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The Lake News Online
  • Record-setting election for chaplain

  • Sunrise Beach area resident Ray Bassett — a U.S. Navy veteran — has been elected to a 10th year as the American Legion's Missouri Department Chaplain, making him the longest serving chaplain for the department.
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  • Sunrise Beach area resident Ray Bassett — a U.S. Navy veteran — has been elected to a 10th year as the American Legion's Missouri Department Chaplain, making him the longest serving chaplain for the department.
    "They're desperate or I'm doing something right," quipped Bassett about his recent re-election at the annual department conference.
    In his role as department chaplain, Bassett focuses on helping fellow veterans at the seven V.A. (Veterans Affairs) nursing homes and five V.A. hospitals around the state.
    "I try to visit all the homes and hospitals and let them know that somebody still cares," he says.
    Bassett hopes to help make daily life better for veterans in these facilities and says he is proud of his home post in Sunrise Beach for its efforts in support of that mission. Some members of Post 624 visit the Warrensburg V.A. Home every month to spend time with the veterans there.
    Bassett has revived memorial services at some of the V.A. facilities as well including the traditional Four-Chaplain Service.
    He has also held workshops for chaplains serving Legion posts around Missouri, teaching ways to provide comfort and support to members.
    "My project is veterans," says Bassett.
    After his military service, Bassett earned a bachelors degree and then Masters of Divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary in Illinois. He received a graduate degree from Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
    He has also had psychiatric training at a research hospital in Illinois.
    After being ordained by the United Methodist Church, Bassett was in the ministry for 41 years. He retired in 1995 and moved to Sunrise Beach with wife Louise.
    Along with performing his services at the American Legion, which he joined in 1965, Bassett was associate chaplain at two medical facilities in Illinois.
    Bassett has also served as the Legion's Illinois Chaplain as well as Missouri's District Eight Chaplain.

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