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Helping Veterans Come Home
That’s the mission of Delaware’s Interfaith Veterans’ Workgroup. Some vets come home easily. They pick up where they left off, or they start a new career. But some have a much harder time. The stress of living in a theater of war leaves wounds, some to the body, some to the mind, and some to the soul.
The vets in IVW know from their own experience that spiritual resources help one recover from deep wounds. That’s why we identify ourselves as an interfaith workgroup. At a time when war is being waged under the banner of one religious group or another, we of IVW work deliberately across faith lines to bring healing and wholeness to vets and their families. We invite you to read our Vets News page to keep up with progress in our state and helpful examples of best practices elsewhere.
If you’d like to join our workgroup, or just send some helpful info for this website, please use the Contact page.
Ongoing IVW activities during the Covid Pandemic
The danger of transmitting the Covid 19 virus required that IVW cease indoor activities which had brought veterans in close proximity to others. So, our monthly board meetings are conducted now entirely by Zoom. Our veteran to veteran hospice visiting is done by phone instead of in person. And our visual arts program, which was housed in the Absalom Jones Community Center has been temporarily suspended.
Outdoor activities are continuing, like hiking. On Mondays we are exploring many beautiful trails in northern New Castle County, with avid hikers from Wilmington’s Osher Academy of Lifelong Learning. Jessica Lewis is teaching T’ai Chi for Veterans both outdoors in person and simultaneously via Zoom to veterans in their far flung homes. The following video was made before the pandemic when we could practice safely indoors.
IVW member and a counselor to veterans, Shannon Ayres, is using Zoom both to counsel and teach mindfulness meditation. IVW veterans trained in Power Breath Meditation continue that daily discipline, with occasional Zoom refresher sessions led by the staff of the Welcome Home Troops Project. And IVW President, Tom Davis and his videographer colleague, Scott Michels, have been teaching video editing online, to eager learners from Wilmington faith communities and young men returning home from incarceration at Ferris School for Boys.
So, we are continuing to find ways to remain calm, connected, and useful during this stressful time.