Announcements and Events

SAMFSN - 2017

Listed below are completed and upcoming Events. Please write to if you wish to volunteer in any upcoming event.

December 16th - SAMFSN volunteers participated in the annual Wreaths of America event at Baltimore National Cemetery

December 5th, 6th - SAMFSN participates in Operation Homefront to prepare gift packages for Military Families.

November 11: SAMFSN supports an interfaith event - "Share and Practice Light" at Goodloe Memorial Church, Maryland

November 2017 - SAMFSN participated in marking Veteran's day at multiple locations in the DC/MD/VA locations.

November 2 - SAMFSN invited to participate in USMC CFC kick off in the Pentagon

October 27 - SAMFSN team helps celebrate annual DIWALI event at the Pentagon

October 14 - SAMFSN participates in the NAVSEAC CFC kick off event at NAVY Yard

October 16 - SAMFSN participates in the NAVFAC CFC kick off event at the NAVY Yard

June 2017 - SAMFSN gets approved as a CFC ( Combined Federal Campaign ) Charity for 2017

May 2017 - SAMFSN provides support to host the AAPI HM ( Asian American Heritage Month ) at the NAVY Yard

SAMFSN - 2016 - Listed below are completed and upcoming Events. Please write to if you wish to participate in any upcoming event.

SAMFSN CFC ( Combined Federal Campaign)  ID is 86806. Please consider making a CFC contributon in 2016 for SAMFSN.

Dec 15th - SAMFSN will take part in the Annual "Wreath of America" event in Baltimore Cemetery. We welcome families, kids and volunteers for this solemn, emotional and fulfilling event. We place wreaths and flowers on as many grave stones that we possibly can. 

Nov 30 - SAMFSN has been invited to participate in a Charity Fair  at the DoD- Joint Staff on November 30th  in Washington, DC at Fort McNair .  

Dec 6th - SAMFSN has been invited to participate in the National Forum for AAPI Military Members and Veterans organized by the White House AAPI forum. The event is at Women's Memorial at Arlington Cemetery, VA

November, 2016 - All through November SAMFSN will be taking part in Veterans Day celebrations in multiple locations in MD, VA to honor our veterans and first responders. This is a annual recurring event for SAMFSN. 

Nov 9th, 2016 - SAMFSN was invited and participated in the CFC charity fair at the NAVY Yard, Washington DC

Nov 3rd, 2016 - SAMFSN sponsored and organized the FIRST ever AAPI Cultural Diversity Event "Festival Of Lights" -DIWALI at the NAVY Yard, Washington D.C. Please see our events section for more details and pictures of the event.

Nov 2nd, 2016 - SAMFSN will be organizing the annual DIWALI celebration at the Pentagon, DC

Sept 29, 2016 - SAMFSN was invited and participated in the CFC Charity Fair at Missile Defense Agency (MDA) at Fort Belvoir, VA

June 1, 2016 - Dr. Russel S. Lowe joins SAMFSN as an advisor. Dr. Lowe has 35 years of military service. He has completed a doctoral dissertation focused on the challenges faced by military veterans, returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, as they transition into civil society

May 5, 2016 - SAMFSN participated in AAPI event at Washington Navy Yard, D.C

April 17, 2016 - SAMFSN conducted event to Honor Veterans and First Responders at Greater Baltimore Temple (GBT), Finksburg, MD

April 15, 2016 - SAMFSN got approved for CFCNCA ( Combined Federal Campaign National Capital Area) for FY 2016. SAMFSN CFC ID is 86806.

Jan 1, 2016 - New Board team for FY16 takes over. New board members consist of Dr R.K. Bhat, Rev Justin Oseterman, Mr. B. Dave and TYPUSA ( Youth organization represented on the board)

2015 - Completed Events - Refer to Events section for more details

December 12 , 2015 - Wreaths for America - SAMFSN participated in this event at the Baltimore National Cemetery

November 2015: Veterans Day Celebrations

November 19, 2015: DIWALI celebration at the Pentagon

November 15, 2015: First DIWALI, Cedar Lane UU Church, Bethesda, MD

November 12, 2015: First DIWALI at Fort Meade, MD

July 22, 2015: SAMFSN Online Forum - Resume Coaching

April 12, 2015: SAMFSN Online Forum - Basic Facts About Hinduism

Civilan Transition Services

All civilian transition services offered by SAMFSN team is FREE and open to all military personnel, civilians and veterans.

