Thursday, April 13, 2017

Texas VA Enlisting Clergy to Help Veterans Heal Their Spirits

VA offering training to clergy to help veterans
Killeen Daily Herald
BY JANICE GIBBS
FME News Service
April 13, 2017
Building Community Partnerships. Local communities are often the most important and most neglected resources for reintegration of returning service members.
TEMPLE — The VA has training programs for local clergy to assist veterans in their communities.

“We want to reach out to anyone who will help us connect veterans to the local VA,” said Jeffrey Weir, chaplain for the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System. “We want to connect with not only clergy, but with helping organizations who serve veterans.”

Weir was the guest speaker at the Care Leadership Team’s April meeting. The Care Leadership Team is made up of people representing local agencies and organizations, communities, churches, schools, volunteers and hospitals who network to share community concerns, information and to connect resources.

“If you run into veterans who have needs we have resources for them,” Weir said. “One issue is that not everyone who says they’re veteran is a veteran. Don’t worry about that, we’ll sort that out.”

Central Texas Veterans Health Care System includes the Olin E. Teague Veterans’ Medical Center, Waco VA and six outpatient clinics, including a large Austin clinic.

“We have 39 counties in Texas that we cover and most are rural,” he said. “You could drive in any direction from here and within a few minutes you’d be out in the country.”

Weir talked about training available to clergy.
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