A Viet Nam vet overcomes war trauma with God’s help--and now serves thousands of troops as a military chaplain. Show Notes

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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A military chaplain overcomes emotional scars from Viet Nam to make a big difference in the US Army.

Army Chaplain Stanley Copeland says his 30-year ministry in the military was God's idea, not his.

In a story by the Associated Press, Copeland says he joined the Army reluctantly after getting his draft notice in 1969. He then served 13 months as a medic in Vietnam. After his discharge, Copeland suffered post-traumatic stress, drank heavily and became suicidal.

Convinced that either life was meaningless or Christianity was true, he decided to at least postpone his suicide and give his life to God. Copeland says it was the first relief he had felt in years, and God eventually called him to go to seminary and into civilian ministry.

Even then, he didn't plan to re-enter the military, but veterans and then chaplains kept suggesting it. So he filled out the paperwork and was commissioned as an Army chaplain in 1982.

Now serving with the Army's 2nd Cavalry Regiment in Germany, Copeland says he can see how God has used his past experiences to help him minister to young soldiers.

I have several friends who are military chaplains, and I thank God for them every day and the vital work they do serving our country. 

Let me encourage you to take a moment this week to pray for the men and women in the chaplain corps, that God will strengthen them as they offer hope and encouragement to troops at home and abroad.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.

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