The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 1, 2013

State focuses on church involvement with vets


Associated Press

— AUBURN, Ala. (AP) — The state of Alabama is trying to get churches and other faith groups more involved with veterans.

The Alabama Veterans Well-Being Ministry Conference is being held Thursday in Auburn. It's a joint project of state agencies like the governor's office and private organizations.

A retired Army chief of chaplains, Douglas L. Carver, is the keynote speaker. He says about 40 percent of veterans with mental issues seek help from spiritual leaders, and faith groups needs to know how to help.

The conference will include sessions for pastors and others on post-traumatic stress disorder and recognizing signs of a possible suicide.

Alabama has more than 400,000 veterans, and more than 20,000 are returning to the state now.

About 150 people registered in advance to attend the program.