Fallen Soldiers March®

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Fallen Soldiers March® 501 (c) (3) non-profit

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Fallen Soldiers March®

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Fallen Soldiers March®

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A 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit Dedicated to
Providing Biblical Counseling,
Service Dogs, and Veteran Advocacy

Serving Those Who Served

Serving Those Who Served

by Don Roy, U.S. Navy, Retired, ACBC Biblical Counselor

In the Service
When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s, every man I knew had spent some time in the military. When sharing their stories, the men of that generation always referred to their time in the military as the time they spent “in the service.” The prevalent view among military men and women, then as well as now, is their time in the military was the time during which they served the people of this great country. Military veterans are all around us. They’re either members in our church or members in a nearby church. The non-stop combat that our service members have been involved in since September 11, 2001, has taken a significant toll on many. Dealing with the emotional trauma of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) can be every bit as difficult, and often times more difficult, than dealing with the physical injuries sustained in battle. But, as biblical counselors, we can help. The Fallen Soldiers March (FSM) exists to take a hands-on, practical approach to help those who struggle. FSM’s vision is to serve those who have served us by providing the type of counsel that comes directly from God’s Word and is empowered by God’s Spirit. This is exactly what our veterans need to handle their PTS, and all consequences of war, in a way that glorifies God and provides them true, everlasting hope.

Providing Hope and Comfort
That both veterans and active duty members struggle with emotional issues upon their return home is tragically demonstrated by the fact that 20+ veterans take their life every single day. A 2016 study showed that about 30% of the veterans who committed suicide had been under the care of the Veterans Administration, but the hope that secularists attempt to provide is usually in the form of drugs, talk therapy, and group therapy. Apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ, they can’t offer real comfort and hope. Paul writes succinctly about the nature of our hope in 1 Thessalonians 2:16-17: “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.”

How Can We Help?
Earlier, I stated that veterans are all around us. Depending on where you live, that may or may not be true for you specifically. Less than 7% of the U.S. population are veterans. Also, the number of veterans who struggle with PTS and other consequences of war is certainly a smaller subset of the 7%. What that means is that a veteran in need of help may not have easy access to a biblical counselor. That’s why Fallen Soldiers March assembled a network of biblical counselors who have agreed to counsel via Skype, Zoom, or some other secure venue. Our network is growing weekly as biblical counselors reach out to us and volunteer to help. When we receive a request for counseling, we first look to see if any of our counselors live in the vicinity of the veteran making the request. If there’s no one physically nearby, we then pair the veteran with a biblical counselor who can counsel him or her electronically. As with all counseling, every person struggles in unique ways, but in general, all biblical counselors point those who are suffering to Christ, who alone can sustain (Isa. 41:10) and protect (Deut. 31:6) them. We help the person understand the sovereignty of God (Isa. 46: 8-11) and the fact that He alone numbers our days (Ps. 139:6).

Who Can Help?
When we started building our network of biblical counselors, we looked specifically for veterans or military chaplains. As in all walks of life, veterans connect best with other veterans. While we still think the common bonds that veterans share is helpful (2 Cor. 1:3-4), that requirement is simply too limiting. As biblical counselors, we know that we don’t have to have experienced what the other person is experiencing in order to point them to Christ. Problems of anxiety, depression, false guilt, physical pain (and the list goes on) are common to man (1 Cor. 10:13), regardless of how it started. The source of our struggles are the same—the idols that we harbor in our sinful hearts (1 John 5:20-21). And the answer is the same—the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we find in the Scripture.

What About the Family?
While our emphasis is veterans, we also seek to help others who struggle in similar ways. If the veteran is responding sinfully to the emotions with which he’s struggling, those closest to him will be on the receiving end of that behavior. During deployments, family members often struggle with anxiety and worry, knowing a spouse or other relative will be in harm’s way for months on end. That’s in addition to the burden of single parenthood and explaining to one’s children where Daddy (or Mommy) is during this extended (and repeated) time of separation. Communication from the deployed member and assurance of safety is normally spotty and inconsistent due to the realities and “accommodations” during deployment. So family members are also frequently in need of counsel to help them turn to our Lord for strength and help in times of difficult circumstances (Jer. 17:5-8).

Military Veterans Only?
And no, it’s not just military. First responders, whether police, fire fighters, or emergency medical personnel, experience the same stresses that military personnel do. We want to reach out to them also. Police and fire chaplains will assure you that counseling issues surrounding trauma is an all too “normal” part of their job. Although people who struggle with trauma are usually considered to be suffering from PTSD, we like to drop the “D.” This is because having difficulty dealing with traumatic events in one’s life is not a disorder; it’s not abnormal. We weren’t meant to see and experience many things that first responders and combat veterans see and do. One can only make sense of trauma in life, of the terrible things we sometimes witness or experience, in light of eternity and knowing that a good, loving, caring, and omnipotent God rules over even those things with which we struggle (2 Cor. 4:16-18).

Join Us!

If you’d like to be a part of what we’re doing at Fallen Soldiers March, please visit our website, www.fallensoldiersmarch.com, to donate or join our network of biblical counselors.

Questions for Reflection:

1. Do you personally know a military veteran or first responder? If so, have you ever inquired as to whether they struggle with any past events? What resources would you use to help someone struggling with PTS or other consequences of war?

About Donald Roy
Don Roy, DMin., retired as a Navy Captain after 30 years of service. He currently serves as the Director of Northshore Biblical Counseling and Training Center at First Baptist Church Slidell, LA, and is on the Board of Advisors for Fallen Soldiers March. He is a Fellow with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, serves as a missionary and Missions Administrator with Overseas Instruction in Counseling, and is a Chaplain with Civil Air Patrol. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have been married for 39 years and have 10 children and 11 grandchildren.

i      https://www.military.com/daily-news/2018/06/21/va-reveals-its-veteran-suicide-statistic-included-active-duty-troops.html
ii     https://www.va.gov/opa/publications/factsheets/Suicide_Prevention_FactSheet_New_VA_Stats_070616_1400.pdf
iii    https://www.va.gov/health-care/health-needs-conditions/mental-health/ptsd/
iv    https://www.va.gov/vetdata/veteran_population.asp

 

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 17th, 2019 at 10:36 am and is filed under Featured, Newsletter. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.



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