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, October 28, 2006

Little Things

This morning I had a little victory. I went into the Dining Facility (DFAC) and got my usual breakfast- some bacon, hashbrowns, a biscuit, pineapple, and an apple pastry. But lo and behold the apple pastry had frosting on it! Score! It had been about a month since they had put frosting on them, but every morning I faithfully went to check and see if they had resumed frosting placement on the pastries. I don't know if there was a shortage or something, but the frosting has now returned.

Speaking of victories, and on a more serious note: about a victory in Iraq. I'm puzzled sometimes but how this war is portrayed. We talk about a victory in Iraq, but a lot of people don't understand that it will not be a victory in the traditional sense of victory. You see, we already won the war, as in the action taken to remove Saddam from power. That was accomplished. What we now are doing is assisting a new ally in rebuilding and sustaining their country. It makes the declaration of victory much more ambigous. Hence, I get tired of hearing the press talk about losing the war in Iraq.

Why? Because I don't think we are looking at this the right way, in terms of "win" or "lose." It is a much bigger struggle than that. We forget that there are real people involved in this, and we, as a nation, will be all the better off if there is a free, stable nation in Iraq. Iraq is right in the middle of the most conflicted part of our world. A democracy here, with growing ecomonic and educational wealth, will be nothing but a blessing to the world.

We also have a moral responsibility to see this through. We may lack the patience for "these people," as some might say, but the Iraqis are just as human and just as worthwhile as any of us. They matter. Their future should matter to us, because they too have been created by God.

It shouldn't surprise us that democracy might take a few years to figure out here. It took us longer than that. Heck, it took us almost 100 years to figure out that it wasn't right to keep a race of people enslaved. On that count, Iraqi democracy is progressing faster than ours did.

So here is what one Soldier in Iraq is asking for: patience. Let's be patient as Americans. While not everyone agrees as to why we're here, the fact is that we are here. The greater tragedy would be to give up and cause more pain for a people who have long been oppressed.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your comments regarding "patience" is so apt. We as a country are used to the quick soundbite and instant gratification. Many people forget it took our country eight years from the end of the Revolutionary war until we had our form of government in place. The new Iraqi government is only six months old. We also fought a civil war, which was the most costly of any of our conflicts to retain our Union. More to the point, your observation for the need for patience should resonate here, rather than the rather shortsighted political efforts by politicians to secure an advantage. You're absolutely right about one thing, the Iraqis are God's creation just as we are and should be accorded the same respect and concern that we expect for ourselves. I often think it must take an incredible amount of courage for the average Iraqi to stand up for democracy. It isn't difficult speak out here in America because there are little consequences for the exercise of our right to free speech and opinion. We should have the highest respect for those Iraqis who have the courage to speak out and stand up for a Democratic society. It takes incredible courage.


3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh...bacon, biscuits, pastries and fresh fruit...and that's just for breakfast. I hope you realize that you probably won't be eating that well at home. Enjoy it while you can honey.


10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did some checking with my military advisors and experts. According to a recently declassified document, the pastries that have frosting on them are the ones that were dropped on the floor prior to serving. It's the Army's way of letting the 3 Stars know when to eat the pastries and when to choose something different.

Thought you might want to know, Chris.


12:08 AM  

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