made to the Family Assistance Center, if available, or wherever
chaplains can be found ministering to those awaiting news.
inquiry log should be kept for callbacks.
Ongoing grief management training for chaplains is essential so
that they can manage the process of grieving in the affected
community. The annual refresher training on drill and ceremony
accompanying military memorial services is also recommended.
Chaplain teams are most effective when they include a senior
officer with one who has less experience. Chaplains and Survival
Assistance Officers should work together as a team with at least
one joint home visit to an affected family. The chaplain should
not be present at the initial notification. The reason for this
is that bereaved often blame the messenger who bears the bad
However, the chaplain should be nearby during the
notification process (e.g. outside in the car) so that the
Survivor Assistance Officer can ask, "Would you like to talk with
a chaplain right now?"
The chaplain's presence is especially
important at the initial, formal death notification visit.
However it is wise if You are not the bearer of the bad tidings.
Chaplains should have desks with access to private counseling
rooms at the center designated for family assistance to do on-
the-spot counseling, arrange home visits, and document families'
needs. Chaplains should also be present wherever family members
or soldiers from affected units may be waiting (for official
word, for arrival of survivors, etc.).
Sometimes family members who do not step forward for consolation
or assistance are nonetheless experiencing pain and denial. All
affected families should be contacted personally by a chaplain.
Additional attention should by given to family members who are
alone or have not support network, as well as those bereaved
individuals who are not parents, spouses, or siblings, but who
have functioned as such in the soldier's life. The children of
single parent soldier casualties should be identified for special
Chaplains and other clergy who speak Korean,
German, and Spanish will be in demand for family counseling.
Mail expressing grief, concern, and remembrance should be
expected at the chaplains' office for at least three weeks
following the tragedy.
Most letters can be answered after the
The letters tend to seek assurance of the
soldiers valor, the healing power of God's grace, and the
importance of communal response.
Others in Helping Roles
To keep a watchful and supportive eye to the emotional and physical needs
1. Survival Assistance Officers,
2. Mortuary personnel and body handlers/escorts,