PA Dept. Hosts VFW National Chaplain Event in May

For fifty years the members of VFW Post 1865, and the citizens of Kenosha, Wisconsin, honored the VFW National Chaplain and other VFW Chaplains for the service they provide. This was a special event not duplicated anywhere else in the world.

Unfortunately, a few years ago, the tradition stopped when Post leadership changed. Past National Chaplain, Ted Bowers, presented the idea of bringing this event to Pennsylvania to his home Post (Richard J. Gross VFW Post 8896) in East Berlin, PA. The East Berlin Post decided to take on the responsibility of honoring the VFW National Chaplain and the work of Chaplains.

They held their first event in 2017 when I served as National Chaplain. Last year, we honored Rev. James Gray from Decatur, GA. This year our VFW National Chaplain is Charlene Cobb from Darien Wisconsin. The National Chaplain Event will take place May 17-19, 2019.

This is a retreat weekend for Post, District, and State Chaplains and their spouses. We will check in on Friday evening and have dinner together. Here is a preview of our schedule on Saturday, which is Armed Forces Day:
• 9:15 am – Meet at the Gettysburg Museum & Visitors Center,
• 9:30 am – See movie / Cyclorama
• 11:00 am – Visit Museum / Gift Shop / Lunch in cafeteria
• 12:00 pm – Board Bus for Tour: A special guided tour of the Gettysburg battlefield by Chaplain John Wega, an expert, not only in Civil War history, but in the role chaplains and faith played in the Civil War.
• 3:15 pm – Return to Hotels/Bed & Breakfast.
• 6:00 pm – Banquet at East Berlin VFW Post 8896. Following Dinner and Program there will be a time of informal fellowship at East Berlin VFW.

We have reserved eight rooms at the Altland House (, 1 Center Square in nearby Abbottstown, PA 17301; phone number is (717) 259-9535. These rooms are for guests who will check in on Friday, May 17, 2019, for 2 nights (departing the morning of Sunday, May 19, 2019).

Those planning on attending the National Chaplain Event who desire to stay at the Altland House, should call the Altland House individually on a first-come, first-service basis to review what each room features and confirm the nightly rates.

Chaplains, and anyone else who would like to attend, should put this on the calendar now and contact Chaplain Hook at (267) 229-7722 or email [email protected] to fill out a reservation form.

Blessings as you serve!

For participation information click here.

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