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, February 28, 2006

Proud of this Nation

Right now we live in a time when a lot of people are fearful, skeptical or simply disappointed with the USA. Honestly, I don't quite get it, but the media seem to assume that Americans are the bad guys whatever the issue may be at the time. I'm getting tired of it. I'm under no illusion that this nation is perfect; that would be idolatry. But I also think there is a time and a place to admit that we live in a pretty good nation. We have great freedoms. We have an incredibly strong economy, and people are constantly try to move to this nation. We are a diverse people that truly welcome all newcomers; my dad is an immigrant from Sweden, we continue to be blessed by immigrants from around the world. No other nation can bring people in and accept them like we can; Europe is learning that it has not assimilated immigrants, they are struggling as a result.

I guess I choose to focus on the positive. Self-critique is important. Needless negativism is not.

Here is a link to an article that touches on this subject. It is quite political, so please try and ignore the Republican vs. Democrat part, but think about the general thrust of the article, which is good. The article is: "Do You Want Your Kids To Be Happy?" Comments?

Monday, February 27, 2006

Sweden Wins the Gold!

Congratulations to the Swedish Hockey Team for their Gold Medal victory. My dad was born in Sweden, so my heart is always with the Swedish team, and today I sat with my Swedish hockey jersey on, and watched Sweden beat rival Finland 3-2. Sweden last won the gold medal in 1994. It was a great game; watching hockey is always fun, but there is something about the gold medal game that made it even better!

Being Mobilized

I recently got the word I am being mobilized for OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom). It was unexpected, but getting the news was still a big deal for my family and me. Right now I am tentatively set to mob on 18 June, and head to Fort Dix, New Jersey shortly thereafter, and then onto the OIF theater.

I plan to keep a blog while I am there. I know that we have to be very careful about our blogs in consideration of OPSEC, so my intent will be to keep the blog with a focus on my own emotions, thoughts, opinions, experiences and photos. I most likely will not be able to write much about the details of my mission, but I guess I find that out as time goes on.

My own feelings since finding out have been mixed. On the one hand I will miss my family tremendously, and it will be incredibly painful to be separated from them. On the other hand, I feel God's leading in this, and I believe He has called me to minister to soldiers, and this is part of that ministry. For the most part, this has resulted in a feeling of adrenaline more than anything.

I'm not afraid of going over there, but not because I'm brave. Honestly, I just don't know what to expect. I don't know if I'll be in Iraq, or Kuwait; even if I'm in Iraq, I don't have any frame of reference because I've never been deployed. It will be interesting to track my feelings and experiences in the months to come once I have experienced the deployment and all it entails.