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This year's July 4th had COVID-19, ongoing protests about systemic racism, and a presidential visit to Mt. Rushmore. Plus, Trump signed an order to plan a new statue park.

NH Churches Offer “Spiritual First Aid” to Returning National Guardsmen

September 17, 2007

White River Junction, VT – New Hampshire churches are working with the National Guard to help soldiers returning from war adjust to civilian life. Caring for the minds, bodies, and spirits of trauma survivors is the focus of a workshop at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont today. Mike Morrison of St. Peter's Church in Concord says the New Hampshire National Guard's program has become a model for helping soldiers nationwide come to terms with their wartime experiences.

"The effective part of what the New Hampshire Guard has been doing is trying to help address these issues before the soldiers are off their orders."

Morrison says the effort reflects the changing nature of the ministry to include "spiritual first aid" in the wake of trauma; and that it's important to prepare clergy members to help during times of emergency, by addressing spiritual questions as well as emotional issues.

"There is a supportive role that a chaplain can play during the event as well as helping a person make meaning of the experience later on."

In addition to working with soldiers, the churches are also developing plans to respond to state and local emergencies.

John Robinson, Public News Service - NH