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The Belgian military chaplain

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“I am here for every soldier. Religious or non-religious.”

Belgian Armed Forces chaplain Tonny Versluys takes every opportunity he can to spend time with troops in the field.


Belgian Armed Forces chaplain Tonny Versluys takes every opportunity he can to visit troops in the field. In his role as chaplain he provides moral support, helps soldiers with welfare matters and is always ready to listen and talk, as well as provide religious services when requested.

We follow Tonny as he visits Belgian troops on a training exercise in Lithuania, sharing out food and chatting to soldiers in their spare time.

The soldiers in the video are from the First Carabiniers Prins Boudewijn - Grenadiers of the Land Component of the Belgian Armed Forces. The unit spent six months in Lithuania, deployed with NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) Battlegroup.

All soldiers were operating within a self-contained bubble in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines for the NATO eFP Battlegroup.



Tonny Versluys
Chaplain, Belgian Armed Forces

‘As a padre you need to immerse yourself
in soldiers’ lives
and be as one with them,
on the field and off the field.
Tonny Versluys
Chaplain, Belgian Armed Forces

Hello, I am Tonny Versluys,
Catholic chaplain here with the “enhanced Forward Presence” in Lithuania.

As chaplain I am here to support the soldiers on their mission.

To help them feel not so far
from their loved ones at home.

As a Catholic chaplain
I am not only here for Catholics.

I am here for every soldier.

I am here for everybody to talk to.

Through the good times
and the tough times of their lives.

I also carry a small bottle
of holy water with me.

Holy water that can be used if soldiers want to have something blessed.

Sometimes it is their vehicle,

sometimes it is their foxhole,

to guarantee a safe return
or a successful exercise.

The most enjoyment I have as a chaplain
is to be with the younger generation of soldiers.

And as a chaplain, it keeps me young.

And at the end of the day
we have something tasty.

For the wellbeing of the guys

and to put a smile on their faces.’

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