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, August 08, 2006

Which road do we choose?

I read a letter to the editor in the Minneapolis Star Tribune today in which the writer complained that promises have been broken to our soldiers because her brother, who is serving in Iraq, was extended from 12 to 16 months.

As someone heading to the middle east, I don't relish the idea of being away from my family. If I had been there 12 months, and was extended to 16 months, it would be tough. I hope to be home to my family as soon as I can.

Yet...something bothers me. Where has the sense of duty and responsibility gone? Are we a nation willing to fight to the finish, or will we stand by as Iraq potentially descends into civil war, complaining that our lives have been inconvenienced, as we walk away from our responsibility to fight evil?

Let's make that clear. This IS a battle of good versus evil. Terrorists who behead people, who target innocent civilians, who seek to enslave and oppress women and so much more...they are actually evil. Do we believe in evil, or do we think that all actions are relative? One of the greatest weaknesses of our nation- at this time in history- is that we no longer believe evil exists. We didn't believe anyone would fly airplanes into the World Trade Center, and then our worldview was temporarily shattered.

Now we have tried to crawl back into our shells. The situation in Iraq has grown difficult. Yes, it has. It's OK to acknowledge that. Should we be surprised that the enemy is fighting fiercely to prevent democracy and to encourage civil war? Are we that naive? Maybe so. But the reality is that the terrorists we are fighting in Iraq know they can not win through power, so they try to win by convincing America to quit. So they will resist and hope that we will get bored and go home, like a nation with collective ADD.

We need to believe in our efforts in ways like we did in conflicts such as World War II. I wonder if anyone expected their loved ones to return home within a year during that war? I doubt it. Do you think they wrote letters to the editor if their spouse couldn't email every day, or didn't have air conditioning? If you know history, you know that during World War II gas and food were rationed here at home- in the US- and soldiers were gone for years at a time.

Don't get me wrong...I don't want to fight World War II again, and I appreciate the luxuries we have. But I wonder about our resolve. Do we really trust that God can use us to bring freedom to a very sad part of the world, or are we going to cut and run when the going gets tough?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris--I see that Hurricane Chris fizzled out into nothing more than fast moving hot air...unlike your sermons, I think! Perhaps being named after the storm isn't such a big deal afterall?

Paul Smith

11:07 PM  
Anonymous T. Whitam said...

I'd love to hear your comments on the stagged photos and reporting from Lebanon. I've been reading a lot about this lately (mainly from the web), but haven't seen the bigger picture. Just bits and pieces here and there. It makes me wonder how big this is. Spinning stories is one thing, but stagging stories (at least to me) is a whole different level. I personally don't differentiate between the staggers or the willing accomplices that report this crap.

Thank you Chris!

T. Whitam - Minneapolis

8:51 AM  

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