Home

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


episcopal-veterans-fellowship


The EVF Facebook Feed
1 week ago
2017 Veterans Conference on Moral Injury

Please join us at this great event http://mailchi.mp/54a1f395d9d9/2017-veterans-conference-on-moral-injury?e=a1eb912596

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
1 week ago
David

Join us!

This is going to be a great conference! I look forward to seeing you in September!

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
1 week ago
2017 Veterans Conference on Moral Injury

This is going to be a great conference! I look forward to seeing you in September!

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
1 week ago
Episcopal Federal Chaplaincies

Fantastic!!

Our newest Navy Chaplain, CH John Bethell!

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
1 week ago

Healing service for veterans with moral injury at 7pm Wednesday at St. Marks, Austin. What's moral injury? Come and find out!

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
1 week ago

Healing service for veterans with moral injury at 7pm Wednesday at St. Marks, Austin. What's moral injury? Come and find out!

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
2 weeks ago
Anglican Missal: Special Type, Bombings, Sinkings Caused Some Delay (1942)

An Anglican, liturgical war story

Probably few stories of the trials and tribulations of religious publishing are more evident of sincere determination and more romantic than the story of the American edition of the Anglican Missal. ... See more

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
3 weeks ago
EVF Mission Brief (Moral Injury Healing Service Tuesday in RR and next Wed in Austin)

Moral Injury Healing Service Tuesday night in Round Rock!

http://mailchi.mp/4325a3540edd/evf-mission-brief-moral-injury-healing-service-tuesday-in-rr-and-next-wed-in-austin?e=e2a2ef7170

We will hold a groundbreaking Moral Injury Healing Service on Tuesday at St. Richard's in Round Rock, 7pm. Please join us there. We will be honored to have a journalist there from Duke Divinity ... See more

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
3 weeks ago
The Rev. Broderick Greer

It is wonderful to share the Eucharist with Veterans.

Common to human experiences across geography and history is the mundane ritual of gathering with friends and families around sustaining meals.

Walk with Father Broderick through the ways this might ... See more

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
3 weeks ago
Episcopal Church Foundation

EVF-Texas founder David Peters has been selected as an ECF Fellow to continue to bring the reconciling love of God to his fellow veterans.

The 2017 ECF Fellows were in New York this week for their orientation and meetings with ECF staff. We're so pleased to welcome Jennifer Adams-Massmann, Stewart Clem, Ashley Graham-Wilcox, Renee ... See more

LIKE
LOVE
HAHA
WOW
SAD
ANGRY
« 1 of 20 »