La Grange – As a hospital chaplain, Garry Losey ministers to patients and their families in their time of need. Soon he will set off on a one-year stint to serve another group in need – U.S. soldiers fighting in Iraq. A U.S. Army Reservist, Losey is being deployed to the Middle East, where he will have regional oversight of chaplains serving the area.
Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital is hosting a prayer service and reception on May 21, Losey’s last day as manager of pastoral care before he reports for duty. Before going overseas, Losey will undergo training at Ft. McCoy in Wisconsin and Ft. Hood in Texas.
In the Middle East he will support the troops of the 90th sustainment brigade, based near Little Rock, Ark. He will be based at Joint Base Balad in Northern Iraq, located about 40 miles north of Bagdad. The base is one of the largest American military bases in Iraq and is shared by the Army and Air Force; the Army side is known as Camp Anaconda. Losey, who holds the rank of Major, said he’s looking forward to serving the troops.
“I certainly appreciate working in crisis situations, and I can’t think of a more crisis situation than working with troops in a war zone,” said Losey, who joined the Army in 1988 and the Reserves in 1999.
The deployment will be Losey’s first to Iraq. He has served as a student missionary in Korea, ministered as a civilian in California, Hawaii, and Virginia, and served as an Army chaplain in Colorado, Texas, Korea, and Germany.
Although both involve meeting people’s spiritual needs, Losey said military ministry differs from hospital ministry in that the biggest issues for soldiers relate to their personal life, not their health.
“It’s more of a counseling ministry, dealing with personal and family needs,” he said. “Being in the military, you’re always moving, always going somewhere different.”
A second-generation Seventh-day Adventist pastor with more than 30 years of ministry experience, Losey previously worked as manager of pastoral care at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital before joining Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital last year. He has worked for Adventist Midwest Health for four years.
John Rapp, regional vice president of ministries and mission at Adventist Midwest Health, praised Losey for his commitment to serving both God and country.
“We couldn’t be more proud of Chaplain Losey,” Rapp said. “Although we’re going to miss him, we know he will be a blessing to our soldiers who are fighting this war far away from their loved ones and the comforts of home. He is certainly well equipped to extend the healing ministry of Christ far beyond our hospital walls to the men and women serving our country.”
A 55-year-old Plainfield resident.