As reported by Friend Anne Welsh, the Co-Directors of Quaker House (Fayetteville, NC) recently received a very prestigious award for their work. The NC Peace Action Board awarded its 2016 Peacemaker Award to Directors Lynn and Steve Newsom, who have guided the counseling and other assistance of military personnel since 2012. As the NC Peace Action Board stated in its award letter:
“Lynn and Steve, you have provided inspiring leadership since your arrival at Quaker House, expanding the mission and establishing new rapport with Ft. Bragg base staff. As Dr. William Barber might say, you have demonstrated both ability and determination to become ‘Repairers of the Breach.'”
Lynn and Steve have announced that they will retire from the Director positions in the fall of 2017. They are retiring because of their age, and the exhausting nature of their dedicated work for soldiers suffering from their military experience. The Newsoms helped educate civilians about the impact of “Moral Injury” on those who serve in the military.
As Lynn stated to the Fayetteville Observer, “We work with so many emotionally and/or physically wounded souls. A large part of our job is to make civilians understand the needs of our service members and veterans, and that requires telling and retelling the stories of their suffering. It takes a toll, but we have been so enriched by our relationships with the service members, veterans and the organizations that are helping them. We truly do love them and passionately want to help them.”
The Quaker House is accepting applications for the Director position up to December 1, 2016; Qualifications include demonstrating a close alignment with and a familiarity of the Society of Friends and the Quaker peace testimony, and an understanding of the significance of “upholding this light” in a U.S. military setting.
In recent years, the Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting has donated modest financial support to Quaker House, as have a number of individual Friends. Anne Welsh has been a consistent advocate for the work of the Newsoms.