Military Chaplains Also Help Manage the Pandemic
“The joys and worries of a soldier are the joys and worries of a military chaplain.” That is the motto of military chaplains. At this difficult time, when our soldiers are deployed in the fight against coronavirus, it is very beneficial that they can contact individual military chaplains if necessary. They are ready to listen to the soldiers and help them mentally cope with this difficult period. It is important to realize that our soldiers are often exposed to unprecedented great psychological strain due to coronavirus, and sometimes they also have to deal with losses among their loved ones and friends.
A few months ago, during an interview with the chief chaplain of the ACR, Colonel Jaroslav Knichal, it was emphasized just how the military chaplains help our soldiers. And it usually does not matter whether the soldier is a believer or an atheist. This is doubly true in foreign missions. Chaplains can play an important role now for soldiers who serve in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care hospitals and other facilities where they face pain, suffering and death every day. Soldiers can call military chaplains at any time, if needed, and confide in them about their problems, which, according to available information, our soldiers do use at this tense time.
“The existence of spiritual service is a guarantee of the ability of the Ministry of Defence to adequately, with detailed regard to the specific circumstances of military service and special demands on the soldier, create space, both for individuals and collectives, to freely search, find and develop their own identity, space for self-reflection, space to express or share a personal situation and how they feel about it. The service of a military chaplain is based on the provision of uncategorised assistance from human to a human, on the demonstration of selfless sensitivity to the joys or difficulties arising from personal or professional life, under the generally accepted assumption that communication with a military chaplain takes place on a confidential level. And our role is de facto no different from our predecessors, whose service is followed by modern spiritual service,” says the chief chaplain of the Army of the Czech Republic Jaroslav Knichal.
In addition to the chaplains, who are listed together with contact information on the official army website, (not only) soldiers can also turn to the ACR psychological service. Military chaplains greatly appreciate the complementary cooperation with military psychologists. Everyone deeply cares about the human dimension of lives, including the lives of entire families.
From 1 July 2020, there is one permanent psychological help line 973 255 145 and an online chat on the “Psychologové AČR” (ACR Psychologists) Facebook page in operation. The counselling is intended for the military public, soldiers (in active service or not), war veterans, employees of the Ministry of Defence (civilian employees, state employees) and for employees of contributory organizations of the Ministry of Defence (VLRZ, AS-PO, etc.).