The Voice for Chaplaincy - Chartered by Congress - Serving Since 1925
Weekly Newsgram - November 8th,  2017
Veterans Day Addition

Chaplain Linda Pugsley
A Veteran and Chaplain for Life
One Among Many

(from an interview with Chaplain Pugsley by Michael Bates, Citrus County Chronicle)
  A native of Massachusetts, Chaplain Linda Pugsley graduated from nursing school in 1966 and was working as an R.N. trauma nurse at Boston City Hospital when she chose to join the U.S. Air Force Reserve. After basic training and flight school, she was ready to go to Vietnam.
   There were plenty of nurses and physicians on the ground, she said, but few in the air. She wanted to change that.
   "It was extremely intense in the fall of 1969 due to the number of casualties. We were evacuating 10,000 wounded per month," she said.  Patients were loaded onto C-141 cargo planes and flown for several hours to major care facilities in Japan or the Philippines, Pugsley said. The survival rate for wounded soldiers in Vietnam was only 70 percent.
   "Heavy-duty nursing care was required for the trips," she said. "If they could walk onto the plane they were considered lucky."
   "There were just so many wounded and so much work," she recalled. "We knew their lives would be severely affected but you didn't have time to mourn or grieve for them. We nurses had to stuff a lot of our feelings just to be able to concentrate on keeping them alive."
   "As the saying goes, 'Men got Purple Hearts and their nurses got broken hearts,'" she said.
   In 1978 Pugsley resigned her position as a flight nurse and pursued a career in ministry. In 2003 she was ordained and is currently an associate pastor at Great Hope Christian Fellowship in Tampa, where she lives.
   At age 71, Pugsley said, "I feel good and still run marathons." She also remains a chaplain in the USAF Auxiliary/Civil Air Patrol, and works mostly with veterans in five counties.
   "It's like coming full circle," she said. "As a young flight nurse I tended to the physical wounds of soldiers. Now, as a chaplain, I tend to the spiritual and emotional wounds of vets."
   Chaplain Pugsley will be carrying the banner of all who served in the nation's military while serving as grand marshal for the Veterans Day Parade in Crystal River, FL this weekend.
   We applaud Chaplain Pugsley and all the veterans who have served our nation so nobly. Thanks to all of you and may we as a nation recognize your service, sacrifice, and strength on this Veterans Day observance.

Lyman Smith
Executive Director

For the full article and information on Chaplain Pugsley's writings go here

In Memoriam

Walter E. Ebarb

LCDR, CHC, USN, Retired
Roman Catholic Church
deceased November 1, 2017
San Antonio, Texas

MCA Member

Chaplain Robert Carter

United States Army Reserve
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Highland Falls, NY

National Veterans and Military Families Month November 2017

For 98 years, Americans have remembered those who served our country in uniform on 11 November - first as Armistice Day, and then, since 1954 as Veterans Day. In this 99th year of commemoration, the Department of Veterans Affairs is broadening that tradition of observance and appreciation to include both Veterans and Military Families for the entire month of November.

For the November 2017 Veterans Day Presidential Proclamation go here

For information on Regional Sites celebrating Veterans Day go here

The 2017 Veterans Day Poster available here



No Greater Love, the award-winning documentary, invites the audience to experience war and its aftermath from a soldier's perspective.

No Greater Love depicts the combat deployment of the legendary "No Slack" Battalion, 101st Airborne Division, through the eyes of Army Chaplain Justin David Roberts. While deployed in Afghanistan, Chaplain Roberts decided to carry a camera to document the hardships his unit endured. He captured not only the gritty reality of war but also the incredibly strong bond that is forged between soldiers.

While deployed in Afghanistan, Chaplain Roberts had no intention of making No Greater Love; however, the truly courageous deeds he witnessed (the battalion returned home with over 200 purple hearts) got him thinking about what motivated "regular" guys to become heroes. He asked himself, what drives men to commit acts of valor and sacrifice? Roberts discovered that the common thread running through each tragedy was love, and that was a story that deserved to be told.

Layering real war footage with heartfelt interviews with soldiers and Gold Star family members, No Greater Love seeks to help others understand the experience of war and the personal struggles of soldiers, both on the battlefield and once they return home. There are over 20 suicides per day in the veteran population and countless struggles with depression, PTSD, and addiction. No Greater Love strives to create a dialogue about war and promote healing.

"The only way that you can really come back from war is with love. And it has to come from friends, it has to come from family members, neighbors, and the people you were fighting for, and it has to come from each other. That is the only way we can fully come home." - No Greater Love Director and Producer, Chaplain Justin D. Roberts

Spirit of Chaplaincy Newsletter

 A new copy of the Spirit of Chaplaincy Newsletter has been released by the National VA Chaplain Center, Hampton, Va. Filled with news and items of interest for all chaplains, you may access it here. 


a poem to communicate what it means to be a veteran 
by Chaplain (COL) Paul Swerdlow, USA, Retired

the final verse 

From Ground Zero to the Pentagon to the fields of Pennsylvania,
 I saw the carnage and heard the cries. At that moment,
I pledged my life, my property and my sacred honor
Until there will be peace and freedom on earth
For everyone, everywhere.
I am a veteran.

entire poem available here

Pastor Opportunity

Oakland Christian 
United Church of Christ
Suffolk, VA 

Oakland Christian Church, a medium sized UCC congregation in Suffolk, VA, just southwest of the Norfolk/Portsmouth area seeks their next pastor.  The Search Committee has completed the Church Profile (attached).  They believe the ideal candidate will bring a sense of stability as the congregation continues to mourn the passing of their former Pastor earlier this year.
Being familiar with the ministry of military chaplains, the leadership of the congregation welcomes inquiries by Chaplains who are either retired or soon will be.
Oakland's point of contact is Mr. C. F. Jordan who can be reached at email or (757) 532-1467.  

Visit our  website. There you will be able to update your contact information, joinpay your dues, make donationsfile ministry reports, contact our supporters, read The Military Chaplain magazine and otherwise connect to resources.

If you missed the November 1st   edition of the Newsgram     click here 
SUPPORTING CHAPLAINCY IN AND OUT OF UNIFORM: Active, Retired and Former Chaplains of the  United States Army,  United States Navy,  United States Air Force, Department of  Veterans Affairs, and  Civil Air Patrol

AND THOSE THEY SERVE: military members, veterans, and their families  at home and around the world

The Military Chaplains Association of the USA
(703) 533-5890 | Email | Website