Phone calls and emails inquiring about the Partners in Care program have been numerous and daily since the Joining Forces conference call with Mrs. Obama last month. I have been encouraged by this tremendous interest and desire of faith communities and organizations across the United States to offer support to military members, veterans, and their families.
When asked to be a speaker for the Joining Forces teleconference, I was both humbled and honored to be able to explain to other faith communities and faith-based neighborhood organizations across the United States how the Maryland National Guard's Partners in Care initiative could offer a model to channel support to those in the military community.
Follow-up inquiries for more information have come from individual congregations, local grass-roots faith-based organizations, the National Guard in several states, religious denominations, military chaplains, and governmental entities at the State and Federal level. Because military members and families come from local communities across the United States, it is appropriate and encouraging to receive this wonderful indication that local faith communities have such a heart to serve and support those who protect and defend our Nation!
Members and families of the Maryland National Guard have received tremendous and essential support in times of crisis and need from our 74 Partners in Care congregations. I pray for the day when every county of the United States has at least one Partners in Care congregation, so every member of the National Guard, and our Nation's military, can know that there is a caring faith community near-by for support. I look forward to other contacts about Partners in Care, and remain willing to help the program get started wherever there are faith communities and congregations that would like to provide resources and support for military members and families.
Chaplain William Lee participated in the May 18th call with First Lady Michelle Obama and over 1800 faith and community leaders, to discuss faith and community engagement in Joining Forces.