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  • Keeping yourself and loved ones healthy during the holidays

    Holiday Message
    Photo credit Roger Teel

    The holidays are a wonderful time, characterized by activities and opportunities to spend time with family and loved ones. However the holidays can also present added financial and relationship pressures, and a sense of loss as we take time to reflect on the challenges we have faced throughout the year. These factors can elicit feelings of loneliness and despair, making it difficult to recover. Signs of depression can emerge even in the midst of the spirit of the season.

    DCoE staff recently presented on the “Total Fitness” concept at the “Defining Total Fitness in the 21st Century” workshop at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. This initiative reinforces and encourages healthy physical, emotional, social and spiritual behavior for all service members and their families. It’s important for us to remember that we must continually recharge our batteries to make sure we are prepared to handle the demands life places on us while living life to the fullest—enjoying all of the great opportunities we get to experience! To do this we need to eat well, get enough sleep and exercise and spend time with friends and loved ones to stay connected. Keeping enough fuel in your tank by taking care of yourself will help you sustain, even if things get difficult.

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  • Honored to be a part of DCoE’s discussion on support for chaplains

    DCoE sponsored a video teleconference (VTC) last week to address the challenges ministry teams face in promoting resilience, recovery and reintegration with our service members, and I had the unique opportunity to participate in this discussion. As a military Chaplain, I’m part of the ministry team offering guidance and spiritual assistance to warriors on the frontline and their families back home. I provide counsel in theater to help them deal with their battlefield experiences, and am there when they return home and often face new challenges, such as readjustment to civilian life, coping with the loss of a loved one, trouble sleeping and nightmares. Just as the men and women we counsel are human, with human responses to the horrors of the battlefield, so too must Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants often cope with similar feelings. Photo Credit SSgt. Christine Jones U.S. Army Capt. Scott Koeman, a chaplain with the 4th ...
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  • Chaplains from All Services are Participating in Upcoming DCoE VTC

    Military chaplains will discuss “The Ministry Team: Challenges, Coping Strategies, and Resource Support” at the next DCoE VTC on 9 December 2009 from 1300 to 1500 hours. Presenters will provide information on helping to reduce psychological stressors and prevent compassion fatigue among ministry team members. Chaplain Michael Coffey, the Multi-National Force Iraq Chaplain, will share insights along with his team members in Baghdad on the challenges confronted by ministry teams serving in theater. Coping strategies that chaplains can use to combat compassion fatigue will be highlighted during a presentation by Chaplain Bradley Thom from the Navy Chief of Chaplains Office and RPC Parrish Walker from the Office of the Chaplain of the Marine Corps. A team of chaplains from the Army will address a theory-informed approach for caring for chaplain caregivers and will shed light on what was done in the aftermath of the Ft. Hood tragedy. Chaplain David Carr ...
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  • Message from BG Sutton

    Sixty-eight years ago today, Pearl Harbor was attacked. The following day President Franklin Roosevelt addressed Congress at 12:30 p.m., for six and a half minutes, and within one hour America entered WWII, “a date which will live in infamy.” Killing in combat, losing beloved buddies, coming home to a strained or even fractured marriage, experiencing “survivors guilt,” witnessing the death of innocent civilians are timeless challenges known to Warriors of all ages—past, present and future. Psychological health concerns are not new to our Warriors who have seen combat. Looking back through history, twenty-seven centuries ago in The Iliad, Homer describes the mental stress that occurs as a result of continuous combat as the “betrayal of what is right.” During the American Civil War post traumatic stress was referred to as “soldier’s heart”; in WWI it was known as “shell shock”; and in WWII “battle fatigue.”  Our journey has gained ...
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  • DCoE’s Monthly Video Teleconference Will Discuss Roles of Chaplains

    On 9 December 2009 from 1300 to 1500 hours, the Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) will hold its monthly video teleconference (VTC) entitled “The Ministry Team: Challenges, Coping Strategies, and Resource Support.” Military Chaplains serve as confidants, spiritual guides, and counselors to members of the armed forces. During times of war and peace, they are sources of comfort, inspiration and encouragement. Yet, where do they go for help? As Military Chaplains and their staff face multiple deployments and an increasing number of service members to help, they are feeling strained themselves. This forum will discuss the psychological challenges faced by the Ministry Team and describe various coping strategies to reduce psychological stressors and prevent compassion fatigue. Resources that can be utilized will also be discussed. Chaplains from the various services based domestically and deployed overseas will share their experiences and insights during this unique discussion. All Military Chaplains, Chaplain Assistants, ...
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