GMAE and Religious Leaders Visit Ft. McCoy
2,400 soldiers from Minnesota will deploy to Kuwait later this month, leaving behind their families and dependents for close to 1 year.
GMAE calls on churches to connect with staff liaisons at Family Assistance Centers in communities throughout the state to offer your help to military family members. (See below)
On July 6 Carl Nelson traveled with 7 other religious leaders from Minnesota to Fort McCoy aboard a Blackhawk helicoptor to visit MN National Guard soldiers from the First Brigade Combat Team who is preparing to deploy to Kuwait within a few weeks.
Chaplain (LTC) John Morris of the MN National Guard invited these leaders to visit the soldiers and learn about their mission with the goal of mobilizing local congregations to support military family members while their soldiers are deployed.
Of the 2,400 citizen soldiers being deployed from Minnesota, almost 40% of the soldiers are leaving family members at home. As the commanders briefed the delegation on their mission they asked them to mobilize their congregations to help take care of their families.
GMAE has already been working to mobilize churches. In April we helped Bethel Seminary sponsor a training for pastors called Ministering to Military Families, with instructors from the MN National Guard to help church leaders learn practical ways to care for military families. This seminar will be repeated on October 13 at Wooddale Church in Eden Prairie.
Family Assistance Centers
One of the first steps that churches can take is to introduce yourself to the staff liaisons at the Family Assistance Center located near you. (See address and staff contacts here).
FACs are local resource centers for Servicemembers and military family members. The FAC staff provide information and referrals to local resources as well as state and federal military support programs. Centers are located in these cities throughout Minnesota: