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Navy's chief chaplain stresses need to address spiritual issues for war vets

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In the care of wounded soldiers and those returning from war, there is a need to address spiritual needs along with the physical and mental ones, the Navy’s chief of chaplains said.

Speaking Thursday at Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center as the kickoff for its Pastoral Care Week, Rear Adm. Mark L. Tidd said he was impressed by the stories he heard as he toured the facility and its unique Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit.

“You inspire me,” he told patients and staffers at the luncheon. “Your stories of challenges that you’ve overcome, stories of new abilities that you’ve discovered to replace those that have been lost through injury or illness, stories of relationships that have been restored through healing.”

As part of that rehabilitation, spirituality should be addressed and chaplains should be part of the care team, Tidd said.

“We have an important role to play in those partnerships and strengthening our people to rebound from the challenges they face and the stressors they experience,” Tidd said.

Chaplains can help them come to grips with their ordeals, he said.

“Anyone who goes through an experience where they face the reality of life and death and trauma and loss recognizes the need for something beyond themselves,” Tidd said.


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