As Many as one in three Garrett County residents are Veterans.

The above statement was made during a recent meeting of the Western Maryland Veterans Providers Network. Your experience may be different than this statistic, but this is supported by the fact that during the Vietnam War Friendsville, MD carried the "honor" of suffering the largest number per capita of combat deaths in this nation.  Military service has been and still is a common experience here and throughout Appalachia, yet there are not always many resources to support the old or new Active Duty, National Guard, and Reserve warriors who are coming to grips with their combat experience.  That's why a 1.5-day Rural Clergy Training Program (RCTP) is projected to take place on 15 &16 November after Veterans Day, 2016 at Garret College in McHenry, MD.

This RCTP program responds to the reality that clergy and houses of worship serve as important contact points for Veterans throughout this region.  Yet sometimes clergy members aren't aware of the veterans in their congregation or how they might help a veteran and their family following deployments and combat service.  Clergy may recognize Veterans who are struggling since their return to civilian life, but not know how to support them.  This session is designed to train clergy, mental health specialists, and others about veteran challenges, as well as the types of national and local resources which can be brought to bear to address veterans as needed.


This RCTP training will include the following modules:  1) Military Culture & the Wounds of War, 2) Pastoral Care for Veterans & their Families, and 3) Mental Health Services & Referrals.  Both contact hours and CEU's (through Garrett College) will be available to participants.  Will you be part of the response to the needs of our veterans?

This program is sponsored by the:  Veteran's Administration (VA) National Chaplain Center, VA Office of Rural Health, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Federal Bureau of Chaplains, West Virginia - Western Maryland Synod of the ELCA, Thrivent Financial, Garrett College Office of Continuing Education, and many others.  For more information please contact Pastor Rick Egtvedt, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran in Oakland, MD at (717) 688-1309 or at

© 2019 by Shepherd of the Hills.


  • Facebook B&W