By Tori Allen
Chaplains do not always receive the same recognition as their brothers in arms, yet they remain an important component of the armed forces. David Erb, military and Veterans Affairs endorser for Church of God Ministries and the host of this year’s Military/VA Chaplain Dinner and Annual Meeting, explains how valuable these leaders are: “They facilitate the faith needs of others, provide God’s love and care to all, and provide wise religious and ethical guidance to their commanders.” Offering assistance during all hours of the day, these leaders are dedicated and deserving of a day of honor.
On Wednesday, military and Veterans Affairs chaplains will gather in the Church of God Ministries Auditorium to celebrate their service. Erb explains that today, “the Church of God has twenty-two active-duty, national guard, and reserve military chaplains; four full-time Veterans Affairs chaplains; and two army chaplain candidates. In addition, we have twenty-four living retired military chaplains.”
For more than forty years, the dinner has facilitated communication and fellowship among chaplains. Following the special call to become “pastors in uniform,” each chaplain is sent to areas across around the world with limited communication with other chaplains. The dinner and annual meeting promotes “lifelong supportive relationships” as it joins current and retired military chaplains. Military chaplains are generally placed in communities that lack a Church of God congregation, so the dinner and meeting also serves to assist in reconnecting with the Church of God. Veterans Affairs hospital chaplains also attend the dinner and meeting in recognition of their work with sick and wounded military veterans.a