John Sippola, MDiv, has served as a parish pastor for 20 years and as a hospital chaplain for 15 years. A LTC Retired from the Minnesota Army National Guard, John served as the Family Assistance Center chaplain in Duluth, MN during the first Persian Gulf War. During that time, he helped facilitate a support group for spouses and parents, and co-led a support group for the children of deployed service members. As a hospital chaplain, he worked extensively with veterans in chemical dependency and mental health settings. From 1997-2000 John served as the Family Assistance Chaplain for the State of Minnesota. John is convinced that churches have a strategic role in promoting relational and spiritual wellbeing of returning veterans and their families. John is currently pastor of Elim Lutheran Church of Blackhoof in Barnum, Minnesota.