|Chaplain and social-support personnel working and
training at Fort McCoy visited the Tomah Veterans Administration Medical
Center (VAMC) to learn about its role in treating Soldiers and veterans.
Fort McCoy Garrison Chap. (Lt. Col.) Allen Raub said he arranged the
tour and briefing with VAMC Chaplain Maynard Hofer as part of the Unit
Ministry Training (UMT) program.
Chaplains and chaplain assistants
attended a briefing about the Tomah Veterans Affairs Medical
Center during a visit to the facility during Warrior Exercise.
During a field site visit, the personnel learned what the
Veterans Affairs Medical Center can do for Soldiers and
veterans. (Contributed photo)
The event supported Army Reserve chaplains and chaplain assistants
here for the Warrior Exercise (WAREX) from June 9-29.
Other personnel who deal in these issues, including chaplain personnel
from installation tenant activities, Army Community Service personnel
and Military Family Life Consultants, also participated. More than 30
personnel attended the session.
WAREX 2012, an Army Reserve exercise coordinated by the 86th Training
Division at Fort McCoy, helped prepare more than 4,000 Soldiers for
“I began to think about doing something like this when I was at Fort
Bragg (North Carolina),” Raub said. “Soldiers who have been deployed get
up to two years of treatment in the VA system. At (Garrison Commander)
Colonel (Steven W.) Nott’s direction, I opened it up to Fort McCoy ACS
mental-health professionals who also could benefit from the event.”
Chap. (Maj.) Ron Walters, the Training and Operations chaplain for the
installation Religious Support Office, said the training helped
attendees understand which VAMC services are available to Soldiers after
The training included a mental-health presentation, a
readjustment/reintegration briefing for veterans, and a tour of the
“The event also gave the chaplains and chaplain assistants a chance to
get together with counterparts and discuss WAREX, network with each
other, and discuss other topics of interest,” Walters said. “During the
exercise, they often were focused on what their units were doing and
didn’t have a chance to interact with their counterparts.”
Raub said the training also gives the Army Reserve chaplain personnel
information they can share with their local communities and improve the
knowledge base about how to care for Soldiers and veterans when they
return to their civilian careers.
Carole Ewald, the lead for Family and Chaplain Services for the Tomah
VAMC, said the event was a great success, and the group participated
energetically despite the hot weather and expressed their appreciation
for the opportunity.
Raub said he would like to have a similar event next year as part of the
UMT program. In the meantime, he will continue to offer UMT
opportunities to chaplain personnel in tenant units, such as the 88th
Regional Support Command and the 181st Infantry Brigade, both of which
have chaplains and chaplain assistants to serve their organizations.