Herman Keizer, Jr.
Herman Keizer, Jr.
Herman Keizer, Jr., was born in 1938 in Chicago, and moved to Grand Rapids. He enlisted in the U.S. Army as a Chaplain Assistant in 1962 and was commissioned as an Army Chaplain in 1968. Chaplain Keizer served in Vietnam with the First and Fourth Infantry Divisions and was wounded twice–in a rocket attack on a fire base, and in a 150-feet fall from a helicopter. Chaplain Keizer’s Army career included positions of great responsibility, among them: Deputy Director, Chaplaincy Service Support Agency, Washington DC; Executive Director, Armed Forces Chaplains Board, Department of Defense; and Command Chaplain for NATO. He retired in 1998. Colonel Keizer was recalled to active duty by the Secretary of the Army to serve as Military Assistant for Leadership and Human Relations to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
His recall was extended in 2000 by the Secretary of Defense, to serve as Advisor to the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the US Department of State. His final retirement from the Army occurred in 2002. Herm dedicated his life, both in and out of uniform, to increase awareness of “moral injury in war” and assist veterans suffering from it. He was a Founding Co-Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, an important source of information stressing both the physical and psychological aspects of post-traumatic stress. He played a key role in establishing the “Hidden Wounds of War” Conference at Grand Valley State University, and was Special Counsellor to the Kent County Veterans Treatment Court since its establishment in 2015. At the time of his death, he was National Chaplain for the 45,000-member Military Order of the Purple Heart.
Herm died in 2017 at age 79.