FORT BRAGG, N.C. – From the holy cross, to the American Red Cross, chaplin’s at Womack Army Medical Center offer their time every week to provide counseling, spiritual advice and comfort to patients in-need.
“Our goal is to visit each patient within 24 hours after their arrival,” said Micheas Langston, the coordinator for minister volunteers, and a retired Army chaplin.
The patient’s arrival to the hospital is the reason one chaplin shows up consistently every week.
“I went on disability and I wanted something other to do than think of the situation I was in,” said Michelle Ford, an ARC volunteer chaplin.
Despite her situation, Ford is grateful for the patients she serves.
“They [patients] thank us for coming, but I need to thank them for giving me this opportunity,” added the Fayetteville native. “They cheer me up because of their positive attitudes through adversity.”
Many of the ARC volunteer Chaplin’s are not strangers to adversity, as many of them are Army veterans who know the importance of communication.
“A lot of times, as we minister to patients, they become emotional,” said Carlos Villannueva, an ARC volunteer. “I try to emphasize with them. I enjoy my job and communicating with patients brings them comfort. These words can bring about a spiritual relationship that helps them sort things out and get them on the right path,” the retired chaplain added.