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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! :)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Conversations I don't have at home

The picture above is a billboard I saw along a road in Baghdad; I have no clue what it says, or who it is, but I think he might be the President of the Hair Club for Men, Iraqi Branch. That's just a guess, though.
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I bumped into a fellow captain from my unit at the gym, late this afternoon, and I asked how he was doing, and he jokingly said "well, just trying to get some things done before we get a rocket attack tonight." We then went on to assess the odds of whether or not there would be any rockets or mortars coming in tonight; kind of like discussing an upcoming football game...again, somewhat jokingly.

As I walked away, I thought, "what a strange conversation." That is one thing I don't talk about at home. But what was most strange about it was that it wasn't strange.

Many days I walk around and I pretty much feel like I'm at home. People are people, and aside from the palm trees and the unique smell here, I really don't feel like it's any different. And, frankly, it's not.

I'm not facing a situation that is really all that bad. People in past wars have faced much worse. Moreover, there are people in day to day struggles with their health, their marriages, the job situations... whatever it may be, people have stress in all kinds of places.

The question is not, "do we face stress or strain," but, "how do we deal with it?" I can say without hesitation that on days where I am in the Word of God, I fare better. Regardless of where I'm located. On days where I find myself too busy to really dig in to the Bible, or spend time in prayer... well, I can tell the difference.

Being in Iraq isn't the most astounding thing around. It's simply another aspect of life. The same God who protects us during rocket attacks is the same God who guards our marriages, provides us food, and gives us peace in the midst of sickness.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a little difficult translating directly into English, but I believe the billboard is advertising an upcoming seminar: Twenty Five Things You Can Do With Stolen Towels From The Baghdad Super 8.

PS

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry that your internet connection is so foul that you can't follow your beloved Battlestar Gallactica. I'm watching it right now and thinking of you. Just isn't the same, though.

Love.
M

4:33 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

The man on the billboard is Abdul Aziz al-Hakim. He is the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution of Iraq. It is one of the most powerful political parties in Iraq.

10:48 PM  

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