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Marine’s story inspires prayers, veterans workshops

Kay Sweitzer, whose story inspired Katy Lloyd to develop a training for congregations to respond to returning veterans, came to a workshop offered at PNC’s Annual Meeting in Wenatchee.

Katy Lloyd
Katy Lloyd, right, introduces Kay Sweitzer.

When Sweitzer was being deployed to Iraq at the same time as the father of her two children, she shared her story four years ago on National Public Radio.
Introduced at Annual Meeting, she expressed amazement at what developed.

When Lloyd heard the story, she wrote down the names of family members, kept the piece of paper on her kitchen window sill and prayed for them.

Through her involvement on Christian Life, Action and Service Committee (CLSA), she prepared an issue of concern for Annual Meeting 2009, calling churches to pray for, support and work with veterans of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Then she and Doris Waggoner of CLSA prepared training workshops, based on a model developed by Catholic Charities in Spokane.

In planning a workshop for clergy and lay leaders in Western Washington, she connected with the Washington Association of Churches.

“The Spirit led the process.  Alice Woldt, transitional director of the WAC, called the State Department of Veterans Affairs and helped Lloyd make contacts around the state. 

“We partnered to do workshops in Yakima, Bellingham, Seattle and Wenatchee,” she said.  “The issue affects all church communities.

“Churches can go where the government can’t go, talking of veterans’ spiritual brokenness from the trauma of war,” she said, announcing plans for more workshops.”

Eventually, she googled Sweitzer and found she was living in suburban Washington, D.C.  Lloyd told her she had been praying for her and was glad she was safe.  They began corresponding.

“You inspired the workshops,” she told Sweitzer, who did the NPR interview to let people know what happens when two parents deploy.

She was amazed that the interview inspired someone to pray for her family, and then to develop a program to help vets traumatized by war.

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Copyright Pacific Northwest Conference News © June 2010


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