“Army 101” Examines Past, Present and Future


SA 101–Images of doughnut girl Ruth Stillwell help tell the Army story.

Signaling a new dimension in the Army’s emergency relief work, Major David Dalberg, national disaster services coordinator, announced The Salvation Army’s partnership with the Family Memorial Foundation to assist families of crash victims.

The foundation, initiated by John and Eleanor Seaman, who lost their niece, Michelle, in the crash of TWA Flight #800, serves to help meet the critical needs of families that often result from a commercial air tragedy. “It’s the foundation’s hope that by providing help to these families in areas such as finances, mental health, medical services, educational costs for children, and housing needs they will be able to foster the healing process and avoid further destructive impacts on already broken lives,” said Seaman.

Financing will come from within the airline industry and The Salvation Army will oversee the provision of the assistance.

Seaman explained that the tragic loss of life in airline crashes is compounded by the shattered lives of surviving families. “Air crash orphans should not be deprived of education, widows and children should not lose their homes, and families must have access to essential mental health services. Our purpose in establishing this foundation is to ensure that the essential needs of surviving families will not continue to go unaddressed.” Litigation can take from 10-15 years before survivors are awarded funds, he noted.

From its humble beginnings among drunkards in London–a city with 100,000 pubs–in the mid-1800s to its present-day ministry in 106 countries around the world, Salvation Army history came alive for advisory members in “Salvation Army 101”–helping delegates learn of the Army’s roots and its commitment to holistic ministry.

A fast-paced documentary narrated by Charles Osgood and using footage of actual events, accompanied by music, Army songs, and historical photos, provided visual and emotional connection to the “heart” of the Founder, William Booth, and to the impact of early Salvationists.

Major Doug O’Brien, CFOT principal, led the cadet chorus in singing popular songs from that era, which were adapted by the Army for use with new lyrics.

General Paul A. Rader and Commissioner Kay F. Rader connected to the Army’s past by relating how The Salvation Army is looking ahead to the year 2000. “We won’t leave behind our spiritual motivation, doctrine and biblical stance, commitment to holistic mission and commitment to partnering with the communities we serve,” he said. Calling for a million soldiers to march into the millennium, Rader noted there are now 950,000 Salvationists world wide. “The Salvation Army can change lives and continue going forward in service, faith, and partnership with Christ at the center.”

NAOC co-chair Sally Harris, who wrote and produced the documentary, dedicated it to her mother, national advisory board life member Mrs. Ruth Sharp Altshuler.

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