Troubled veterans find heavenly haven at Shepherd’s Heart

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The oldest in the Shepherd's Heart program is a Vietnam-era veteran in his early 60s; the youngest, an Iraq war veteran in his early 20s. Plans are to add two beds for women on the second floor of the converted Crawford Roberts church, Wurschmidt said.

"As a pastor, and as a chaplain, part of my job is to look at the whole picture -- to love them with God's love and, especially the veterans, to love them because of what many of them have done for our country. It's unbelievable what some of these guys have done for our country," Wurschmidt said.

The remnants of their duty -- brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, among them -- can be devastating. Families collapse. Many veterans turn to alcohol or drugs, and the isolation of the street beckons.

"They've caused pain for their loved ones. They don't want to do that again, so they isolate themselves," Wurschmidt said.

He began walking those streets soon after his family's move to Pittsburgh 14 years ago. As he did in Denver, where he lived before, Wurschmidt went looking for homeless enclaves.

"I was blown away by the number of Vietnam veterans on the streets," he said.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchMilitary / Armed Forces

Posted December 26, 2007 at 8:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. David Wilson wrote:

God bless the good people of Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship and especially Mike Wurschmidt.  He is definately the real deal.
David Wilson, Diocese of Pittsburgh

December 26, 12:09 pm | [comment link]
2. evan miller wrote:

Fr. Wurschmidt preached at our church a couple of years ago.  He’s a wonderful preacher with a great message.

December 27, 11:56 am | [comment link]
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