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Ministry allows those in military service to explore their faith

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Starting its second full semester on campus, Cru’s Valor Ministry is a small, but strong service for Christians in military service.

Valor is a sub organization of Cru that caters to military personnel, including ROTC cadets, veterans, active and non-active duty on college campuses. Last spring, Marshall University students brought Valor to campus.

Aaron Thompson, a specialist in the Military Police in the National Guard, and Greg Fiffer are the two cofounders of valor on Marshall’s campus.

“We showed a big interest in it and wanted to start one here at Marshall,” Thompson said.

The number of students often changes depending on their availability, which is determined by service schedule and can change at any time. Currently, the ministry hosts an average of six to eight students.  It is a small group where the students read and lead their own in-depth study of the Bible.

“It takes how can you apply the bible and the teachings of the bible to a military standpoint and to a civilian standpoint,” Thompson said.

Valor is a national organization and is popular on campuses that offer a Cadet Corp, such as Georgia Military College where students are immersed fulltime in military training, as opposed to Marshall’s service where ROTC students receive part-time training.

National Guard Lt. Erica Morison, who received an associate degree from Georgia Military College before coming to Marshall, said students from schools that offer Valor as an outreach program, such as Virginia Tech and Texas A and M, enjoy this service.

“For some Christians it’s really hard to get the connection of how can I be a ‘good Christian’ but still be a soldier,” Morison said. “Something like this give you that comradery on campus within knowing who your fellow believers are.”

Marshall’s campus caters more to retired military personnel, national guard units or officers coming to complete a degree at a school with ROTC programs. Morison said Valor provides Marshall’s students with a military connection for believers or even non-believers to come together.

“They can come in, be loved on and encouraged,” Morison said. “It’s another way of creating friendships like any other organization on campus.”

Valor meets at 8:15 p.m. Wednesdays upstairs in the Memorial Student Center by the Don Morris Room. It is a non-denominational ministry open to current and retired military persons and students with an interest in enlisting, but they won’t turn down anyone else interested in joining.

Karenann Flouhouse can be contacted at [email protected]

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