Image

Gregory Matthews

Gregory Matthews writes:

On February 28, I will retire with 20 years of service as a VA chaplain.. I presently work full time and I am in good health. But, age is

catching up on me. It is time that I retire before I become a basket case. 🙂 🙂

The following is a brief statement of my 50 years of service to God & Country which will be given to those coming to my retirement

Celebration:

Fifty Years of Service

It was a June day in 1963. T. Gregory Matthews had graduated from college the day before and today he was in the local office of his Draft Board waiving his to exemption from the Draft due to his enrollment in a Seminary and requesting immediate induction into the U.S. Army. Matthews believed that as a future congregational pastor he would be dealing with families who had sons and daughters in active military service and he felt that he could best relate to those families if he had spent time in the Army as an enlisted person.

One month after graduating from college he was wearing an Army uniform and on his way to Ft. Sam Huston for training as an enlisted medic. Matthews twenty years of active military service, with additional time in the Reserves, was unique in that for that entire period of time, both as an enlisted person and as a Commissioned Officer, he was formally registered asa Conscientious Objector, but one who was willing to serve his country. This commitment to service was in the spirit of Desmond T. Doss, who as a conscientious objector, in 1945 was the first CO to receive the Medal of Honor.After training as a medic, Matthews was assigned to Ft. Benning and the 11th Air Assault Division (Test). Its function was to develop the Air Mobility concept and in 1965 it became the 1st Air Cavalry Division in Viet Nam. The next few years, after his release from enlisted service, were spent as a Seminary student, becoming a congregational pastor in Virginia and being commissioned as a Staff Specialist in the U.S. Army. Later he transferred to the Chaplain Corps and became the first Seventh-day Adventist to serve as a chaplain in any National Guard unit. During this period of time he served with the Washington D.C. Army National Guard and with the 359th Transportation Battalion, a Reserve unit at Ft. Eustis, Virginia. In 1975 he was given the opportunity to re-enter the Army as a Chaplain which he accepted. His service as a chaplain has included: service in Korea (35 months), Panama and the invasion of Grenada in 1983. His most enjoyable unit assignment wasas the Brigade Chaplain for the 16th Military Police Brigade at Ft. Bragg,North Carolina. Other unit assignments included the Artillery (3 times),Infantry, and Engineers. He also had a chapel in Seoul, Korea. His most rewarding assignment was as a member of the teaching faculty of the U.S.Army Chaplain School, where he mentored hundreds of students as to how to remain faithful to denominational tenants within the pluralistic organization of the Army Chaplaincy. Prior to this assignment he was agraduate student at Chapman University where he earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology. By the end of his active service in the Army he had been awarded the Legion of Merit and the Meritorious Service Medal twice. Upon retirement he became employed as a V.A. Chaplain. He feels especially rewarded for his service to surgical families and to employees under the auspices of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Address is: 1088 Princeton Dr, Longmont, Colorado 80503

Email and phone: (303)485-9482 tgmatthews3@hotmail.com