By Edward Muniz, Fort Sill Public AffairsJune 28, 2018
FORT SILL, Oklahoma (June 28, 2018) -- Editor's note: This is the continuation of a series discussing Fort Sill's Healthy Army Communities and the Community Strengths and Themes Assessment. This portion addresses spiritual health.
The Community Strengths and Themes Assessment (CSTA), a postwide health survey conducted at the end of 2017, provided information to Fort Sill's Community Health Promotion Council (CHPC) about health concerns on post.
Spiritual health proved to be a focal point in the lives of Soldiers, families, employees, and retirees alike, according to the survey. Fort Sill offers several services to accommodate religion through four main chapels: Frontier Chapel Center, Old Post Chapel, New Post Chapel, and Cache Creek Chapel.
Service members and their families can find many denominations at Fort Sill's chapels, including Roman Catholic, Protestant faiths, and Gospel. Additionally, Fort Sill offers services to basic trainees. If there isn't a service for a particular religion, individuals can meet with a chaplain to search for the nearest option.
According to Lisa Martinez, Fort Sill's Community Ready and Resilient integrator, religion is just a part of spiritual health, but it doesn't solely translate to spiritual well-being.
"Spiritual health does not mean religious health," she said. "Spiritual health can be religion and many other things. For example, it could be morals, how we view others on the street or how we treat others. I think it comes down to the golden rule: treat others how we want to be treated."
Martinez said there are initiatives in place to support spiritual health. For instance, the Equal Opportunity Program and Equal Employment Program encompass morals and ethics in the installation through fair treatment.
Senior leadership training provides training in morals and ethics, relationship building and more for senior leaders.
Strong Bonds, a relationship building retreat for married couples, helps couples in all areas of their lives, including spiritual.
For children, Frontier Chapel Center hosts Vacation Bible School which is a weeklong event that focuses on teaching children about the Bible.
Martinez said there are also new services available. For instance, since the survey found out many people didn't know who their chaplains were, there are more frequent spiritual luncheons so people can get to know their chaplains.
Additionally, there are spiritual fitness functions, which are determined by each brigade's commander and chaplain. These functions encourage Soldiers to remain spiritually fit.
Martinez said the military promotes good morals through Army Values: Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage.
"Morals really depend on the individual," she said. "They can equate to Army values, religious beliefs, or personal beliefs."
Martinez explained how spiritual health is interrelated to physical, social, and mental health.
"At the end of the day you're going to have a well-balanced team," she said. "This is good for your mental state, which translates to physical health. Go to the social context and take care of friends."
The survey provided the CHPC information about the spiritual need among Soldiers and employees on Fort Sill. CHPC initiatives encourage spiritual well-being to create a healthier community. Those who would like to contribute their ideas or suggestions can do so through Facebook. Search and Like the Fort Sill Ready and Resilient page to make contact.