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    104th Fighter Wing Chaplain ministers to troops, Veterans and staff

    104th Fighter Wing Chaplain ministers to troops, Veterans and staff

    Photo By Master Sgt. Lindsey Watson | 104th Fighter Wing Chaplain Tra-Vorus Weaver was promoted to captain in a ceremony...... read more read more

    HOLYOKE, MA, UNITED STATES

    05.13.2020

    Story by Master Sgt. Lindsey Watson 

    104th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

    Some career choices are a calling rather than simply an occupation. Capt. Tra-Vorus Weaver followed his calling to the ministry and became a chaplain with the 104th Fighter Wing in 2018. He was recently activated by the unit to minister at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home as part of the COVID-19 response mission there.

    When the COVID-19 response mission began, the Massachusetts Air and Army National Guard were engaged to serve those that had come before them at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home by providing medical and logistics support, as well as a ministry team for emotional support. Weaver was the first chaplain to arrive and immediately began providing services and assessing where he could. It has been a great first experience for him as a chaplain for the 104th, he said.

    “With our Massachusetts National Guard operations at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, we have Airmen and Soldiers performing many difficult tasks,” said Col. Peter T. Green, 104FW commander. “Chaplain Weaver is the most important person I could send to watch over them and ensure they are mentally, physically and spiritually able to continue the mission,” he said.

    On Weaver’s first day at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, he sat down with Brig. Gen. John Driscoll, commander of the Massachusetts Army National Guard.

    “Brig. Gen. Driscoll was not so mission driven that he was not concerned with me as a person, and I really appreciated that. It was very impactful,” said Weaver. “If that first interaction with him had not been such a positive one, I might not be here. I might not have felt comfortable committing to the mission here.”

    Upon his arrival, he communicated with the tactical chaplain overseeing several locations in the state and conveyed the need for more ministerial support at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

    “Now we have pastoral support on all of the shifts. I also analyzed the demographic here and arranged to offer both protestant and catholic services,” he said.

    His primary mission is to minister to the troops, connect with the Veterans, and minister to the staff.

    “We have developed a battle or ministry rhythm here. In the morning, we participate in troop engagement, then participate in the facility huddle, and from there we offer office hours and make rounds. In the afternoon, we repeat the process,” he said.

    Weaver has now been ministering at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home for more than a month. He and his team have put a wide array of support services in place including: visiting with residents, troops, and staff, leading daily prayer services at noon, leading weekly chapel services and coordinating inspirational music prior to services, and assisting with memorial services and administering last rites as needed.

    The introduction of music at the beginning of service is something new to the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. The goal is to encourage Veterans prior to chapel services.

    “Music has a way of inspiring people,” he said. “God uses it to touch our souls in ways like no other.”

    Weaver and the rest of the chaplain team present at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home will continue to serve there or anywhere else they are needed.

    “The most rewarding aspect of our mission here is hearing that we are making a difference,” said Weaver. “It is rewarding when we are visiting Veterans to provide pastoral care and provide assistance to them as they are passing over to the other side. It is a very special ministry and one that is very rewarding.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 05.13.2020
    Date Posted: 05.13.2020 17:31
    Story ID: 369868
    Location: HOLYOKE, MA, US 

    Web Views: 136
    Downloads: 1

    PUBLIC DOMAIN