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John DeVelder
Chaplain Lieutenant Colonel Joanne Martindale was the keynote speaker at the COMISS* Network Forum on Sunday, December 2, 2006 in Arlington, Va.
Joanne, in civilian life, is the Director of Pastoral Care at Ancora State Psychiatric Hospital in New Jersey. She supervises a staff of thirteen Chaplains. She has been active in the National Guard and has been called up for service in Iraq twice since the war began. She has been home from her last tour of duty for almost a year. While in Iraq Joanne was stationed in an installation near Tekrit, North of Baghdad. LTC Martindale was one of six out of 800 soldiers in her camp to receive the Bronze Star for exceptional service.
LTC Martindale was asked to speak on the topic of The Effects of War on Pastoral Care and Counseling. Joanne began her story by talking about the effect of war on herself and family. Joanne and her husband Bob Cholke are raising two boys, ages eleven and twelve. She was away in the war "theatre" for almost two years during crucial times in her sons' development. They missed her and she missed important moments in their growing up. This is an effect of war on many families with parents in Iraq or Afghanistan. It is a loss that is not easily acknowledged or addressed in military families.
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