Religious and Spiritual Support

Religious and Spiritual Support

Information from

Many service members think about spiritual issues during and after deployment. It‘s normal to look at the world differently after facing danger and death. Returning service members talk about seeing
the ―big picture and having a different sense of what‘s important.

Some may gain a stronger relationship with God. Others may question their beliefs or feel spiritually empty. Some may have questions about guilt and forgiveness, or may wonder how God could allow
terrible things like war to happen. The traumatic events of deployment cause some people to feel like they‘re in a spiritual vacuum, alone and unable to trust.

You may wonder:

  • Was that person’s death, God’s will?
  • Is there any meaning or purpose to the awful things I saw or experienced?
  • Am I condemned, or a bad person, because of my actions? Can I be forgiven?
  • How can I trust anyone after what I know people are capable of?
  • Why did this happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?
  • Why did my buddy die and not me? It should‘ve been me.

It’s normal to have these kinds of questions. It would be unusual for you to be unaffected by a war.

Resources for Religious and Spiritual Support

VA San Diego Chaplain Service

3350 La Jolla Village Dr-1 East Wing, Rm 1436A
San Diego, CA 92161
(858) 642-3496

The VA Chaplain Service’s primary mission is to provide for the religious and spiritual care of patients and their family members. The Chaplains provide individual patient care as well as group leadership.

Green Oak Ranch Healing Community

1237 Green Oak Road
Vista, California 92081-7890
(760) 727-0251, Ext. 305

Provides a Christian-based social model residential substance abuse treatment program for men and women who abuse alcohol or drugs. Offers social and spiritual counseling

Jewish Healing Center


Offers spiritual support for member of the Jewish community, including counseling from a rabbi for members of the Jewish community who have a chronic or life-threatening illness. Also offers several support groups, including bereavement groups, groups for caregivers, and groups for people living with serious illnesses, held at various locations throughout the county.

Mantram Repetition for Relaxation

Location: Medical Center La Jolla, 1st floor, Patient Education Classroom (Room 1493)
Information/Registration: Pre-registration is required.
Call to register and for class schedules: (858) 642-3443 or 1-800-331-8387 (VETS) ext 3443.

This program teaches mantram repetition for clear mindedness and symptom management. A mantram (mantra) is a spiritual word or phrase chosen by the participant. The course consists of 8 consecutive weekly meetings, 1½ hours per week.

This program is for patients who:

  • want to improve their ability to cope with daily hassles of ordinary life
  • are in recovery from drugs/alcohol use
  • are suffering from a chronic or life-threatening illness (such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, HIV/AIDS)

This program is NOT for patients who:

  • are currently abusing drugs/alcohol
  • have psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices or feeling paranoid
  • have a diagnosis of dementia or severe loss of memory
  • are looking for a “quick fix” and don’t really want to change