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DC-area USACCRA

 

At the Fall Luncheon meeting of the DC-area USACCRA on Thursday, October 12th, we started with local plans to support the 2018 USACCRA National gathering.  The biennial national gathering includes the volunteer effort with contracted support from Armed Forces Reunions.

Dates – Wednesday (1700) through Saturday (1200), 7 – 10 Nov 18

Where – Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel

DVD The Dorchester Story; In Flanders Fields; The Nuremberg Chaplain; The Centurion at the Cross.

Dan, could you put this in the newsletter?

From: Dick Stenbakken <dickardis@comcast.net>
Sent: Friday, September 8, 2017, 6:50 PM
To: ‘Herman Keizer’
Subject: Stenbakken DVD

Herm:

A heads up for you and the rest of the USACCRA gang:  I just got copies of a 4 part DVD that is now available.  The presentations are;  The Dorchester Story; In Flanders Fields; The Nuremberg Chaplain; The Centurion at the Cross.

The three more contemporary stories were shot using green-screen, and have original art and music as background.  The Centurion at the Cross is one I had done already, but it cost no more to put it on the DVD than to leave it blank, so it is also there.

Since the Nuremberg Chaplain was so well received at our meetings, then at the NCMAF event in January, I did it for TV, and have the copyrights to put it on DVD….which is now done.  They came last week.

So…..if the gang wants them, they are $20 per DVD containing all 4 characters.  Shipping is $2.50.  My e-mail:  dickardis@comcast.net   is the best way to order them because the new DVD is not yet on my web page.

FYI….I am doing the Dorchester and Nuremberg characters with the Army Chief of Chaplains as he goes all over the system doing manor training events.  The characters are very well received in those settings.

Blessings!

Dick Stenbakken

Cell phone:  970-290-6469  (see how lucky I am!  They let me have a phone in my cell!)

Dr. Gene Snelling

Dr. Gene Snelling
Address
284 Northgate Trace
Roswell, Georgia 30075
United States
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Email
gsnellingfl@yahoo.com
Phone
(239) 246-3730
Date
10/31/2017
Ministry Report
During my 20 years in the Army(serving with the Chaplain Branch), I received my Master’s Degree from Boston University, and after being selected for Command Sergeant Major, I received a direct commission as an Ist Lt in the Medical Service Corps, thereby joining a little known but important status of dual Component. I continued to work with the Chaplains as a Sergeant Major;however, the Army continued to render an enlisted efficiency report, as well as an officer efficiency, report each and I had to keep up with my officer education requirements as well as my NCO requirements which I did by completing the Sergeants Major Academy and the Advanced Officer Course. While on active duty, I completed all my academic work for my Ph.D. After retiring from the Army in 1983, I received my Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology, and founded and became President of Royal Palm Ministries, Inc. in Florida. Through this ministry, we had a Biblical Counseling Center which we continued for the next 20 years until I retired from that after reaching 65. As an ordained minister(however not a chaplain) but as a Sergeant Major, I had many opportunities to minister with many great chaplains; doing the administrative work, but also singing, leading chapel choirs and counseling as well as preaching. I was able to work WITH the Chaplains as we both, with our individual gifts, talents, and positions, worked FOR God. It was a wonderful 20 years. Many of you guys have gone on to be with the Lord(I am now 80), but I would love to hear from those who are still living who may read this post. I have kept up with several of you but would love to hear from others. God bless you, continue to “go with God”!

Stephen Kim

Stephen Kim
Address
104 S Meadow Lane
Haughton, LA 71037
United States
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Email
steve99la@yahoo.com
Phone
(318) 949-3040
Date
07/27/2017
Ministry Report
Have lived in Haughton, LA for almost 22 years. Retired from active ministry in PC(USA) in June 2006. Served over ten years as Interim Minister in Texas and Louisiana. Patty and I will celebrate 50 years of marriage on August 18, 2017. To celebrate, we will take a tour of New England and Canada in late September and early October. I enjoy walking, exercising, stamp collecting, and reading. We met Tomas Garcia, my former Chaplain Assistant, many times in Puerto Rico. He visited us in October 2016 and we traveled together to the USACCRA Chaplain and Chaplain Assistant Reunion in San Antonio. We had great fun traveling with him and showing him this part of the world.

