Veterans Resources Directory
Following my ordination as a deacon in the Episcopal Church, I met with the Rt. Rev. Thomas Ely, bishop of Vermont, and expressed my desire to continue with a project aimed to help meet the needs of struggling or returning military veterans which I had begun as part of my diaconal formation. Still feeling a strong sense of calling to help with veterans, Bishop Ely assigned me to continue with this effort for at least a year.
As a result, the Episcopal Church in Vermont has launched a missional initiative in support of military Veterans in Vermont, which includes an evolving, user-friendly directory of non-governmental resources for veterans and their families in Vermont. The directory, while non-sectarian, will include spiritual resources.
This evolving directory is not to duplicate what exists, but rather to expand opportunities for awareness of veterans in Vermont and connection among Vermonters who want to assist them in some way. Indeed, it is hoped that the existence and wider circulation of the evolving directory will lead to the expansion of non-governmental resources for veterans as more opportunities become known.
It is envisioned that in due course there will be participation in this project beyond the Episcopal Church. The plan is to have a short period of initial sharing and refining before broader circulation among other faith communities and non-governmental resources.
On a personal note, if you wonder about the genesis of this project and how I came to this role, let me say by way of introduction, that my late father was a Navy pilot who flew in the Berlin Airlift. My mother’s brother was a Navy pilot who was killed in World War II. My late brother helped troubled service members as a career psychologist in the Air Force. I served a term in the Air Force as an administrative officer. Lastly, I invite you to read the veterans-related portion of a sermon I gave on Veterans Day in 2012.
On behalf of Vermont veterans and their families, thank you.
+ The Rev. Stephen A. Reynes