“… I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you gave me clothing,
I was sick and you took care of me,
I was in prison and you visited me.”
Matthew 25:35-36 NRSV
Sometimes, it seems, only one note sounds in the chimes, like a bell. What do you hear?
“Unseen” — the women who serve and have served in the military
“This year I want to salute and honor the most often unseen members of our service and veteran community: the women who serve and who have served in uniform.” With these words Bishop Jay Magness (Bishop Suffragan for Federal Ministries ) begins his Veterans Day Reflection for 2012.
On Thursday I’ll have more to share. In his statement I was shocked to hear that over 5000 women Veterans sleep where they can each night for they are homeless. The words of our President are haunting: “…let us reaffirm our promise that when our troops finish their tours of duty, they come home to an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong ….” (Veterans Day Proclamation 2012)
More to the point for us who follow the Way, long ago Jesus shared a story about seeing and meeting the needs of others as we live our lives. The story has this punchline: “… I tell you, just as you did it [feed, clothe, visit, offer care] to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:31-46) ~dan
Too many women who once wore our uniform now go to sleep in our streets
In a 2011 Press Release, Labor Secretary, Hilda L. Solis informs those who will listen: “Too many women who once wore our uniform now go to sleep in our streets,” she added. “It breaks my heart to see that because many of them are sick [and] in need of help, and many are hungry. And it isn’t just them — some of them have children.” The Press Release announced a “Trauma Guide” to assist others in helping women veterans.
Also in the Press Release:
- The female veteran population is estimated to grow from 1.8 million in 2010 to 2.1 million by 2036, according to Labor Department statistics, resulting in a greater likelihood that more women veterans will need physical and psychological services.
- Today, service providers often treat women veterans using the same methods used for their male counterparts.
- “This guide acknowledges the experiences and challenges facing women veterans,” Solis said, “and will result in better assistance and better outcomes for these deserving women.”
Online: Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans Experiencing Homelessness: A Guide for Service Providers (shortened to “Trauma Guide” by helpers). Executive Summary of the Trauma Guide (a PDF file)
Church leaders say returning Vets need time, attention
May the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be blessed! He is the compassionate Father and God of all comfort. He’s the one who comforts us in all our trouble so that we can comfort other people who are in every kind of trouble. We offer the same comfort that we ourselves received from God.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 CEB
May we be inspired to action by the clarion call of the chimes. ~dan
Photo: Department of Veterans Affairs ~dan