Contact the National Chaplain

Deborah Halter









or visit:

NO Veteran should go through a crisis alone. Your life IS worth it! Keep fighting and NEVER give up! Every day, responders at the Veterans Crisis Line help people going through a crisis. Call the new number—
Dial 988 then Press 1—to reach qualified, caring responders who are ready to listen.




Welcome all VFW Chaplains

What is a Chaplain?

Chaplains are our nation's comrade veterans who minister to our nation's sons and daughters, and their families. Like any chaplain or minister, they must provide a dynamic and genuine ministry with a shepherd's heart.  Whether leading worship, visiting a hospital, conducting a final farewell to our comrades, or even answering a phone call just to talk, Chaplains are always at the frontline of our veterans' lives.

Chaplains serve both God and country by bringing their unique gifts with which they are endowed by God, to the veterans of our nation in the broad, challenging, diverse, and ever changing environment.

Courtesy of Reverend Tom Darling (Past VFW National Chaplain)


You were elected to the office of Post/District Chaplain.
You have an important responsibility to your Post/District.
Whether you have been selected for your religious training or past VFW experiences, you are expected to be the spiritual advisor to your organization and its members.

You are not expected to know everything but are expected to search for the answer and get back to the individual. Do not be afraid to ask questions when necessary. There are many ministers of faiths/denominations and chaplains that are willing to assist you. As you meet them, create a contact list and offer veteran/VFW/chaplain assistance when they need it. All will benefit from the experience.

Deborah Halter VFW National Chaplain

Click on one of the tabs below to navigate the content.

VFW Chaplain Report Form

(Note: State Chaplains can request an Excel spreadsheet for their state listing the data for those who have reported online).


VFW Chaplain's Handbook updated May 2023


1.  In a non-sectarian manner, you should be prepared to listen to your fellow comrades/sisters and provide aid and spiritual comfort in times of stress, sickness, or bereavement.
2. Work with your Service Officer to aid members and their families in time of need.
3. Your Post Commander or Officers may come to you in confidence. Remember the privileged communication you are having is for your ears only. Uphold the high ideals of the organization in any advice you offer. Remember it is a privilege – respect it.
4. You should be prepared to offer the ritual prayers at each meeting of the Post. You will also be called upon to offer appropriate prayers at the initiation of new members; installation of officers; the dedication of a building, monument or colors; or at the memorial service of a comrade.
Note: All such services are commemorated by use of the VFW or Ladies Auxiliary ritual.
5. Being a member of the Post’s Memorial Team will provide an opportunity for contact with the grieving family and thus provides a caring ministry to them. The Memorial Team is an important part of the honors offered to a veteran.
6. Use the persuasion of your office to promote harmony and unity in the Post/District/State. 

Additional Duties & Responsibilities

  •  A person of moral and intellectual qualities
  •  A member of the Executive Committee
  •  Your Post’s official representative at Religious and Civic affairs in the great community
  •  A pastoral caregiver
  •  Conduct and/or participate in Memorial, and Funeral Services when called upon
  •  Send cards to sick and bereaved
  •  Visit sick, bereaved and hospitalized
  •  Participation in Parades, 9/11 Memorial Services, Veterans Day Programs/Services, and POW/MIA Services
  •  Presenting Memorial Bibles to deceased members’ Family
  •  Generate respect for the office of Chaplain

VFW Chaplain Statement of Ethics and Guiding Principles

1. Chaplains will demonstrate utmost personal and professional integrity: truthfulness, honesty, compassion and careful attention.

2. Chaplains will provide an objective, appropriate, holistic support and a comforting presence.

3. Chaplains will not proselytize. Those who are cared for will be provided freedom from unwanted gifts of religious literature or symbols, evangelistic and sermonizing speech, or forced acceptance of specific moral values and traditions.

4. Chaplains will demonstrate sensitivity to all faith traditions and provide appropriate and sensitive spiritual care to all persons in need, irrespective of their religious or nonreligious identity.

5. Chaplains will not discriminate, with regards to their care, based on sex, age, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, socioeconomic status, or any other factors that would hamper a person’s ability to receive spiritual care.

6. Chaplains will, whenever possible, attempt to locate a spiritual leader within the faith tradition of an affected person, if needed.

7. Out of respect for those who are served, Chaplains will maintain confidentiality.

8. Chaplains recognize their personal and professional limits, know their boundaries and make referrals to professionals with appropriate expertise.

9. Chaplains will do no harm.

by Reverend Peter R. Hook, Chaplain, Department of Pennsylvania

A Prayer to Start the Day
by Reverend Peter R. Hook, Chaplain, Department of Pennsylvania


by Reverend Peter R. Hook, Chaplain, Department of Pennsylvania

Healing Prayer Jewish Tradition
When in a Hospital Room
When in Pain
Before Surgery
For Healing
You are Never Alone


These prayers can be viewed on mobile devices:  vfw_prayers_mobile (Beta version)


Defense Suicide Prevention Office The Defense Suicide Prevention Office does not provide crisis services. If you or someone you know is in crisis, contact the Veteran/Military Crisis Line for immediate assistance.

Veterans Crisis Conversation Handout This handout gives helpful information on helping a veteran in crisis.

Warriors Journey  Warriors helping Warriors.  (There is a Chaplain section).

VFW Chaplain Department Websites

VFW Missouri Chaplain's Page  (Chaplain Deborah Halter, current VFW National Chaplain)

VFW Pennsylvania Chaplain's Page   (Chaplain Peter Hook, past VFW National Chaplain)



Net Bible Online Bible with different versions.

E-Sword Bible study suite that is downloadable. 

New Minister's Manual


Sefaria Living library of Jewish sacred texts online.


Holy Quran Online Islamic resources.


Buddhist Society Online resources for Buddhists


Hindu Online Resources for Hindus.


Shinto Portal Resources for the Shinto religion.


Taoism Online resources about Taoism.


Chaplain - Be a Mentor

Credibility of Chaplains and Leadership

Dealing with Suicide as a Chaplain

Speaking in Public


Presented by Chaplain Peter Hook

Funeral Planning for the Veteran (15 MAR 23)
Memorial Service Template (15 MAR 23)

Hospital Visitation

Presented by Chaplain Frank Correa

Hospital, Nursing Home, Private Home, Hospice & Spiritual Care Workshop   (19 APR 23)
Hospital, Nursing Home, Private Home, Hospice & Spiritual Care Workshop Slideshow  (19 APR 23)

Zoom Training

To attend Zoom training when it is offered, please click Here!

Links of past training sessions coming soon!