Pro Deo Et Patria- An Army Chaplain

I am a chaplain in the US Army, serving in Iraq. I'm keeping a blog to share my thoughts and experiences while deployed. They are my thoughts and they don't necessarily reflect the opinions of the US Army! :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Busy Days

Yesterday was a nice relaxing day, but I kept busy.  I went to worship in the morning, at the Roman Catholic service at the Post Chapel.  We have to visit each "type" of worship service at least once.  It was a nice service, but confusing.  That is not a criticism, so much as an observation about the audience for which the service was intended.  I was lost for much of the service.  People would start reciting things, or singing verses, from memory.  It was clear that this service was geared toward Roman Catholics, and not visitors.  But it had a nice sermon, though short. 

Yesterday afternoon I went out to a nice sized lake here at Fort Jackson, and rented a Jet Ski.  That was a much needed time of relaxation.  There is something about lakes for people from Minnesota.  It just felt good to cruise around and jump over waves and take in the scenary.  I miss the lakes in Minnesota.  Some day I'll have to get my own jet ski for Saylorville Lake in Iowa...but that's a way off in the future.

Today we did our usual PT...ran about 3+ miles.  Then we had classroom instruction on meeting with soldiers who are claiming Conscientious Objector status.  We also had a session on putting together a religious preference assessment.  That basically involves reading a chart of the soldiers' religious preferences, from a survey that every soldier fills out before deploying.  Part of the survey asks their religion.  About 25% of the soldiers typically list no religion.  Then, if we ask them "if you are dying, do you want a chaplain to pray with you, and what type of chaplain," we usually get a response!

A couple of comments on homework:  we have homework and papers we have to write.  It is not difficult stuff.  A 2 page paper here, a memorandum there.  But God is teaching me patience.  Every soldier works at a different pace, and sometimes the instructors have to answer the same questions over and over again.  It surprises me sometimes because we all have Master's Degree level educations.  Today the instructor had to explain how to figure out percentages.  But that's ok.  There are a lot of good men (and women) in the chaplaincy who sincerely love Jesus, and that's the most important qualification. 


Post a Comment

<< Home