Kate Braestrup | Chaplain of the Maine Warden Service
When Kate Braestrup was 33 years old, her husband was killed in a car crash while on duty as a Maine state trooper. In 2001, five years after her husband’s death, Braestrup found a place to translate her grief into a useful position of leadership by becoming the chaplain of the Maine Warden Service. “I can recognize the distress that people experience when met with calamity, and I am honored to work with Maine game wardens in providing care and compassion,” Braestrup says. As a chaplain, she provides pastoral care for game wardens and their families and serves the search-and-rescue teams by consoling civilians whose loved ones are lost in the Maine woods—a job she feels privileged to do. She also travels the country to train law enforcement officers on how to refine their care and comfort skills and teaches recruits at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy how to give death notifications. Because of her dedication to training Maine’s officers and in recognition of her 18 years of service as a chaplain, she has been honored with the University of Maine’s Maryann Hartman Award and the Maine Warden Service’s Exemplary Service Award. Her life experiences and grief counseling skills are also the focus of her New York Times bestseller, Here If You Need Me, a memoir recounting her journey from life after her husband’s death to becoming an ordained minister and eventually finding her calling as a chaplain.