Celebrating Veterans Day with Bold, New Military Scripture Engagement Initiative

American Bible Society’s Armed Services Ministry Announces Operation 500, an Annual 75-day Bible Reading Initiative Intended to Increase Scripture Engagement Among Veterans, Service Members, and Their Families

American Bible Society shows gratitude and honor to America’s Veterans this Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. American Bible Society’s Armed Services Ministry (ASM) has served Veterans, Military members, and their families for more than 200 years. Today, they announced Operation 500, a brand-new campaign to inspire half a million Military members each year to take a Military Bible Challenge. Starting January 1, 2021, Operation 500 aims to engage the first 500,000 Veterans and Service members in a 75-day Scripture engagement challenge.

“Veterans Day, a national day of remembrance and honor for U.S. Veterans, is the right day to highlight this campaign that is designed to provide biblical guidance for those who have served and who continue to serve our nation,” remarked Gordon Groseclose retired Army chaplain and ministry director for Armed Services Ministry. “Operation 500 is an opportunity to help our Military find strength each day by deeply engaging in God’s Word. This will help them endure the rigors of Military life and of returning to civilian life as Veterans—giving them the foundation they need to face adversity and isolation with the weapons of hope and peace.”

Research completed by American Bible Society has shown that frequency of Bible reading is correlated with a number of positive benefits, including feelings of hope, peace, and trust in God’s plan. Armed Services Ministry aims to make the goal of consistent, frequent Scripture reading compatible with the lifestyle, priorities, and specific challenges of American heroes. All ministry initiatives created by ASM are developed in consultation with past and present Military members, to ensure the production of high-quality Scripture resources that resonate for Service members.

A 2019 survey conducted by American Bible Society’s research team and Barna Group showed that one-third of active duty Military and Veterans read the Bible at least once a week. Additionally, the data show that as deployments increase, service personnel are more likely to reach for the Bible as a source of comfort. Half of Bible readers in the Military are interested in what the Bible says about pain and suffering (51%) hopelessness (50%), and loneliness (48%).

“We’re very grateful to help guide those Service Members who are curious about the content of the Bible toward answers. We hope to recenter the Bible in the faith lives of half a million of our nation’s warriors,” said American Bible Society CEO and President Robert L. Briggs. “Through our research across a number of disciplines, we’ve seen how powerful daily Scripture reading can be in individuals’ lives. We want to bring the power of the Bible to the men and women serving our country.”

While Bible access is no longer a widespread issue for English-speaking Americans, U.S. Military members surprisingly often still lack a Bible; 80% of the Military members surveyed indicated they did not have a Bible when they entered the Military. Another 83% said they were given a Bible while in the service, and of those who received a Bible, 89% kept it. ASM is dedicated to serving these Military members and their families with customized resources that help them engage with Scripture in a way that transforms their lives.

The Operation 500 campaign is one of a number of programs and resources offered to our nation’s Military by American Bible Society’s Armed Services Ministry. This summer, ASM released “God Understands,” a topical video Bible study to help past and present Military members find hope amid the struggles and demands of Military service. This December, ASM will announce a brand-new program built for children with a parent in the Military.

To view additional offerings or to support this ministry to our Military, visit ArmedServicesMinistry.org

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