|By Rob Schuette, The
Real McCoy Staff
More Soldiers are finding
their way to the installation’s religious and Bible study services,
with attendance being up 33 percent over last year, said Fort McCoy
Garrison Chaplain (Col.) Steven Colwell.
Colwell said the increase
was determined from an analysis of attendance numbers at Religious
Support Office (RSO) worship and Bible study services from Oct. 1,
2006-July 20, 2007 and Oct. 1, 2007-July 20, 2008.
The increase can be
attributed to several factors, including more service opportunities
being available, more mobilizing/demobilizing Soldiers at Fort McCoy,
the duration of overseas deployments, and better reporting of those in
attendance, he said.
"This (keeping track of attendance) helps ensure the
Soldiers are getting adequate services."
(Col.) Steven Colwell,
"We have services out
in the field for mobilizing Soldiers," Colwell said. "We’ve
been finding that the longer the deployments are to support
(Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom) overseas missions, the
Soldiers feel the burden and need our services to boost their morale
to make it through a time of war."
The improved congregational
reporting came about from a First Army directive to better quantify
the request for additional resources to meet the Soldiers’ needs.
Colwell said although the
request generated additional paperwork and work hours, the requirement
actually helped the RSO staff members document and provide accurate
numbers of how many people they were serving.
"This (keeping track
of attendance) helps ensure the Soldiers are getting adequate services
from our program," Colwell said. "The chaplains who provide
services in the field to the mobilizing Soldiers also have been very
good about documenting the number of people who attend their worship
and Bible services."
The core RSO worship
services are Catholic, Chapel 10, building 1759, and Protestant,
Chapel 1, building 2672, he said. Both services are held at 9:30 a.m.
Sundays. Bible study classes are at 7 p.m. Wednesdays.
Worship and Bible study
services also are offered in Fort McCoy Contingency Operating
Locations Freedom and Liberty, Colwell said.
The RSO attempts to serve any personnel who
have religious needs. Colwell said anyone who is trying to find a
specific religious service can call the RSO at (608) 388-3528 for more