A few months ago, a DoD article highlighted the service of the North Carolina Baptist Men, a disaster relief group that also volunteers to assist local military exercises:
[The Baptist Men] call themselves the “disaster junkies”, assisting the Salvation Army and the American Red Cross by setting up mobile hospitals, showers, laundry services, child care facilities, and cooking stations that are capable of feeding 50,000 or more people a day.
For the National Guard’s Operation Panther exercise, the group was washing the troops’ laundry, as many as 120 loads per day. The group is composed largely of retired military, and they even structure themselves like a military unit:
“Mostly all of our volunteers are retired military,” said Dowell Eakes, a site supervisor with the N.C. Baptist Men. “We still have a need to serve but now our service is for the Lord…”
“We are actually set-up like the military except we are the Army of the Lord,” said Eakes.
In an interesting aside, the article specifically notes the group’s “awareness” of the rules about church and state.
Eakes stated his awareness of the rules that separate church from state, but adding a little scripture here and there doesn’t cross the line…
The group is one of many off post, community organizations that continues to serve both the physical and spiritual needs of US troops.