMin, BCC

"Veterans with PTSD don't always feel comfortable seeking in-person therapy. Others may have difficulty fitting in-person therapy sessions in to their busy schedules. This study provides evidence-based therapy online so that sessions can be completed on your own, at home, with an expert PTSD therapist to help support you by phone. If you are a Veteran who has deployed after 9/11 and is dealing with posttraumatic stress, you may qualify for this web-based treatment study."

From the Study Supervisor - 
I am a clinical psychologist who works at the Palo Alto VA. I am running a DoD-funded project that provides Veterans with treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The treatment is an online version of the prolonged exposure therapy (a VA/DoD guideline-recommended intervention) that is provided through an online program with therapist support by phone. There is no cost and Veterans are compensated for completing surveys before and after treatment. Since many Veterans are hesitant to seek treatment in person, or having difficulty getting to treatment because of busy schedules etc., we are trying to find other ways to get care to those in need. Participants must have had a deployed sometime after 9/11, so the program is best suited for more recent Veterans.

Carmen P. McLean, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
National Center for PTSD
Dissemination & Training Division
VA Palo Alto Health Care System
795 Willow Road, Bldg. 334, C-135
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Ph: (650) 493-5000, then press "1", then "2", then 26384

For More Information go here
9/11 Remembrance Around the Military

Lt. Col. Stephen M. Misarski, a 143d Airlift Wing Chaplain, speaks at a 9/11 remembrance on Sept. 11, 2018, at Quonset Air National Guard Base, North Kingstown, R.I. The ceremony honored those who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, and included a Tolling of the Bell and a presentation of an American flag by the Rhode Island Air National Guard's Base Honor Guard. (Air National Guard Photo by Staff Sgt. Deirdre Salvas)

Capt. Benjamin Bahr, a chaplain assigned to the 107th Attack Wing, New York National Guard, gives an invocation during a ceremony held by the 107th and the 914th Air Refueling Wing to remember the Sept. 11 attacks, Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, N.Y., Sept. 11, 2018. Each year NFARS conducts a bell ringing ceremony and observes moments of silence during the morning to honor those who lost their lives. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Ryan Campbell)

U.S. Navy Commander Michael Q. O'Bannon, chaplain, Marine Aircraft Group 31, Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., offers prayers at the 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, during Marine Week, Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 9, 2018. Marine Week Charlotte is an opportunity to showcase the Corps' capabilities and mission as America's expeditionary force in readiness. (U.S. Marine Corps)

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command Chaplain, U.S. Army Colonel Kelly Moore gives the invocation before a Sept. 11th memorial ceremony outside the command's headquarters building on Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept 11, 2018. On Sept 11, 2001, the Federal Aviation Administration grounded all flights across the United States and NORAD launched combat aircraft to defend against a possible follow-on attack in a mission that continues today known as Operation Noble Eagle. USNORTHCOM was born out of the lessons learned in the months following Sept. 11, and the two commands work together to defend the U.S. an Canada against future attacks.s photo by Lance Cpl. Nathaniel Q. Hamilton)

The Military Chaplains Magazine
2018 Themes and Submission Deadlines
      Winter Issue - Chaplaincy and Religion in a Post-Truth World
Articles to be submitted by November 30
Publication December 21

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