Missouri Guard’s Partners in Care teams up with Recovery Coalition

Chaplain Gary Gilmore, chief of spiritual and emotional resiliency, presents Partners in Care at a Recovery Coalition of the Ozarks meeting at Praise Assembly in Springfield, Mo. Partners in Care is a program where participating congregations extend support to warriors and their Families referred to programs they already offering within the limits of the congregation's resources and abilities, free of charge, and without regard to the recipients’ religious affiliation. (Photo by Sarah Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).

Chaplain Gary Gilmore, chief of spiritual and emotional resiliency, presents Partners in Care at a Recovery Coalition of the Ozarks meeting at Praise Assembly in Springfield, Mo. Partners in Care is a program where participating congregations extend support to warriors and their Families referred to programs they already offering within the limits of the congregation's resources and abilities, free of charge, and without regard to the recipients' religious affiliation. (Photo by Sarah Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).

By Sarah E. Lupescu
ngmo.pao@us.army.mil

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Missouri National Guard's joint force chaplain discussed a program designed to help meet needs of Soldiers and Airmen at Praise Assembly.

Chaplain Gary Gilmore presented the Missouri Guard's Partners in Care program, a faith-based partnership between the Guard and the Missouri faith community, at a Recovery Coalition of the Ozarks meeting.

"I need a partner," Gilmore said. "Not to fix the whole National Guard, but to love one Soldier and to help him come to a decision point to make his life better."

Partners in Care helps link Guardsmen and faith-based organizations to help facilitate a need, be it counseling, transportation, meals, or other services the organization may already have in place - within the limits of the congregation's resources and abilities, free of charge, and without regard to the recipients' religious affiliation. The program began more than a year ago to provide yet another layer of support to the state's Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen.

The coalition is the network of substance abuse counselors through the Department of Mental Health that supports Soldiers and Airmen in their communities.

"We're trying to multi-layer the types of support for Guardsmen," Gilmore said. "We have armory support and we have facilitators. We have good stuff. But I don't have enough. So what we're trying to do is add the faith community around us."

Faith-based organizations and other agencies can help add small groups, fellowship groups, and mental and social components to the lives of Missouri's Guardsmen.

"We, in the Guard, do those things on missions," Gilmore said. "Then we come away from that and some of us feel we don't have a purpose anymore. That's where outside organizations can come in and help."

Those in attendance had the opportunity to become a Partner in Care by signing a memorandum of understanding.

"The memorandum of understanding says that you as a congregation or you as a pastor, counselor, or provider get that you will not discriminate and your doors are open," Gilmore said. "And we're asking you to give without expectation of return, no precondition, no nothing."

Nearly 40 organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to date, Gilmore said.

The Partners in Care initiative was sanctioned by Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, the adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard, after being recognized by Missouri's Gov. Jeremiah "Jay" Nixon as one of the best ways for faith-based communities to help Citizen-Soldiers.

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Chaplain Gary Gilmore, chief of spiritual and emotional resiliency, presents Partners in Care at a Recovery Coalition of the Ozarks meeting at Praise Assembly in Springfield, Mo. Partners in Care is a program where participating congregations extend support to warriors and their Families referred to programs they already offering within the limits of the congregation's resources and abilities, free of charge, and without regard to the recipients’ religious affiliation. (Photo by Sarah Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).

Chaplain Gary Gilmore, chief of spiritual and emotional resiliency, presents Partners in Care at a Recovery Coalition of the Ozarks meeting at Praise Assembly in Springfield, Mo. Partners in Care is a program where participating congregations extend support to warriors and their Families referred to programs they already offering within the limits of the congregation's resources and abilities, free of charge, and without regard to the recipients' religious affiliation. (Photo by Sarah Lupescu, Missouri National Guard).


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