But not to Anthony Stephens, an ELCA pastor and an Army chaplain.
to Joint Task Force Empire Shield, part of the New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs.
The task force protects the city’s bridges, airports, tunnels and train stations from security threats, and has also responded to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Stephens helped troops deal with their anxiety over serving on the front lines and possibly contracting the virus. He also counseled those with family members or friends who were sick, jobless or challenged by other hardships.
Stephens maintains a private counseling practice and, as a pastor, chaplain and counselor, has ministered to people in parishes, prisons, hospitals, counseling centers and the military.
His diverse ministry experiences have equipped him to address the troops’ spiritual needs
“Nothing that I’ve done in my life has been wasted. My experiences have been used in sermons, to be less judgmental and to give me perspective.”