First of all, I would like to thank the National Director of NABVETS and the National Command Council (NCC) for my appointment to National Chaplain. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to serve my comrades, and I shall do my very best, by the grace of God to perform my duties as your National Chaplain.
Secondly, I hope to be very transparent with you, speaking from my heart, in telling you my experience with NABVETS during the past three (3) years. I hope that after reading this article, you will understand why I posed the following two questions to the veterans who recruited me, and was responsible for me joining NABVETS. The two questions I asked:
Was NABVETS an all-Black organization?
Did NABVETS have a Chaplain?
The answer to both questions was “NO.” I submitted my application and was appointed the Regional Chaplain of Region V, Fayetteville, North Carolina. I would like for us to now consider the nature of the two questions I asked as they relate to NABVETS.
The first question I asked: “Was NABVETS an all-Black organization?” – This has to do with nationality. I am so glad that when I asked Commander Richard Kingsberry, our North Carolina State Commander (NCSCC), this question, he informed me that it was not all-Black — that NABVETS was for ALL veterans. I am so glad to know that we have such a servant’s heart, and a positive attitude that we are willing to extend a helping hand to all our veterans who have served, and given their lives in defense of this great country of ours. I am so very honored to have served for twenty-one (21) years with such a great company of comrades in arms. While it is true that NABVETS was organized in 1969 by seven (7) Black veterans, it was the expressed desire by the founders of NABVETS that it would be a service organization for ALL veterans, and this administration still honors that commitment.
The second question I asked the Commander was, “Did NABVETS have a Chaplain?” – This question has to do with the spiritual and moral aspect of the organization. The answer to this question was also “No, we do not have a Chaplain.” I told the Commander that I would like to volunteer to be the Chaplain. After submitting my application, I was appointed the Chaplain of Region V of Fayetville, North Carolina, where I have served for many years.
As the National Chaplain of NABVETS, I am committed to offering both spiritual and moral support to the leadership of this great service organization, and keep the leaders lifted up in fervent prayers. I am also committed to assisting all Regional Directors in the development of their regions. I will be assisting the Regional Directors in identifying Godly Chaplains, and recommending their appointment to the office of Regional Chaplains. The Regional Chaplains will assist me (the National Chaplain) in the performance of my duties. I am confident that, by the grace of God, we can better support our NABVETS Commanders by working together.
Thank you for allowing me to become transparent before you by speaking these things from my heart.