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Our core capabilities:
• Provide Religious Support
• Advise the command on the internal religious support needs and issues and the external effects of religion/culture on the mission.

The chaplain’s role can be summarized in this tripartite phrase: "Nurture the living, care for the wounded, and honor the dead." We accomplish this through site visitations (battlefield circulation), pastoral counseling, and individual and group worship experiences, performing religious rites, sacraments, ordinances and pastoral counseling for wounded soldiers, and conducting memorial services and providing grief and combat stress counseling for soldiers. As one of the commander’s personal staff officers, we advise the commander on matters pertaining to religion, morals, and morale as affected by religion.

Our core competencies:
• We provide for religious needs through a ministry of presence to soldiers within the command – battlefield circulation
• We provide counseling support to soldiers and families within the command.  This is provided irrespective of religious beliefs or practices.  It is available to anyone – soldiers, family members and DOD civilians in the area of operation.
• All have 100% confidentiality when speaking privately with a military Chaplain.
• We can also advise the Family Support Group in the unit and provide a channel of communication between the FSG and the command. At echelons above Battalion we provide resources, guidance and training to subordinate chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialists in order to enhance the mission capability of Unit Ministry Teams. We work as a team – one Chaplain and one RA Specialist.
• We manage the Unit Ministry Team assets within the command and coordinate the religious support resources and needs of all units within the command and exercises technical supervision over subordinate chaplains and Religious Affairs Specialists.

Bottom Line – if you need spiritual support or just need someone to talk or work through whatever is a challenge in your life call us.  We are there to support you and your family.

VTNG Family Programs Chaplain Brett Charsky

State Chaplain

Program Lead: Brett Charsky
Office: (802) 318-0692

NEWS | Feb. 8, 2023

Good Deeds

Galatians 6:9 (ESV), And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

While it was not an exceptionally cold or snowy winter, many people look forward to running again outside without the snow, ice, and cold. When I was younger, I would go for long run and experience what is called a “runner’s high.” This occurs after intense or lengthy exercise and the body releases hormones called endorphins. (Runner's High: What It Is, How You Get It, and Other Benefits (healthline.com)

Have you ever heard of a “Helper’s high?” According to James Barza and Shoshana Alexander, Feb. 1, 2010; they published an article called, “The Helper’s High.” They stated that, “Suffering is inevitable, but responding to pain with compassion, care, and generosity is key to a joyful life.” (The Helper’s High | Greater Good (berkeley.edu). The Helper’s High is similar to the runner’s high and the body releases endorphins in the brain when a person willingly helped others. The release of the endorphins produced happier thoughts and person was more relaxed.

Sharon Begley in her book, Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain, reports that “When you tune in to another’s suffering and send out compassionate thoughts to them, rather than draining you, it actually fills you up with more energy.”

As Spring comes and we return to outside activities such as running, I challenge you to consider the Helper’s High all year round.

CH (COL) Brett Charsky, State Chaplain (802) 318-0692