Arizona National Guard Chaplains receive visit from above

Arizona National Guard Chaplains receive visit from above

From left, Capt. Jonathan Lockhart, Arizona Army National Guard chaplain with the 98th Aviation Troop Command, AZARNG Col. Elmon Krupnik, AZARNG chaplain for Joint Force Headquarters, Army Brig. Gen. David Graetz, assistant to the Army Chief of Chaplains, AZARNG Maj. Bradley Walgren, chaplain for the 158th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, and AZARNG Maj. Christopher Melvin, chaplain for the 198th Regional Support Group photographed at Papago Park Military Reservation in Phoenix, March 19, 2015. Graetz's visit with the AZARNG chaplains focused on the Guard’s capabilities to support members and their families. (U.S. Army National Guard photo by Spc. Wes Parrell)

PHOENIX – Arizona National Guard chaplains were visited by Brig. Gen. David Graetz, assistant to the Army Chief of Chaplains as the liaison to the National Guard here at Papago Park Military Reservation Mar. 19, 2015. The visit “from above,” referring to the Chaplain Corps chain of command, focused on ensuring the capabilities to support service members and their families when called upon.


“I wanted to meet with the members of the Arizona National Guard’s Chaplain Corp to extend the support of the National Guard Bureau to Arizona,” said Graetz. “Aside from assessing the successes of outreach events, such as the Strong Bonds Retreats, I want Service members and their families to know that we are here to provide support and resources when needed.”


During the visit Graetz was also briefed on the Chaplains Corp’s mission readiness and received feedback from the state’s chaplains about future programs and developmental changes to current ones.


 “Leadership from the National Guard Bureau has gone above and beyond to aid in the training and development of our Chaplain team,” said Maj. Bradley Walgren, a full-time chaplain for the Arizona Army National Guard. “Having Chaplain Graetz here to provide his leadership and insight is immeasurable to how it has helped in our state’s ability to meet the needs of our service members now and into the future”.


As a side note, in addition to a spiritual connection, Graetz also shares a familial connection to Arizona. His son-in-law, Army Capt. David Miller, serves here as a Chaplain for the 1120th Transportation Battalion. “I watched my father-in-law balance his spiritual duties with his family and military responsibilities. It is what inspired me to join the Chaplain Corps,” said Miller.


The goal of the Chaplains Corp for the Arizona Army National Guard is to provide the information, motivation and support to overcome these challenges and make healthy decisions for themselves, their families and their units.