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Shepherd and Elder Care to Caregiver (C2C) Program

In October we made our second presentation about the Shepherd and Elder Care to Caregiver (C2C) Program to the Advanced Course C4 14-002 Class. We have more Chaplains who want to link with Shepherds and that linking will take place in the next few weeks. The program will always be voluntary, with no coercion. Understandably, inviting them to engage in a relationship with a person they don’t know is somewhat intimidating and they are reluctant to stand up and say they want to link with a Shepherd. We will be linking 8 more chaplains this time. We hope that you, who are serving as Shepherds with Chaplains today, will sustain and engage with the mentees so their experience with you will be the testimony that will encourage other serving Chaplains to join in the C2C Program. Thank you to our Shepherds who have linked with Chaplains. I know the mentoring you do with them will encourage them and be helpful to them.





1-800-325-0720 GROUP 2225642

[Use group number when reserving room)

NITE: Room is $141 plus tax includes: Full Breakfast, Heavy Hors d’oeuvres or comfort food, beer or wine (I think 2 per day) and unlimited soft drinks and popcorn daily. Covered valet parking $21.00 per day.


The RECON XV Committee is working to give you a great time of fellowship, uplifting spiritual devotions and hymn singing, and a San Antonio “experience” at lowest cost. Details will follow soon! EARLY REGISTRATION WITH HOTEL INSURES YOUR LOWEST RATE!

Planning Committee Members

Erich Schwartz,
Thekla Bunnet,
Scottie Lloyd
Olin Knuten
Paul Howe

General Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army General (Retired)

One MindAt this year’s reunion, we had a simply once in a lifetime opportunity to hear from General Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army General (Retired) who served as the 32nd  Vice Chief of Staff of the Army. While there he was instrumental in leading the Department of Defense efforts to address post-traumatic stress (PTS), traumatic brain injury (TBI), and suicide prevention. Currently General Chiarelli is the Chief Operating Officer of the “One Mind” organization. One Mind is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to benefiting all affected by brain illness and injury through fostering fundamental changes that will radically accelerate the development and implementation of improved diagnostics, treatments and cures — while eliminating the stigma that comes with mental illness.

During his spell binding keynote presentation, General Chiarelli posited that mental health affects more people than you think. From autism and Alzheimer’s disease to traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, brain diseases and injuries affect more than 60 million Americans — that’s more than one in five Americans suffering from mental illness or brain injury. Unfortunately, there has been little to no progress in developing solutions among the medical community. The current state of the art for diagnostics and treatment are woefully dated and ineffective.  To make matters worse, there is not only far less large-scale research on brain illness and injury than other major diseases, but also the majority of research that is being conducted, the data and results are not being shared with other brain illness and injury researchers. Research and treatment for PTS and TBI are  basically the same as were in effect during WWII. 

One Mind is attempting to change that. They are attempting to create large-scale research on all brain injuries and openly share the research with any and all  who need the information to advance treatment of these injuries. Chiarelli also indicated that One Mind is partnering with trailblazing online patient community builder PatientsLikeMe to enable an enhanced design and customized experience of world-class PTS and TBI online communities. The data from these PTS and TBI online communities will not only lead to better diagnostics, treatments and cures, but also be useful to researchers studying related illnesses of the brain such as depression, Parkinson’s, ALS, dementia, Alzheimer’s and addiction.

Of course funding is always an issue. Despite the need for diagnostics and treatments, the amount invested into brain research has been, historically, astoundingly low. The reasons? Government funding is largely fragmented, funding many small studies rather than major research projects that could lead to more significant results. And corporate funding (primarily from the pharmaceutical industry) has already decreased so dramatically that it can be considered insignificant. To make matters worse, translating research results to actual cures can take many years. In fact, this process is so arduous that the scientific community calls it “The Valley of Death.” To address this, One Mind is leading the effort by bringing together the governmental, corporate, scientific and philanthropic communities to facilitate data sharing and collaboration, accelerate large-scale research and focus on the needs of the patient.

General Chiarelli also stressed the importance of creating more awareness about the efforts of One Mind. That’s why One Mind participates in a variety of conferences, events, meetings and speaking engagements each year to educate public and private individuals and companies and make the issues surrounding mental health more known and understood. 

This was an unbelievable opportunity for our reunion and truly kicked off the rest of the week in grand style.

USACCRA Reunion by Chaplain (COL) Herman Keizer, Jr.

Chaplain (COL) Herman Keizer, Jr.
6875 Dale Hollow Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49316-7815

Dear Chaplain Family,

Another USACCRA Reunion has come and gone. It seemed to go too fast for many of us. We all had so many friends to meet, greet and get up to date on things in our lives. It still amazes me how quickly we can do that with our friends and acquaintances. We pick up as if we had seen each other yesterday, but we know that much has happened to each other and that we have all become older. I am also thankful that we can rejoice in God’s blessings even when experienced through pain and illness in addition to joys and blessings.

