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Chaplains Receive Encouragement:
From High-Ranking Officials
By Chaplain David J. Fair, Ph.D., CHS-V

I was privileged this summer to attend the 5th Annual National Capitol Region Interagency Chaplain Conference held at Ft. McNair, Washington D.C., titled, "Not Quickly Broken—Post Traumatic Stress Mitigation and Alleviation-Movements in Theory and Practice." It was hosted by Major General Karl R. Horst, Commanding General of United States Northern Command, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capitol Region.

Horst told the group of some 100 chaplains and religious leaders that their participation at the conference strengthens the readiness of a host of military and public safety chaplains, as well as other religious professionals and volunteers in the civilian community.

"Your wealth of first-hand experience as caregivers and trainers increase our provision for future incidents in the National Capitol Region…Military chaplains are tasked with the privilege and honor of supporting the spiritual lives of Service Members and their families. The impact of their service is vital to the success of military missions undertaken in the defense of America. No less is true of our local police, fire, and EMS first responders, and the civilian chaplains who seek to serve their spiritual needs."

In addition to Horst, Chaplain (Col.) Steven Berry—currently serving as the Command Chaplain Joint Force Headquarters-National Capitol Region and the Military District of Washington—was among the speakers at the conference. Along with:

  • • William P. Nash, M.D., Captain, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy (Ret.), and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Diego;
  • • Dr. Jonathan Shay who served for 20 years as a staff psychiatrist at the Department of Veteran Affairs, Outpatient Clinic;
  • • Charles Hogue, M.D., Colonel (Ret.), and a senior scientist at the Office of the Army Surgeon General;
  • • Chaplain Randall Bowen, Chief of the Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care, DeWitt Health Care Network;
  • • Chaplain Kim Donahue, currently assigned to the National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda, working with the National Intrepid Center for Excellence;
  • • Chaplain David G. Oravec, Deputy Command Chaplain at the National Naval Medical Center Bethesda; and
  • • Chaplain Gorgon D. Ritchie, the Wounded Warrior Regimental Chaplain in Quantico, Virginia.

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