The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced a new partnership with Civil Air Patrol and its Chaplain Corps expanding veterans’ families’ access to qualified faith leaders during committal and memorial services held at national cemeteries under VA’s National Cemetery Administration (NCA).
“In times of mourning and loss, our VA chaplains stand ready to support veterans’ loved ones,” said VA Chaplain Chad Maxey, chaplain program manager for family care and bereavement. “This partnership with Civil Air Patrol expands our ability to provide trained, qualified chaplains – whether from VA or CAP – to veterans’ families’ when they need it most.”
Maxey served as a CAP chaplain from 2000-2003 while training at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
During the signing of the agreement the day before Veterans Day, CAP's national commander, Maj. Gen. Edward D. Phelka, said, “The timing of this could not be more fitting. As we pause on Veterans Day to honor all those who served, we’re excited to have the opportunity for our Chaplain Corps to partner with the Department of Veterans Affairs on such an important and meaningful mission.”
Over the past few years, VA’s National Chaplain Service has seen an increase in requests from family members asking for chaplain support during burial services at NCA cemeteries. Under this partnership, CAP chaplains will provide chaplain support coverage when a VA chaplain is not available.
VA’s National Chaplain Service will provide administrative support, training and other services to assist CAP in servicing VA national cemeteries at families' request. Family members of ceterans may request chaplain support by contacting their local VA Chaplain Service Office when scheduling a burial.
Chaplain support is one of the many services VA provides. More information on VA support services and burial benefits can be found online.