I am very thankful for the effort of the committee for all their work in planning and running the reunion. Al, Tom, Hal, Larry and Ken all deserve special thanks for all the work they did to make the conference a success. A BIG THANK YOU for all your work.

We tried to keep business to a few sessions, centered on two evening meals. This gave us the time to get out information we felt important and gave the attendees a maximum time for meeting together and visiting the city. Retired General Pete Chiarelli gave the Keynote Speech and we also heard from out Chief of Chaplains. G.T. and I talked about the C2C program. We also had a short business meeting. The Memorial Service celebrated and remembered the ministry of so many of our family. The list was long this year with names of many we all knew and valued.
Our hotel was not as close to the major city places to see and the hotel bus was not adequate for the needs of the attendees, While that was a hardship, it did not prevent our having fun.
We are working on plans for our 2016 Reunion and will get the dates and place information to you so you can put it on your calendars. We hope that you will all plan to come to our next reunion. It is a great opportunity to meet and greet members of the chaplain family.

The Board asks you all to find members of the family who are not members and encourage them to join. We are a better organization than we were a few years ago and we hope to continue to improve as we go forward. We would like to include more of the chaplain family in our organization and we do need your help to grow our membership.

I hope you all had a wonderful Veterans’ Day. Thanks for your service.

Herman Keizer Jr.
Herman Keizer, Jr.

Chaplain Assistant BBQ Hosted by SGM (Retired) Tom Prost and wife Mary

This past September, I was happy to attend the United States Army Chaplain Corps Regimental Association Reunion in Atlanta. De and I had a great time fellowshipping with both active and retired chaplains, chaplain assistants, DRE’s, and family members!
One of the many highlights of the reunion was the Chaplain Assistant BBQ that SGM (Retired) Tom Prost and his lovely wife, Mary, hosted at their home in the Atlanta area! It was such a joy to fellowship with the many great chaplain assistants and their spouses that I grew up in the Army with, who were my mentors, leaders, and associates!

It was great feeling young, looking through the many pictures of chaplain assistants through the past years that Larry Toelstede and Tom Prost brought to share with everyone! Those present represented over 40 years of religious support to the US Army!

The food was great and the stories and memories were enlightening! Everyone sang songs, led by Frank Gugudan and Jean McCalvey, playing their ukuleles! It was a day that I wished would not have ended. However, it was a day that I will not forget! I cannot wait until the next reunion that will be held in San Antonio, TX in October 2016!!! Again, many thanks to Tom and Mary Prost for hosting such a GREAT event in your beautiful home!!!

Steve Wilson
Honorary Chaplain Corps Regimental Sergeant Major


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1.  JoAnn Toelstede; 2.  Vicki Steppy; 3.  Dave & Vicki Steppy’s Granddaughter CJ; 4.  Steve Croft; 5.  Dave Zimmer; 6.  Susan Dahl; 7.  Gary Dahl; 8.  Bonnie Crawford; 9.  De Wilson; 10.  Mike Kutcher; 11. Becky Roger; 12. Lloyd *Becky’s finance; 13.  Bill Daniels; 14.  Helga Daniels; 15.  Ken McCalvey; 16.  Frank Gugudan; 17.  Larry Toelstede; 18.  Nancy Bowren; 19.  Ron Bowren; 20.  Dave Steppy; 21.  Lucky Simpson; 22.  Fran Simpson; 23.  Belinda Rectenwald; 24.  Charles Rectenwald; 25.  Annetta Redman; 26.  Tom Prost; 27.  Tomas Garcia; 28.  Mary Prost; 29.  Jim Schonefeld; 30.  Dot Schonefeld; 31.  Jim Nesmith; 32. Ken Todd (wife Geneva was there, but somehow missed the photo); 33.  Vicki Nesmith; 34.  Steve Wilson; Also, Abdul-Ali Shakur came after the photo (our 1st Muslim CA); Also,  Jean McCalbey was taking the picture.



11-27-2014 6-01-23 PM


            Anyone who enjoys attending the biennial reunions of the Chaplaincy Family will enjoy being a part of a local chapter of USACCRA.  Local chapter meetings are smaller groups who live within a reasonable distance of each other who get together informally occasionally to pursue the same commitment as the entire USACCRA:

To life-long fellowship with our Chaplaincy Colleagues;
To a continuing ministry to Soldiers and their Families; and

To promoting the legacy of the past and the ministry of the present Chaplaincy

Those in each local chapter decide where they will meet, how often they meet, and when they meet.  Different locations offer differing opportunities for ministry to soldiers and their families, since some of the chapters are a long way from an army installation.  On the other hand, there are always stories of heroes with special needs that local chapters can adopt.  But it is up to each chapter to make that decision.  Stories of shared experiences seem to come up, even when those discussing them were never assigned at the same place at the same time.  There is a quick affiliation with new people because of our common commitment to ministry in the army.

