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Church Partnership Program

Upstate Warrior Solution recognizes the importance of not only meeting the physical and social needs of veterans and their families but also their spiritual needs.

While in the military, service members have camaraderie, a sense of purpose, and significant spiritual support through their unit Chaplain. Upon discharge—perhaps when the need is greatest—this critical support ends. Combine this with weakened family and social structures, and many of our veterans end up isolated, disillusioned, and without hope.

The mission of UWS’ Church Partnership Program is to mobilize and connect local churches to the veteran population in the Upstate to help fill this critical gap in service!

Join Us!

Will you consider joining our growing network of church partners? Click the link below to connect with our team and learn more!

Our Program Manager: Ted Hamm

 

Ted grew up in Columbia, SC, and is a Clemson grad.  He spent ten years in human resources and six years pastoring a church in Sarasota, FL.  After most recently serving eight years as an Army Chaplain, he has joined Upstate Warrior Solution in Greenville, SC, as the Church Partnership Program Manager.  He resides in Greer, SC, with his wife, Lucibeth, and his two youngest children, Benjamin and Jaynie.  His older two children, Craig and Bailey, are students at The University of Central Florida in Orlando.

A Few of Our Church Partners

Helpful Resources

Churches sometimes ask, “We don’t know exactly how to care for veterans in our congregation who come back from deployment with unique challenges. Can you help?” The resources highlighted below can serve as a virtual library for caring spiritually for veterans. Churches may consider adding these to their own libraries, or simply have the list as a reference tool when counseling veterans and/or their spouses.

Redeployment, by Phil Klay

Redeployment by Phil Klay is crude, raw, dark, and at times may be difficult to read. So why do I recommend it? I have not found a better book for placing the reader ‘downrange’ in the midst of a firefight, on the plane coming home, and in the home struggling to reconnect with a spouse. For the family and friends at home welcoming a service-member back, it is crucial to have as full an understanding as possible of the unique challenges they face. Otherwise, we risk giving pat answers and over-simplistic advice, increasing the distance rather than closing the gap toward love and healing. — Ted Hamm, UWS Church Partnership Program

 

 

War and Moral Injury: A Reader, by Emmet Meagher & Douglas A. Pryer

War and Moral Injury is a collection of essays written by servicemembers, poets, and chaplains exploring the phenomenon of what happens to the soul when someone witnesses or participates in an act that runs counter to their sense of right and wrong.

“Veterans can usually recover from horror, fear, and grief once they return to civilian life, as long as what’s ‘right’ has not been violated.” War and Moral Injury gives a penetrating view of the soul: “I’m home alive. Well, not really.” But for those who don’t know where to begin in loving a troubled veteran, one writer offers sage advice “which requires little effort: listen. Listen to the stories…provide a safe, nonjudgmental and compassionate space in which to share their experiences…” One of the most insightful ideas in this book is that, in defining and wrestling with moral injury, psychologists with no particular faith practice struggle with terms such as penance, forgiveness, and redemption. What an opportunity for the church to enter into shattered, sinful souls with love, grace, forgiveness and cleansing that only Jesus offers. ” — Ted Hamm, UWS Church Partnership Program Read more

Depression, Looking Up From the Stubborn Darkness, by Edward Welch

As depression is a common struggle for veterans, the best book I have read on the subject is Welch’s Depression. He has sage advice to read this together with a wise and caring friend. Welch is not overly simplistic, instead admitting that depression often has multiple causes. Also helpful is the lengthy practical list of what has helped some. Everyone is different and often the solution is multi faceted. Welch is honest: “Call out to God for help often” (sometimes that is all one is able to do). He deals honestly and with compassion on depression’s relationship to sin, as well as core issues of the heart. Do you have a veteran in your life who may benefit from this? Why not offer to read it together?

 

 

 

On Spiritual Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

Our vast library of veteran resources grew 25% this spring with this addition by Grossman, also the author of On Killing and On Combat. In this highlighted resource, Grossman makes the critical connection between physical combat and the spiritual battle for hearts, souls and minds. While this spiritual metaphor is over-used at times, it can be motivating for some veterans who need to be challenged to “fight the good fight of the faith” (1 Tim 6:12). Are veterans in your church being challenged, in spiritual maturity and readiness, putting on the full armor of God? Why not offer to read through this book with one, or a small group?