The annual Corps Vets reception is a time to thank veterans for their service and to give them an opportunity to fellowship with Regular Baptist chaplains during the GARBC Conference. On Wednesday evening, June 25, chaplains and veterans spent time around tables in animated conversation. “Where did you serve, and when?” was often asked. The answers stir up memories—stories of people and events from days past. The answers also evoke great appreciation for the service chaplains provide, as few veterans had godly chaplains to turn to when they were in the military.
As the guests converse, chaplains are encouraged, as they are assured of prayer support from individuals and churches. Occasionally they are asked to follow up on a son, daughter, grandchild, or nephew who is in the service and not in touch with a Bible-believing chaplain. And chaplains are happy to do this.
The “battle buddies” of past years are still in need of godly intervention, Chaplain John Murdoch, director of Regular Baptist Chaplaincy Ministries, reminded everyone at the reception. He urged them to consider joining the VFW, American Legion, or another Veterans Service Organization in order to come alongside other veterans and be in a position to share Christ with them. Many VSOs are in need of chaplains. Their only qualifications are “Can you pray before our meals? Can you visit us in the hospital? Are you a ‘straight shooter’?” Membership in a VSO can be a great platform for ministry, Murdoch says.
Veterans and chaplains ended the reception by expressing gratitude for each other and for our nation and our freedom. “This band of brothers understands well what the price of freedom is,” Murdoch says. “We thank God for our veterans and for the men and women who are currently serving in each branch of the military!”