Counselors training to counter military recruiting

POTC volunteer counselor training. — Camille Dager/Mennonite Church USA POTC volunteer counselor training. — Camille Dager/Mennonite Church USA

Peaceful Options for Training and Careers has begun training volunteer counselors to help young adults find nonmilitary career, service and training opportunities.

POTC is an initiative of Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Central Committee.

Titus Peachey, a retired MCC peace educator, led a training session for eight volunteers on Jan. 18, via Zoom.

“We will walk alongside, listen, ask questions and offer resources and suggestions,” he said. “We will not tell our callers what to do. We will try to find a good balance between providing information and allowing our callers to find their own answers.”

When the POTC website is live in March, young adults will be able to submit a request form to speak to a POTC counselor. The counselor will talk with them about their hopes and goals, leading them to connections and resources in their own networks, communities and beyond.

For those contemplating military service, counselors will provide information on what to expect and the opportunity to speak with a veteran. Those who have already enlisted but would like to withdraw will be directed to the GI Rights Hotline.

“Providing youth and young adults with available resources other than joining the military is critical to our theology of promoting a culture of peace,” said Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz, MC USA denominational minister for Peace and Justice.

POTC is funded, in part, by MC USA’s Church Peace Tax Fund.

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