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! :)

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Preparations Continue

A lot of people at church have been asking me about how the preparation for deployment is going. The answer, in short, is well. There are really a few different aspects to how I have been preparing for deployment. The first is on the family side. Mary Ann and I have known for a while that this would be very likely to happen. I think she and I are as well prepared as you can be; that doesn't mean it won't be difficult, but the reality is that we know that this is part of being in the Army Reserve, and we are trying to spend as much quality family time together as possible before I leave.

I also have logistical preparation that is necessary for my unit. At this point, I still don't know much about our mission in terms of which unit we will come under over there, and what we will be tasked to do. But general preparation includes making our wish list of equipment, preparing and packing Bible study material and general chaplain supplies, scheduling training for our home station (the time before we head to mobilization station), and getting all of the required paperwork completed. I met with a JAG last week and had my will and power of attorney drawn up. Not exactly exciting stuff.

It looks like we will be stationed at LSA Anaconda (Logistical Support Area), near Balad, Iraq. This is the largest and most developed American base in Iraq, as I understand it. There are movie theaters, a swimming pool, and a large PX (Post Exchange, i.e., a store). Balad is located about 40 miles north of Baghdad and south of Tikrit, roughly speaking.

My other form of preparation is just in terms of thinking about what I want to bring along personally, for creature comfort and for my own devotional time, etc. I've been advised not to pack much, because the PX has almost anything I would need. I'll be bringing an iPod and I'm packing some books to read while over there. I don't anticipate having a lot of free time!


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