Chaplain Keizer Message

We are in prayer for our President, Gil Pingle and his wife Linda. Linda had triple Bi-pass surgery and is healing. We are thankful for this successful procedure and for Linda’s progress. Gil is now a primary caregiver, not an easy job, so we ask for strength and patience for Gil.

On the horizon, are two holidays; Veterans Day and Thanksgiving Day. As we celebrate Veterans Day, we are aware of the dispute in the NFL concerning the proper behavior during the National Anthem before the beginning of their games. Our fellow citizens have mixed feelings by this controversy and have taken their stand. No matter how we individually stand, we hope that the issue may soon be solved and that we can come to some agreement upon a common agreement on how to behave when our Anthem is presented.

As we celebrate our Thanksgiving Day, we have much to be thankful for, even when saying thanks is difficult. There have been many times this year – floods, hurricanes, horribly destructive fires, mass killings, earthquakes political and social disputes – where giving thanks was a difficulty. The cost of these events- in lost lives, loss of property, lack of drinkable water, sickness, starvation, and human misery-we wonder “what is there to be thankful for?” That is not a simple question to answer.

If we take our eyes off this big picture and look only at our lives, we seem selfish and very individualistic. If we simply look at things, we become materialistic. Hannah Arendt, in “The Human Condition,” has given us insight on two gifts we have from God for which we can give thanks. She gives us some big picture things to be thankful for, as creatures who live in time. One of the things about living in time is that we cannot predict what will happen next in our lives. She suggests that one way to help us live in an unpredictable world is the ability to make promises with each other. We usually take oaths when we make these kinds of promises – like our marriage vows, in our oaths of office, in law courts, etc.  A friend of mine says, that when God identified himself to Moses as the “I AM,” he says that his name is a promise that “He will be with us when and whenever we move into the unpredictable.” We have all experienced this gift and have trusted that our oaths will give us security as we move into unpredictable moments and movements in living in time.

The next thing she points out about living in time is that time is irreversible. We do something in time and it is out there. We cannot take the word or deeds back. We say an unkind word, do something harmful, regret an action, we know that there is no way we can get it back. We feel a helplessness/hopelessness. Her answer to the irreversibility of time is that God has given us the gift of forgiveness. Forgiveness is one way we can heal the hurt, take back the deed, or make things right. It does not help us forget the things we have said or done, but it does help heal the hurt. We are thankful for this gift because we have received forgiveness and have given other freedom of forgiveness. I hope you, too, can be thankful for this gift.

Farther down the road is another special day we Christians will celebrate is Christmas, the birth of God’s gift that redeemed us from all the problems of living in time. This freedom will be what we will celebrate in the new Heaven and new Earth. He has told us that time will be no more. That is something to look forward to experiencing together!

May your holidays be filled with thanksgiving, joy, and blessing!

Herman Keizer, Jr.

Past President

Message from President USACCRA

Greetings to all,

November is right around the corner.  I always liked November when I was on active duty.  Between Veteran’s Day and Thanksgiving that made for a couple of extra days off.  The days off was secondary to the days themselves.

November 11 is a day when we can remember those many men and women of our Army who have served our nation so very well.  There certainly is a long line of those faithful soldiers who served.  Some gave their all.  It is fitting our nation remember our veterans.  We in our Corps remember them, too.  Those who are veterans served and worked alongside soldiers and civilians on the battlefields, at the training sites, in the garrisons.  Those currently serving are doing the same.  Our Corps is there to provide the spiritual guidance and service our soldiers and families deserve and want.  Thank you to those who served, and to those serving.  Since I retired I am finding more and more places recognize the service of veterans.  In Chattanooga, one can eat all day on Veteran’s Day, and never have to get your billfold out — coffee, donuts, entrees, desserts, are generously available from appreciative businesses.  “Thank you for your service will,” be heard many times on the 11th.

On the 23rd our nation will observe Thanksgiving Day, a day set aside to thank Almighty God for all the blessings He has bestowed upon our nation, and its people.  Living in the United States of America certainly is a blessing.  Has it ever struck you we face challenges with immigration, and not with emigration.  That says something about our country.  Yes, it has its blemishes, but it still is a great land in which to hold citizenship.  Enjoy Thanksgiving Day, and add your personal reasons to say “Thank you,” on that day.  On a personal note, my wife and I will say our special prayers of thanks for her successful emergency triple by-pass surgery on 10 October.  God is good.

