VA New York Harbor Health Care System to Host Event for Clergy
Queens, NY, July 24, 2012 – NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., ranking Senate Democratic Minority member of the Veterans, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs Committee, is sending out an appeal to clergy of all faiths in the metropolitan area who work with returning veterans from Iraq, Afghanistan, and all-eras, who may be members of their faith communities. Military chaplains may be seeing a crisis situation with many wounded warriors from overseas conflicts who are trying to readjust to civilian life, while healing the strains from multiple military deployments, such as higher unemployment among younger returning veterans and even homelessness. Multiple activations have had a devastating effect on many family relationships, family or community finances, as well as to their mental, physical and spiritual health. Some press reports have noted a suicide rate of one a day this year.
As this developing crisis unfolds, the VA New York Harbor Healthcare System will be hosting a working luncheon and information session for clergy about the needs of our veterans on Monday, August 27, 2012 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM. This event will take place at the St. Albans VA Primary & Extended Care Center, Chapel 1st floor. This training is for clergy and/or representatives of houses of worship. The day includes a free lunch, free books and materials from VA, and training certificates for clergy.
The goal of the session is to help clergy understand their spiritual and pastoral role with veterans as one that is in partnership with VA chaplains and other health care providers at VA medical facilities. Session highlights will cover making referrals to the VA and to individual faith groups and new ways that clergy and houses of worship can provide ongoing support for military families and loved ones, who sacrificed so much on behalf of our nation.
A reservation is required. Please RSVP, by close of business day August 21, to: Chaplain Dr. Sotar Alfonso-Lloyd 718-526-1000, x2652 -- or email Sotar.Alfonso-Lloyd@va.gov  or Loretta Matthews, Program Assistant 212-686-7500, x6478 -- or email Loretta.Matthews@va.gov .
Visit Senator Addabbo online at: http://addabbo.nysenate.gov  or on Facebook at “Senator Joe Addabbo.”
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Judy Close, Press Secretary
NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
15th Senate District - Satellite Office
66-85 73rd Place
Middle Village, NY 11379