The Army's number one priority is readiness, with readiness being based on four pillars of manning, training, equipping and leader development.
While some aspects of readiness are measurable such as equipment, intangible components include medical, emotional and spiritual readiness, to prepare and posture Soldiers to fight and win the Nation's wars.
In keeping with the Army's priorities, William Beaumont Army Medical Center's Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care hosted a prayer breakfast at WBAMC's Dining Facility, Oct. 24.
The breakfast welcomed all WBAMC staff members, patients and visitors in discussing the importance of pastoral care in the Army and more explicitly, in the medical community.
"We want Soldiers to be holistically well, we take care of medical readiness, and we take care of spiritual as well," said Capt. Cynthia Turner, chaplain clinician, Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care, WBAMC. "(The prayer breakfast) is to keep the staff spiritually fit to keep them in the fight. If you are balanced and in a good spot (spiritually), you render good care."
The annual event welcomed Col. Peter M. Brzezinski, Regional Health Command-Central chaplain, as guest speaker.
"Folks ask me 'What's your favorite place in the Army'," said Brzezinski, who has served over 30 years in uniform. "I tell them I don't have one because it's about the people that you get to serve with, shoulder to shoulder, people that bless you and people that you bless."
Approximately 50 staff members joined Brzezinski and members of WBAMC's Department of Ministry and Pastoral Care, while feasting on breakfast items from WBAMC's St. Martin Dining Facility. Brzezinski was preceded by representatives from the El Paso VA Healthcare System, which works closely with WBAMC medical operations, and 1st Armored Division Soldiers from Fort Bliss.
"We're affected with what's going on around us so brining awareness to our leadership (is also the focus of the prayer breakfast)," said Turner. "It's more to help (chaplains) stand up, and let (leaders) know we're here. (Chaplains) are not here to convert but to encourage along the way."
In correlation with Pastor Appreciation Month, which is celebrated in October, Brzezinski's message related to chaplain appreciation and raising awareness of their roles in clinical settings.
"The best honor a chaplain can receive is to be recognized as a great chaplain, just as Soldiers are honored to be considered good Soldiers," said Brzezinski. "Not only do (Army Medicine clinical chaplains) have to do the Soldiering part, we also have to do the clinical care part for others."
According to Turner, chaplains in the Army focus on three tenants, honoring the dead, caring for the wounded and nurturing the living. Specialized training provide Army Medicine chaplains the tools necessary to emphasize caring for the wounded and nurturing the living in clinical settings.
"What (Army Medicine chaplains) do is sit bedside during people's darkest times," said Turner. "We do something unique that behavioral health can't provide and vice versa."
"A lot of times we get caught up in the world," said Col. Erik Rude, commander, WBAMC. "We let anxiety get to us, and we may forget there is a plan and everything is going to be okay. We all need a way to reset."