Salvation Army at tragedy’s front line

Army’s disaster services providing support and pastoral care at Virginia Tech University.


A Salvation Army soldier distributes water to students on the campus of Virgina Tech. The Salvation Army provided pastoral counseling and food and beverages in the wake of the recent campus shootings.

On Monday, April 16, the nation’s deadliest mass shooting occurred on the campus of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Thirty-three people—students and faculty—were shot to death, including the gunman, Virginia Tech senior Cho Seung-Hui, who took his own life. Many others were wounded.

At the request of law enforcement, The Salvation Army has deployed five pastoral care counselors to the campus of Virginia Tech University, who will seek to bring emotional and spiritual care to the families coming to identify and claim the bodies, the student population on campus, and to first responders and the general community as needed. The Army’s pastoral care team is supplementing a team from the Billy Graham Evangelical Association.

Again in an immediate response to requests for assistance, the New River Valley Corps, Christiansburg, Virginia, dispatched a canteen and as of Tuesday morning (April 17) had served over 500 meals to law enforcement and first responders. The canteen will remain there as long as necessary, providing meals, drinks and snacks to responders along with any families of students who come to the campus.

Captain John Blevins and Captain Richard White of the National Capital and Virginia Division are currently representing The Salvation Army’s response.

Salvation Army canteens from nearby towns are standing by.

To read about the Harrisonburg, Virginia Salvation Army’s service at the campus, see p. 1.Karen Gleason, from a
Southern Territory news
bulletin by Chris Priest

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