In America, men and women courageously give their lives to defend the United States. And the sacrifice they make for our country is significant. As military members face the horrors of combat, the challenges of long-distance family life and the lingering trauma of war, where will they turn for hope and spiritual strength?
Since 1817, American Bible Society’s financial partners have equipped the United States Armed Forces with God’s Word. We provide custom Bibles for U.S. military chaplains, free of charge. And our digital and print Scripture resources bring the message of God’s Word to veterans and military families in need of spiritual support.
U.S. Military: There are 1.3 million men and women serving America in the United States Armed Forces. In addition to challenges like Basic Combat Training or the difficulty of family life during deployment, military service members face their own mortality on a regular basis. They constantly risk their lives defending our country. As troops search for solid spiritual ground during deployment and grapple with questions of life and death, where will they turn for answers?
Military Families: For military families, life on the home front can be just as challenging as life on the front lines. Spouses face long seasons of loneliness—trying to raise a family without a husband or wife present in the home. And military kids search for a stable identity in the constantly shifting circumstances of deployment. In the midst of these challenges, do military families have a place they can go for spiritual stability?
Military Veterans: No one knows the nature of war more than the 19 million military veterans living in America today. A large number of these heroes suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It’s estimated that 31 percent of Vietnam War veterans suffer from PTSD. As these American heroes cope with lingering psychological trauma, do they know that God is there for them in their darkest hour?
U.S. Military: For nearly 200 years, American Bible Society’s financial partners have provided God’s Word for the military community. Today our Bible distribution in the military focuses on providing custom camouflage Bibles for military chaplains, free of charge. We also produce digital Bible apps, such as the “Military Bible Challenge,” that help troops study the Bible with their Christian communities back home, even while on deployment. Although many wars have come and gone in the past 200 years, the mission of our Armed Service Ministry has remained the same. We want to help our troops find strength in the Word of God—whether they’re stationed at home or camped in the deserts of Iraq.
Military Families: Thanks to the support of financial partners, the spouses and children of military service members receive access to specialized Bible resources. We publish Bible-based devotionals written by military wives for military wives. And with the help of other ministry partners working in the military community, we host an online community for military teenagers called ReZilient Life, where teens can engage with what the Bible says about family, identify and transition.
Military Veterans: The spiritual journey of a military service member continues long after they’ve returned home from service. The primary way we serve American military veterans is by equipping Veterans Affairs (VA) chaplains and VA hospitals with Scripture resources specifically designed for suffering veterans. In particular, the “God Understands” series of booklets contain Scripture Portions that address the spiritual injuries veterans deal with upon return from duty, including as guilt, anger, grief and hopelessness.