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    Story by Tech. Sgt. Charles Vaughn 

    144th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

    Evacuees at the Los Molinos shelter displaced by flooding in the unincorporated community of Williams received some unexpected comfort and spiritual support. On the night of Feb. 18, Chaplain Harlan Confer, a major in the California State Military Reserve, traveled to the shelter to provide spiritual support and comfort to those displaced by the flooding.

    “They seemed very grateful to see someone in uniform and wearing the Chaplain’s cross,” said Confer.
    The CSMR’s mission is to augment the National Guard in a variety of support roles. Part of the California Military Department, CSMR personnel specialize in homeland defense and emergency management missions.

    “The CSMR is the official state defense force made up of approximately 1200 volunteers,” said Col. (CA) Mirtha Villareal-Younger, the CSMR chief of staff. “They drill one Saturday a month and volunteer a minimum of 100 hours a year, though many do more.”

    Confer, who is 82, has been in the chaplaincy more than 50 years.

    “It was a privilege to do what God has called me to do,” Confer said.

    Confer added the CSMR can help gather information from people in need and pass it to those agencies that can help. For example, Confer was instrumental in getting dog crates out to the shelter enabling displaced families a safe place for their animals.

    “He has the gift of mercy,” said Chaplain Maj. (CA) Marc Unger, the CSMR Chaplain Command executive officer. “He cares for people. He went over and ministered comfort and mercy. He is to be commended.”

    The California Military Department mobilized about 50 CSMR personnel to augment National Guard elements that assisted federal and state agencies with recent flooding in Central California.

    “A unique aspect of the CSMR is that it includes specialties that do not readily exist on the military side, such as support in family law,” said Villareal-Younger.

    CSMR personnel wear uniforms nearly identical to those of their National Guard counterparts, the main difference being the “California” tape in place of “U.S. Army” or “U.S. Air Force.” Some CSMR units are tightly integrated with National Guard detachments for training and other purposes.

    “Chaplain Confers dedication demonstrates what it means to be a member of the CSMR,” said Brig. Gen. (CA) Frank Emanuel, the CSMR commander. “Commitment remains to the state and the nation.”



    Date Taken: 02.18.2017
    Date Posted: 02.21.2017 18:22
    Story ID: 224244
    Location: SACRAMENTO, CA, US 

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