We currently have active local chapters in the areas of Anniston, Alabama, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, San Antonio, and two chapters in the Atlanta area.  Two of our colleagues are attempting to create a chapter in southern California, and there has been discussion of one at Columbia, SC/Fort Jackson.  Anyone in any of these areas interested in learning more about these chapters can contact me for further information.

Chaplains, chaplain assistants, Directors of Religious Education, and family members of each of these groups are leaders!  Leadership is a major part of what made us successful in the army.  Let me encourage some of you to step up where you live and start a new local chapter.  You will find that it is one of the easiest things you have ever done.

All you have to do to start a chapter is to contact me, and I will send you some names we have on our list of those who live in your vicinity.  Your task is to contact them, agree on a place and time to meet, and voila!  You will have started a local chapter.  The group that meets the first time is likely to know others in the area who aren’t on our list.  You contact them and grow from there.  Again, the group decides how often and where to meet.  You set your own goals.  And if you have no fund raising programs, there is no need for a treasurer, since all the meals are Dutch treats.  Start out keeping it simple.  If you become larger and most confident, there will be time to make yourselves more complex—but not at first.

I am about to start my last year as Vice President for Local Chapters.  I’d like your help to build on what we have already started in the Regimental Association.  You will find that local chapters provide more personal fellowship and opportunities for supporting each other in times of crisis than the larger reunion group possibly can.  The two levels supplement each other.

Step out and give it a try.  You will be glad you did.South Atlanta Chapter

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Smith

Retired Army Chaplain Don and Ina (Konynenbelt) Jansen


Retired Army Chaplain Don and Ina (Konynenbelt) Jansen have had an active year serving veterans. On Memorial Day, Don was the 10561824_615651828554806_1717651715603537593_nHonorary Grand Marshal in the annual Memorial Day parade in Holland, Michigan. Together they rode in a 1949 Chrysler Convertible to the cemetery where Don was the keynote speaker. On Veterans Day, Don was the speaker at the annual observance at his high school alma mater, Holland Christian High School. In the evening he gave the invocation and benediction for the Veterans Day concert presented by the Holland American Legion Band. Don is an active member of the Holland Chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. He still does funerals and committal services for veterans when invited. Last Spring, Don and Ina heard the lecture on PTSD and Moral Injury presented by Dr. Jonathan Shay in Grand Rapids as one way they try to stay informed and be a source of assistance for individuals and churches. They enjoyed the Retired Chaplains Reunion in Atlanta this year and hope to see many of their friends in San Antonio in 2016.


Operation Homefront Kicks Off Holiday Meals for Military


Thank you Operation Homefront for this article

Operation Homefront next week kicks-off the first of 21 events taking place across the nation through December 19 to distribute holiday meals to military families.  Walmart is contributing cash and in-kind donations worth $250,000 to the 2014 Holiday Meals for Military program and Walmart associates are also offering their help to package holiday meal kits.   

The 8,000 meal kits, which include all the grocery items necessary for a full holiday meal, will be distributed to lower and mid-grade ranking military families, E-1 thru E-6, at 21 locations nationwide in December 2014, including Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Fort Benning, Ga.; Fort Campbell, Ky.; Fort Carson, Colo.; Fort Drum, N.Y.; Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Knox, Ky.; Great Lakes Naval Base, Ill.; Camp Lejeune, N.C.; Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.; and Joint Base Andrews, Md.

“We are proud to work with our long-standing partner Operation Homefront to once again bring holiday meals to military families across the country,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of Walmart Sustainability. “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are dedicated to creating opportunities for our nation’s service members and veterans year-round, through Walmart’s Welcome Home Hiring Commitment and the Walmart Foundation’s $20 million pledge through 2019 to support veteran employment and transition programs. Helping veterans find a meaningful career and providing holiday meals to our military families are important touch points where we can give back to those who have given the most for our country.”

Distributing these meals is an important undertaking that will be carried out in military communities and at local Operation Homefront Field Offices across the nation.  For more information on how to volunteer or donate to the cause, please log on to

In addition to Walmart and Beam-Suntory, major sponsors for the program include Chinet, Thirty-one, Dole, and Southern Wine & Spirits-KY.