SAMFSN is offering the following transition Services to any active duty or civilian from any U.S military division. Our services can be provided in person or by online web and phone conferencing. Personnel deployed overseas can also contact us. We will setup the date and session time based on mutual convenience. Please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with details of  your profile and what specific help you need.

1) A custom 1 hour tutorial on USAJobs. This tutorial will quickly help you get familiar with and get you upto speed to apply for federal jobs.

2) One hour Resume Writing tutorial - This will help you write up an effective resume. We have talented resume coaches who can give you the help and guidance you need. This can be a custom online session if required.

3) If you need help or information on any specific industry or just need help to get a wider circulation of your resume

4) Personal Mentoring Assistance - SAMFSN has access to experienced individuals who can give you mentoring assistance. Our mentors can also review your resume and give critical feedback. Details are below

The following committed and experienced individuals have kindly volunteered to mentor any active duty or civilian from the military. If you need help from any of the following mentors please write a brief email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with a note giving your profile details what mentoring help you need. You can also mention the specific individual whose help you want The assigned mentor will call you and arrange a phone conference or personal meeting based on mutual convenience.

LTC Ravi Chaudhary ( Retd )

Courtesy of FAA

Lt. Col. Ravi Chaudhary is a former Air Force officer, having completed 21 years of service at the Air Force District of Washington, Andrews AFB, Maryland. He is a C-17 Pilot and has completed a variety of command, operational, engineering, and senior staff assignments in the Air Force. He has also served at the Pentagon as a Speechwriter and Strategic Planner in the Secretary of the Air Force Executive Action Group and Deputy Chief of Staff for Air Force Strategic Plans and Programs.

On May 6, 2014, Chaudhary was appointed by President Barack Obama as a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In this role, he advises the President on executive branch efforts to improve economic and community development, public and private sector collaboration, health, education and veterans support for the AAPI community.

Dr. Russel S. Lowe

Dr. Lowe is currently assigned to the U.S. Navy. Dr. Lowe officially retired from the United States Air Force on 1 October 2014 after 35 years of military service. He has received numerous awards. He has been deployed for 3 long tours to the middle east since 2001. Dr. Lowe is a 2000 graduate of the USDA’s Executive Potential Program and has an Associate Degree from the Community College of the Air Force, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Vocational and Industrial Education from Norfolk State University, a Master of Science Degree in Human Resource Management from National Louis University and a Doctorate in Adult Education from National Louis University. He is also a Professor with the Thomas Jennings Open Learning Village at .  Dr. Lowe’s doctoral dissertation focused on the challenges faced by military veterans, returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, as they transition into civil society. To read more about his research use the following link:

 MAJ Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi

Courtesy of PRI

Major Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi has always had a strong passion and desire to serve his country, as he was raised in a family with three generations of military service before him. Through the Health Professions Scholarship Program, Major Kalsi was able to attend medical school with the promise of being able to serve in the U.S. Army as soon as he finished. He began as a First Lieutenant in 2001. He then did his rotations by serving in military hospitals at West Point and Travis Air Force Base. In July 2010, he completed his Officer Basic Training.

Soon after, in January 2011, he deployed to Afghanistan for the first time as Officer-in-Chief of a tented Emergency Room in Helmand province. He also served as the Chief of Disaster Medicine for the entire Forward Operating Base. During his tour in Afghanistan, Major Kalsi personally treated over 750 combat casualties and local nationals who suffered from IED blasts, gunshot wounds, and other emergent conditions. He also successfully resuscitated back to life two patients who were clinically dead on arrival. Most recently, Major Kalsi testified to end the ban on Sikhs in the military in front of the Commission on Civil Rights.

