The VA Center of Faith’s and Opportunity Initiative’s mission is “engage, inform and educate faith-based, nonprofit and community/neighborhood organizations in VA programs to better serve the needs of Veterans, their families, survivors, caregivers and other beneficiaries.” Basically, VA understands that sometimes, local clergy is the best way to reach a Veteran. Therefore, VA set up a resource for local clergy so they can be the one to tell the Veteran what is available to them.
The current leader spearheading this initiative is the acting director of VA Center of Faith and Opportunity Initiative, Conrad Washington. In this episode he breaks down how your local clergy can get involved with the program. Through partnerships, resources and outreach events, the Center of Faith currently have multiple ways for faith-based leaders to get involved.
At a recent outreach event in Lebanon, Tennessee, the Center of Faith partnered with Dr. Ben Graham of Music City Baptist Church to bring VA resources and information to the local area.
The collaboration had breakout and panels that discussed:
- Suicide Prevention
- Caregiver Programs
- Chaplain Community Clergy
- Veterans Benefit’s Administration Resources
- Google Inc. Veteran Programs
PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT
In addition, he breaks down his own career. Conrad is a former Marine Corps administrator and drill instructor. After leaving service, Conrad went from a security guard to specializing in security education as an Information Security Specialist for the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency – in the same building. Currently in seminary school, he explains how his career combined with his faith eventually landed him in the VA Secretary’s Office and into his current role as the acting director for the VA Center of Faith and Opportunity Initiative.
Additional Links to this week’s Episode:
#BtBattle Veteran of the Week:
- Army Veteran Sydney Hunnicutt