Good News..... Our resolution on Wounded Soldiers and Veterans has passed in both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Here is the final version of our resolution. This resolution was first sponsored in the Diocese of Chicago by my two congregations, as well as by the Episcopal Veterans Fellowship and the Episcopal Peace Fellowship. This resolution is now  the basis for the official church policy on health-care and ministry to veterans and soldiers. This is an important accomplishment for us. Thank you for all of your prayers and support.

     - Father Rod Reinhart
* FINAL VERSION - Concurred
Resolution: C051
Title: Wounded Soldiers and Veterans
Topic: Warfare
Committee: 10 - Social and Urban Affairs
House of Initial Action: Bishops
Proposer: Diocese of Chicago


Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 76th General Convention encourage its clergy, members, congregations and agencies to:

A. Educate themselves about the health-care and economic needs of our nation's military personnel and veterans who have been wounded, physically or emotionally, in the current wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, or in other wars, past or future.

B. Call on our nation's Department of Veteran Affairs Medical System and the US Government to continue to give the best possible care to our veterans, and to shorten the time required for our soldiers to receive approval for medical care and other benefits, which they have earned through their military service.

C. Take direct action to improve the lives of wounded soldiers in their communities and, when asked, to advocate on their behalf with government agencies.

D. Seek to build caring pastoral relationships with wounded soldiers in their families, congregations, communities, or local hospitals.

E. Encourage the establishment of an Episcopal Veterans Fellowship for each diocese.

F. Encourage local congregations to establish an annual healing service for wounded military personnel, veterans and others.


    In this time of war, economic anxiety and uncertainty about healthcare, we, as Christians and Patriotic Americans, are called to express our deep concern for the physical and emotional well-being of our military personnel and veterans? specially those wounded in our current conflicts. We recognize that the Veterans Administration Health Care Systems work with great dedication and expertise to care for our nation's soldiers, sailors, Air Force Members and Marines and their families. However, we are compelled to take action in the face of increasing reports of veterans and active duty military personnel, who commit suicide, lose jobs, use illegal drugs, become homeless or die because of inadequate care, and slow or denied health-care. Just as Jesus called on the church to heal the sick and care for the needy, we are called today to speak out and take action on behalf of our wounded veterans and military personnel so that they receive the best health-care possible from our nation's Veterans Administration and Military Health Systems.