MAJ Tejdeep Singh Rattan

Major Tejdeep Singh Rattan, a 31-year-old dentist, graduated Monday at Fort Sam Houston after the Army made an exemption to a uniform policy that has effectively prevented Sikhs from enlisting since 1984. Major Tejdeep Singh Rattan emigrated from India to New York as a teenager, and always wanted to serve in the military as a way to thank the United States for the opportunities it has given him. In March 2010, Major Rattan graduated from Officer Basic Training at Fort Sam Houston, making him the the first Sikh soldier to do so in decades. After graduating, he completed his residency at Fort Bragg.

He began his service in 2010 as an Army dentist at Fort Drum, but was deployed to Afghanistan in March 2011 through October 2011, where he served in the southern part of the country, most notably at the Forward Operating Base. In recognition of  Major Rattan’s superior service to the United States in Afghanistan, he was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the NATO Medal.

Following his return from deployment in Afghanistan, Major Rattan has been stationed at Fort Drum-NY, and Fort Bragg-NC. Currently he is serving in California army reserves.


Chaplain CPT Pratima Dham ( Retd )

Captain Pratima Dharm, served as the first ever Hindu Chaplain in the US Army. She has served five years in the US army, has been deployed in Iraq and gone wherever her soldiers have gone. While they have safeguarded the country, she has safeguarded their souls, offering them spiritual strength in tough situations. She was awarded the Bronze Star for running ten humanitarian aid missions in Iraq for the Iraqi people, especially the Kurdish population.

Most of SAMFSN Advisors, board members and volunteers are DOD ( Department of Defense) employees ( Active Duty, Civilans and Veterans). All our volunteers help out in SAMFSN efforts on voluntary basis on a part time basis. We are thankful to each one of them for their commitment to our goals. We need financial and community support to meet expenses for our operating, program and event costs


  • Lt Col. Ravi Chaudhary, DOD ( Department of Defense), U.S Air Force - ( Retd ) ; Veteran; Married to Uma Chaudhary; Founding Advisor of  SAMFSN; Member of Presidents Advisory Commission on AAPI; Currently works at the Federal Aviation Administration; Based in VA;

  • Chaplain Capt. Pratima Dharm,  U.S Army ( Retd ); First Hindu Chaplain in U.S Military; Veteran, Married to Raj Rajendran; Founding Advisor of SAMFSN; Capt Dharm has served in the U.S Army for 10 years.

  • Dr. Russell S. Lowe, DOD, Currently assigned to the U.S Navy; Veteran; Dr. Lowe has completed 35 years of military service, has been deployed for 3 long tours to middle east since 2001. Dr. Lowe has completed a doctoral dissertation focused on the challenges faced by military veterans, returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, as they transition into civil society. To read more about his research use the following link:
  • Mr. Sant Gupta, Active Community Leader ; Founding Director of SAMFSN; Based in VA;

  • Devang M. Shah, Active Community Leader, Leading Immigration Attorney; Based in MD; Managing Partner at Shah and Kishore ( )

  • Mrs. Uma Chaudhary, Founding Director for SAMFSN; Married to veteran Lt Col Ravi Chaudhary; 

Board Team for the FY 2016 Term:

  • Mr. Raj Rajendran, DOD Civilian; Married to veteran Chaplain Pratima Dharm; Founding Director for SAMFSN; Based in MD; ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • Rev Dr Justin S Osterman; U.S Army Veteran and former paratrooper; Currently Interim Senior Minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair, NJ; ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • Mr. Balkrishna Dave, U.S Army Veteran, Federal Employee, Based in MD; ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )
  • Dr. Ram Bhat, Active Community Leader; DOD Civilian; Founding member of SAMFSN; Based in MD; ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

  • The Youth Project Foundation ( TYP USA chapter is represented on the SAMFSN board by Gokul Kannan ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Executive Committee Team for FY 2016 Term:

