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Thank you to our volunteers, SSW, our table leaders, Caesar Stovall, Dr. Brian Powers and everyone who helped make the 3rd Annual Veterans Conference on Moral Injury a success!


I AM

ADVENTURE

COURAGE

PEACE

THE EPISCOPAL VETERANS FELLOWSHIP

CREATE YOUR STORY with ELIZABETH DECKER

Brandy Carpenter, Robert Goodacre, Dwight A. Gray, Tony Hathaway, Frank Hutchison, William Livingood,  David Peters, Bill Smith, and Lynn Smith-Henry

I Am (Hypervigilance)

I am returning to a civilized world

I no longer recognize.

Eight years go

to the night we toasted our brothers

beneath a mortar streaked sky –

too tired to run for shelter, too comforted

in the fire of a makeshift grill, too much

feeling as if the others should be here.

I am in a safe community of strangers

each one known by the chirp

of a car alarm, the slam of a door.

In the absence of danger we’re creating

our own fear.

I am trying

to wring stories out of a dry brain,

some by folks not here to tell them.

I am over the desire to look

for what’s falling from the sky,

but I am wondering if I shouldn’t be.

D.A. Gray, 2016

Adventure (Getting Back Up)

Before I’ve even taken a step
the legs become rubber.

It seems like hours, standing
atop Elk Mountain waiting

for the strength to come back.
Light begins to shape the prairie,

granite rock emerges,
as do bison grazing in a field

of Indian paintbrush.
Nearby, a lizard scampers out
on the ledge. My eyes still

focusing, I’m reduced
to hearing its soft feet clambering,

to forgetting ever falling. For a second
I can walk anywhere.

Dwight A. Gray

Courage

Dear Liberty and Future Adopted Children,

Courage, easier said than done.

To be courageous is to be different.

To be courageous is to stand firm in your beliefs but also be able to grow and not be scared to reshape your beliefs.

To be courageous, you must stand up for those who can’t.

To be courageous, you must love unconditionally, knowing great pain may come with such freeness of love given.

To be courageous, you must dance to the beat of your drum–not everyone else’s.

To be courageous, you must befriend others.

To be courageous, you must be comfortable with the philosophy,
SEE ONE, DO ONE, TEACH ONE.

To be courageous, you must learn to admit to your mistakes no matter how painful the consequences may be.

To be courageous, you must push past what you perceive is your potential to actually unlock your destiny.

To be courageous, be yourself–first and always. Make your own path. Be your own persona. Be YOU.

Love, Mom

Brandy Carpenter

Courage (Recovery)

To my younger self: At this point
you’re still standing at the edge
of a sinkhole that’s been slowly
swallowing the ground, that’s become
the landfill for what won’t burn. You,

if you repeat this pattern,

will have your first drink
in a few more hours. You may think
you can escape. It will take years
to realize, no matter how much
trash you toss in this sunken place,
it will never fill. You can see

the trash of past lives,

truck parts, scrap metal,
all starting to rust, all which will still
be here at the end of this bender
and every one that follows.

Dwight A. Gray

COURAGE is at the core and heart, spirit and soul of every part of my being.
As a child I had to overcome fear and develop physical courage to stand up to bullies.
In college I developed mental courage to challenge ideas that were not right.
In my 33 year military career I learned to combine physical and mental courage with moral and spiritual courage.
As a commander I had to show other my faith in people and my beliefs and core values in my decisions and actions when it would have been easier to follow the crowd.
Our life journey is finding who we really are at our core–we grow most when we show physical, mental, moral and spiritual courage–and they all make a real difference.

Bill Smith

Peace (Finding it Amid Chaos)
On the cold tile floor, too stiff for crossing
legs, I’m counting, inhaling, pulling
the room in and waiting for the discomfort
to fade.
Six seconds since the last stray thought.

The first thought was money, the second
a sharp word I hadn’t heard in years.
Memory burns like a fire on the horizon.

Peace comes when I push the air,
and every negative thought, out.
Emptiness. I’m learning to let them pass,
the sirens at the traffic light,
last night’s argument, things
I can not change–all passing through.

Dwight A. Gray

Peace

We have seen good times
We have seen bad
We have seen wartime
At times we are glad

The Peace that we desire
I wore on my boots
To remind me of their sacrifice
To remind me of why I serve

These brave soldiers sought Peace
Stared evil in the eyes
Put us before themselves
The enemy took their life

I hope that their sacrifice
Will one day bring peace
For now I honor their gift
To an undeserving person like me.

Brandy Carpenter


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The EVF Facebook Feed
2 days ago
Episcopal Veterans Fellowship-Texas

Veteran, Medic, Model, and Hypnotherapist Caesar Stovall and Dr. Brian Powers lecture on Moral Injury

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3 days ago
DeSha

It’s true.

Thank you, Vanessa! We couldn't have done it without you! #vetconatx

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3 days ago

Thank you, Vanessa! We couldn't have done it without you! #vetconatx

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3 days ago
Photos from Episcopal Veterans Fellowship-Texas's post

Veteran, Medic, Model, and Hypnotherapist Caesar Stovall and Dr. Brian Powers lecture on Moral Injury

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4 days ago
Bishop Carl Wright visits Southwest, helps launch new chaplaincy concentration - Seminary of the Southwest

Seminary of the Southwest just launched a new program to train chaplains and EVF was there! Blessings on this new endeavor. #myssw has always supported their veteran students and faculty so well. ... See more

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4 days ago
Bishop Carl Wright visits Southwest, helps launch new chaplaincy concentration - Seminary of the Southwest

Seminary of the Southwest just launched a new program to train chaplains and EVF was there! Blessings on this new endeavor.

On September 12, 2017, a large crowd of members of the seminary community gathered over lunch to announce and celebrate the launch of Seminary of the Southwest’s new Military Chaplaincy ... See more

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5 days ago
Retired lay leader provided pillar of support to Pentagon Episcopal Community

Lay leaders are the pillars of the Church and our EVF fellowship!

[Episcopal News Service] On Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m., a tour group can often be seen walking through one of the corridors close to the Pentagon Memorial Chapel, the exact site where American Airlin…

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1 week ago
Episcopal Veterans Fellowship in South Carolina

Wonderful!

Throughout the Acts of the Apostles, one reads "And the Lord added to their number..." EVF in SC is in a similar phase of "adding to" lately! We were blessed with very successful first meetings in ... See more

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2 weeks ago
Episcopal Veterans Fellowship-Texas

Share with your veteran friends please

What is Moral Injury and what can we do to address it?

Explore Moral Injury in Veterans at the 3rd Annual Central Texas Veterans Conference for veterans and veteran caregivers will be held ... See more

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