Honoring All Who Have Served: Congregational Resources for Veterans Day
Each year the United States honors its military veterans on November 11 - Veterans Day. In response to the sacrifices our veterans and their families made, our diocese offers opportunities for military and veteran families to attend Family Camp together at Duncan Park in Colorado and Mustang Island Conference Center on the Gulf Coast, as well as scholarships for their children to attend Summer Camp sessions at Camp Capers.
I had the opportunity to serve as Chaplain at the Wounded Warrior and Veteran Family Camp at Duncan Park in June 2022 and as well as for the upcoming Veterans Day weekend Wounded Warrior and Veteran Family Camp at Mustang Island Conference Center. In this role, I can see clearly how the veterans and their families are able to relax, reflect, and renew their familial relationships and also their spiritual relationship with our Lord. Without the distractions that are present at home, everyone can be fully present with one another, welcoming this gift they were given.
Many of the veterans are suffering from their time in service, and their families suffer along with them. They are so very grateful for these camps which are deeply treasured by all attendees.
If you would like to help our military, veterans and their families, please contact our Diocesan Military Ministry. We would love your support.
The Rev. Dexter Lesieur
Military Ministry Co-Chair
Photo from 2021 Veterans Family Camp at Mustang Island Conference Center. Veteran Families are able to access full scholarships from the Diocese to attend these camps at no or greatly reduced cost to the family.
Resources for Congregations
Suggestions and resources for recognizing Veterans Day are included below, from the diocesan Military Ministry. Please join the Diocese and the Nation in thanking these brave men and women who served and sacrificed.
For more information about establishing a Military Ministry at your church, please contact Leslie Mixson at email@example.com, the Rev. Karen Brandon, Military Ministry Co-Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org., or the Rev. Dexter Lesieur, Military Ministry Co-Chair, at email@example.com.
Diocesan Military Ministry Toolkits
The Diocese of West Texas Military Ministry's Toolkit contains everything a congregation needs to begin or expand a Military Ministry. The ideas for ministry run from simple things like adding military members to your prayer list to more involved efforts. The Toolkit also contains information on resources to assist active duty military members, veterans, and their families in your congregation and in your community. There is so much opportunity in the Military Ministry field that every church will find a place that is appropriate for them.
Click here to download the Toolkit.
ECF Vital Practices - Veterans Day Resources
ECF Vital Practices is a ministry of the Episcopal Church Foundation whose mission is to be a comprehensive and holistic resource that helps vitalize Episcopal faith communities. It has curated a list of Memorial Day and Veterans Day resources to honor and remember the men and women who have served in our Country's armed forces.
Click here to learn more.
United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration Packets
The Episcopal Diocese of West Texas, through its Military Ministry, is an official Commemorative Partner of The United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration—a national 50th anniversary commemoration. Every diocesan congregation has the opportunity to honor Vietnam veterans through a special service of recognition and is invited to request Commemorative Packets from Military Ministry, for use at any time during the year.
Click here for more resources, including FAQs, prayers and litanies, and resources from The United States Vietnam War Commemorative website.
Congregations may request their Church Commemorative Packet by contacting Leslie Mixson, diocesan Development Assistant and Military Ministry liaison, at firstname.lastname@example.org and (888/210) 824-5387.
A Prayer for those in the Armed Forces of our Country
Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women of our armed forces at home and abroad. Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace; strengthen them in their trials and temptations; give them courage to face the perils which beset them; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Book of Common Prayer, page 832