• Keeping yourself and loved ones healthy during the holidays
    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.

  • 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

    Chaplains from the Multi National Forces in Iraq opened the VTC with a presentation on how they cope with the day to day stresses of living in theater. Just as service members find it helpful, they emphasized how important relying on one another’s support in the ministry team is for coping. Finding time to maintain some personal balance, such as getting adequate sleep and exercise and keeping in contact with loved ones at home also helps keep their spirits up. The Chaplains find strength in knowing that they and their family members are being prayed for by others.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • DCoE’s Real Warriors Campaign Launches Four New PSAs

    The Real Warriors Campaign launched four new public service announcements (PSAs) to help combat the stigma associated with seeking psychological health care and treatment in the military. The most recent PSAs highlight the stories of Army Maj. Jeff Hall and Army Reservist Staff Sgt. Megan Krause, who both experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder after returning from deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Having now received treatment for their psychological health concerns, both Maj. Hall and Staff Sgt. Krause are maintaining successful military careers.