Find events in your area: 



1687 Foundation:

The 5 Love Languages: Alpha:

American Bible Society: services/scripture-provision

Biblica: Blackaby Ministries International:

Cadence International:

Campus Crusade for Christ:

Child Evangelism Fellowship:

Combat Faith:


Faith Comes By Hearing: outreach

Faith Deployed (encouragement for military wives)

Fellowship of Fathers:


In Touch Ministries:

Military Communities Youth Ministries:

United States Military Chaplains Bible Society:

Military Chaplains Fellowship:

Military Devotional:

The Navigators:

Operation We Are Here:

Operation Worship:

Prayer Stand:

RBC Ministries:

Saddleback Resources:

Soldiers’ Angels:

Soldiers Bible Ministry:

SLM Ministry:

Strength for Service:


Wives of Faith:

Worship 4 Warriors:

Youth For Christ:

Care to Caregiver (C2C) Program by Chaplain Thomas H. Brouillard

In mid-August senior leaders of the Chaplain Corps came from all over the world to participate in the Chief of Chaplains’ Strategic Leader Development Training. This event, held annually, had to be cancelled last year and reworked in the wake of budget constraints. In the past, Senior Leadership Development Training (SLDT) included most all of the senior Unit Ministry Teams (UMTs) in all components of the Army Chaplain Corps; budget constraints forced a dramatic reduction in the list of invitees this year in order to conform to current training guidance from Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD).

I have to confess that I’m not a great fan of mass gatherings of any sort where training or teaching or briefings are concerned, as it doesn’t take long before my spine begins to feel as if it’s welded to the usual uncomfortably hard plastic chairs featured at most venues. And it’s the networking and informal discussion and brainstorming with other senior leaders about practical issues and solutions that gives any real significance or permanence to these things.

Aspects of this training were no different, but one session was of particular interest to the topic of my article in this issue of the newsletter – the Care to Caregiver (C2C) Program. Developed between the current Chief of Chaplains, CH (MG) Donald L. Rutherford, and former Chief of Chaplains, CH (MG-R) G.T. Gunhus, the Care to Caregiver Program aligns currently serving chaplains and chaplain assistants with retired members of our Corps, who have volunteered to act as Shepherds and Elders (mentors) to them.

The first presentation about the Shepherd and Elder C2C Program was made to the Advanced Course C4 14-001 Class. An article on the Chaplain Regimental Association web page points out that, of the 36 students in the class, seventeen of them linked with a Shepherd; nine declined to participate; and nine indicated no preference one way or the other. Four who attended the most recent Brigade Chaplain Functional Course indicated a wish to link with a Shepherd. Considering that the program is strictly voluntary, it appears to be off to a great start.

The C2C Program continues to solicit volunteers as of this writing. It is my hope that volunteers from all components will step forward to mentor and guide mid-career and young chaplains just starting out. I received no mentoring (or even supervision for that matter) as a chaplain candidate and very little as a company grade chaplain. But beginning in my field grade years, I had a string of fantastic mentors – chaplains, other special staff, and line officers alike. And I was determined to “pay it forward” during the remaining years of my career.

In my experience as a senior leader, there is NO greater satisfaction than in mentoring the next generation of senior leaders. I mean that sincerely – NOTHING that is more rewarding. But that’s been true at every stage of my career, as I endeavored to mentor those immediately subordinate to me and accepted mentoring from those above me. If you are not doing so already, I strongly encourage you – no, more than encourage you – I suggest it’s a big part of your responsibility to the Army and to the Corps – to mentor a chaplain in your Area of Responsibility (AOR).

Having said all that, I offer a word of caution to prospective mentors and mentees. Not everyone is cut out for or ought to engage in mentoring, in my view. Unless you can make judgments without being judgmental, unless you can impart your expertise without being doctrinaire, unless you can walk a mile in someone else’s shoes without stepping on their toes, unless you can uphold what you cannot always personally embrace – do your subordinates a favor and forget about mentoring. I would say further, unless as a senior leader, you value your mentee’s career as much or more than your own – do your subordinates a favor and forget about mentoring.

And to those looking for a mentor, take your time. Trust is the precondition for any successful mentoring. Use your judgment; wait until it feels right. Until you sense you can trust, don’t jump at the first senior chaplain you encounter or you may sadly live to regret the day you did. You will know when you’ve found the right person. The C2C Program is an opportunity for you newer and mid-career chaplains to pick up a mentor who has already proven himself or herself as a trusted mentor over an entire career and clearly cares about your career enough to volunteer the time to look after you as a Shepherd and Elder.

If you’ve not found a mentor, I strongly encourage you to request one today. If you’ve not been a mentor, I suggest you engage now to ensure that the experience and the care that you bring to the Corps in your career lifecycle is not lost to the Corps of the future. phone is 860-639-4494

Pro Deo et Patria
Army Strong

CH (COL) Thomas H. Brouillard
Director, Reserve Components Integration
Office of the Chief of Chaplains