Make a note in your 2018 calendars, we will meet in the Washington DC area in November of 2018 for our USACCRA reunion.  Watch for details.

Blessings to all,

Gilbert H. Pingel

President

Steven Simpson

Steven Simpson
Address
12175 Reed Simpson Road
Northport, Alabama 35475
United States
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Phone
(757) 272-8449
Date
07/10/2017
Ministry Report
After retiring from active duty in 2013 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD., I moved back home to a small farm near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where I currently live. I have a son finishing up college at UA in engineering and a daughter who lives in Nashville TN. God has been so good to me and my family. We are blessed. I have stayed busy around the farm with hobbies, teaching part time at a junior college, and some travel. My years in the Army and the Chaplaincy were some of the best years of my life. I hope all of you are well and continue in God’s Grace.

Please feel free to contact me, I would love to hear from some of you I served by/with (1988-2013) Fort Rucker, Friedberg, GE, Fort Sill, Fort Benning, Bagdad, Iraq, Kosovo, Fort Eustis, APG, Family Life Training, and others !!

Best Regards, Steven

CH (COL) Clayton Hoffman

CH (COL) Clayton Hoffman
Address
2001 Two Deer Trail
Amarillo, Texas 79124
United States
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Email
claymaryhoff@att.net
Phone
(806) 352-6883
Date
06/14/2017
Ministry Report
When DOD released the information that only 2-3 military personnel would be sent to military funerals, I was disappointed. Therefore in 2004, CPO Eloy Heras, USN, Retired and I started Volleys for Veterans. We enlisted other veterans to assist in providing what the family wanted for their veteran’s funeral. In addition to the folding of the flag and taps, Volleys for Veterans can provide full military honors to include three volleys, bagpipes, bells, patriot guard escorts of family and placing of 50-75 flags at the cemetery. I have five coordinators. Each week a coordinator takes calls from funeral homes and enlist the number of veterans needed for his detail. We have over 100 veterans on the roster who are willing to assist.

Last year volleys for veterans participated in 257 funerals in a twenty-five-mile radius of Amarillo, Texas. From January – May 2017 we have rendered 89 military funerals.

Rev. Dr. Paul H. Easley SR.

Rev. Dr. Paul H. Easley SR.
Address
265 Camelot DR. Fayetteville, Ga 30214
Fayetteville, Georgia 30214 30214
United States
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Email
pheasleysr@hotmail.com
Phone
(770) 460-6695
Date
06/04/2017
Ministry Report
I retired in 1980 at Presidio, SF. Later became campus minister at Clark College/Clark Atlanta University in 1980 -2001(Ret.). The pastor at Ben Hill United Methodist Church, Heck Chapel, Griffin Ga., Active supply at several Methodist Churches in the Georgia Conference. Still a member of the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church and attend annual conferences there in Buchannon, West Virginia. My family and grandchildren are scattered in Corte Madera, CA, Orlando, FL. and Bristol England.
I will be 87 my birthday this year. Still active retired now back at Ben Hill United Methodist with a 7:30 and 10:45 service which I am active along with senior group and visitation.
I along with Billy Lord with several other chaplains were few of the first chaplains to organize our Chaplains Association, group. I am a life member and still try to support our outstanding Association. I had a conflict in attending Chaplain Gunhus’s service at Arlington. My wife is buried in Chapel Hill in Arlington. Love to have my chaplains to contact me at any time. God bless.

Ronald Johnson

Ronald Johnson
Address
320 Dudley Creek Rd
Hardy, Virginia 24101
United States
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Email
fr.ronjohnson@gmail.com
Phone
(540) 719-2316
Date
06/03/2017
Ministry Report
Retired from the Army in January 1999. Served as a regional vice president with an Episcopal Church-related behavioral care foundation until taking a parish in the Florida Keys in 2001, I retired from the Episcopal Church in 2008 and moved back to Virginia. I now circuit ride for the Diocese helping to provide pastoral coverage of parishes in transition and rural parishes with little to no hope of calling a priest – a tasking which keeps me occupied most Sundays.

My wife, Johnnie, and I celebrate our 50th anniversary in August 2017. We have returned to Europe numerous times, and just finished a visit to Central Europe. We are planning a trip to Israel next year. Otherwise, we spend our time visiting our children and grandchildren, doing yard work and making wine.