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    Texas National Guard unit ministry teams assemble to sustain chaplain mission

    Texas National Guard unit ministry teams assemble to sustain chaplain mission

    Photo By Sgt. Adrian Shelton | 40 chaplains and chaplain assistants from Army and Air National Guard unit ministry...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Adrian Shelton 

    Texas Army National Guard (Texas Military Forces)

    Members of the Army and Air National Guards unit ministry teams from throughout the Texas Military Department came together at Camp Mabry in Austin, Texas, for resiliency and sustainment training Saturday, August 20, 2016.

    The developmental training at the Regional Training Institute at Camp Mabry involved the chaplains and their assistants exchanging ideas for how to better serve their Guardsmen throughout the state of Texas.

    Texas Military Department Command Chaplain (Col.) Mack H. Praytor said, "The reason we're here today is to help our chaplains and chaplain assistants from all over the state in a joint environment to train and prepare them for ministry to our Soldiers and Airmen, reaching out to not only our troops but also their families."

    The training session additionally attracted at least two unit ministry teams from National Guard Bureau, who traveled to the Regional Training Institute to offer their insight from a national perspective.

    "They're giving us a vision of what the National Guard is looking like in the future, and how that will affect us here in Texas," Praytor said.

    Praytor said the Chaplaincy Corps is well represented in the area of diversity.

    "We have male and female chaplains and chaplain assistants of color," Praytor said. It's a broad spectrum, and I think it's reflective of our population and our citizen Soldiers and Airmen in our communities. This is a mirror, a reflection of who we are, and we're proud of that fact."

    "I look forward to meeting and mingling with some of my other fellow Air Guard chaplain assistants in the very near future," said Army Sgt. William Clay Brown, a chaplain assistant with the unit ministry team at Headquarters, 1-141st Infantry Brigade in San Antonio. "Coming together as a family, regardless of what military service that you're in is awesome and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to serve not just alongside my Soldiers, but also my Airmen as well."

    Both Praytor and Brown talked about suicide, which is a problem that all of the military branches continue to face.

    "We know there are times of darkness and tough times that people walk through, like deaths in families, suicides, some of the things that are just extremely difficult to have to cope with," Praytor said. "We provide counseling, prayer, words of encouragement, and something I've talked about this week called accompaniment. For those who are going through tough times, we want to be right there with them, walking alongside them, and not only in the tough times, but also in the good times, when they have celebrations, joyful experiences, we want to be a part of that also.

    "We're going through this training to make sure we understand what our numbers are, and seeing exactly what kind of impact we're making within the state of Texas as far as how many services we've had, how many suicides we've prevented," Brown said. "It furthermore builds our chaplain core, because us being strong as a unit helps us actually take care of our Soldiers in a better form and/or fashion."

    Praytor suggests a way for Soldiers and Airmen to arm themselves against problems such as suicide.

    "Spiritual armor is talked about in the New Testament, and basically it's defending us, protecting us, against problems, difficulties, attacks that come from without, and how to sustain us, how to protect us," Praytor said. "When difficult time comes, how do we deal with it, and spiritual armor can protect us in those difficult times."

    "We want the public to know that our chaplains and chaplain assistants are continuing their education, their preparation, in order to be available with more spiritual armor to service them," Praytor said. "Our overall mission is to be with people, to care for people, and try to help people, especially in times of need."



    Date Taken: 08.20.2016
    Date Posted: 08.22.2016 10:00
    Story ID: 207846
    Location: AUSTIN, TX, US 

    Web Views: 137
    Downloads: 0