  • Mr. Hitul Thaker, DOD Civilian, Veteran – Founding members of SAMFSN; Based in VA; 
  • Mr Anirudh Garud, Federal Employee; Based in MD;
  • Mr Bhuj Gidwani, Veteran; Founding members of SAMFSN; Based in VA;

Community Advisers:

  • Rev Abhi Janamanchi, Senior Minister, Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, Bethesda, Maryland
  • Mr. K.G Ventatraman, Active Community Leader; President – HACSI- Hindu American Community Services;  
  • Mr. Mythii Bachu; Active Community Leader; Founding Director of SAMFSN;

Key Volunteers and Sponsor Organizations

  • Mr. Dhiren Makwana -( - SAMFSN Website Development 
  • - SAMFSN Website Development

Support Organizations:

SAMFSN.ORG is taking support and help from various South Asian organizations, Individuals, Artists to achieve its mission goals. A partial list of several organizations with whom we plan to work with are listed below. Please contact us if your organization would like to get involved and work with us.

 We need more volunteers: View Volunteer Flyer: SAMFSN Volunteer Flyer-Oct 1


( Content for this page is under development )

Useful internet links to learn about Buddhism

Support For Hindu Chaplaincy in DOD

(The counter below updates automatically every 5 minutes )

This support affidavit is being submitted by the Hindu Congregation from the DOD to the Chief of Chaplains ( DOD – Department of Defense )

PURPOSE OF AFFIDAVIT: To confirm the growing need for the Hindu chaplaincy in the DOD. To give equal opportunities for serving Hindu soldiers and civilians in the DOD to practice the Hindu religion within the DOD.

NEED FOR HINDU CHAPLAINCY: Since 2000, the number of South Asians in America has grown significantly. According to the 2010 census the numbers have nearly doubled in some states. As such, thousands of South Asian Americans have started to pursue careers of service in America’s Armed Forces. We currently have thousands of South Asian Americans who are practicing Hindus in the U.S Armed Forces. We recognize this growth and the associated requirement for Hindu Chaplains who can support and meet the spiritual needs of Hindu military members and their families. The Hindu community will organize and mobilize resources to provide the required support to the Hindu Chaplains and our soldiers who are willing to sacrifice their lives for the United States.

This affidavit is submitted by the DOD Hindu congregation and Hindu community members living and working in the United States.


  1. To recognize and thank the Department of Defense (DOD) for appointing first Hindu Chaplain in the DOD. We request the (DOD) Chief of Chaplains office to continue to give equal support for the Hindu Chaplaincy program for the benefit of the Hindu congregants.
  2. The Hindu community will give full support to the DOD for their programs and efforts that promote religious and cultural diversity at all levels within the DOD. The Hindu community will continue to provide any support required to the White House, Federal Government and DOD leaders to promote inter faith understanding and dialogue across the DOD.
  3. Establish contact with practicing Hindus who are serving as active duty , civilians and veterans in the U.S Armed Forces.

The DOD Hindu congregation and community sincerely thank the Department of Defense (DOD) OSD’s Chief of Chaplain’s office for appointing the very first Hindu Chaplain on May 2011. Chaplain CPT Pratima Dharm was appointed by the DOD (Department of Defense) as the first Hindu Chaplain in May 2011 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC).

The federal government has issued directives for equal opportunity and religious diversity in the DOD. The Hindu community in the U.S has always taken an active part in supporting the political process in the U.S at all levels ( Federal, State and Local ). The Hindu community will organize resources at our disposal to help the DOD to implement the directives for equal opportunity and religious diversity.

To The DOD Hindu Congregants And Community Supporters:

Please confirm your support for this effort. We request all affidavit supporters to give your Name, Location and Email contact info. We need your email to keep you involved and updated. We will NOT use your email for any other purpose. We need your role and location information to confirm the size and location of the Hindu congregation within the DOD. We thank you for your support and your understanding.


Support efforts for Hinduism

Books and resources on Hinduism:

List of Hindu Festivals, Worship places in the U.S etc

List of Hindu Festivals 2014 - 2014_hindu_festivals

Useful internet links to learn about Hinduism:  (Interfaith Conference of Washington Metropolitan)