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, December 23, 2006

Four Star Coin

So there I was, sitting in my office- and I happened to be the only one from the Unit Ministry Team in our area- when I heard a voice say "Hey Chaplain." I turned and saw a two star general- Major General Fils, the Commander of the 1st CAV Division, whom I had not previously met- walking into my office. However, right as he said "chaplain," around the corner came someone else, General Peter Schoomaker, the top General in the Army. The moment I heard the General's voice, I popped to my feet, but as I saw General Schoomaker, I was even more surprised. They then spoke to me for just a moment- asking where I was from, how long I had been in Iraq, etc. Gen. Schoomaker was making the rounds, and meeting people and giving out his coin. As he came around the corner, he extended his hand and gave me his coin, which was great. It is shaped like an ID tag, as you can see from the picture, and it was a nice surprise on the day before Christmas Eve. One thing that's interesting about being here is you never know who will stop by. A couple days before I got back, Bill O'Reilly was making the rounds, and earlier this week the Secretary of Defense was in the building (as everyone saw on TV). It remains interesting!


Blogger Kate said...

Dear Chris,

The Christmas message is very exciting but two generals in one day ain't bad either!

Two members of my family requested Culture Warrior for Christmas so that would also be exciting around here.

Thanks and prayers for all.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Amy - said...

Very Cool.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Merry Christmas, Chris!!

We will miss you terribly, but next year will be great!!!

I love you and pray for you!!


10:05 PM  
Anonymous Mark T said...

Chris: That sounds like a very nice surprise for you....just like the one we had at service tonight, seeing your virtual self! How awesome to hear from you that way.

We continue to pray for your safe return ant the safe return of all of our soldiers.


6:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Chris!!!

Gee--sorry you don't have snow, but then...NEITHER DO WE!!!!

It was great seeing you last nite. Both Sgt. Rodney and I thought riding around the streets of Bahgdad looked like fun. What cool video was that--and in true Christmas Eve fashion, your video was a highlight, but not the big highlight. Pastor Sharon hit a home run with her sermon!

You asked about the Iowa/Wisconsin football game. Sorry, I didn't hear the score--didn't even realize they played. But hey--did you hear that UNI and ISU beat Iowa in basketball. And, UNI did it at their house! Guess maybe there is a God afterall, and he isn't a Hawkeye?

Have a safe, blessed Christmas season! The entire Smith clan wishes you a Merry Christmas and wants to let you know you are in our prayers. We are so looking forward to the day when we can give you a hug and tell you "Job well done, Captain!"

God Bless--

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Howard A. Partch said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from a retired guy living in Anchorage, Alaska (IE: plenty of snow and mountains)

As a young man, I remember the Pro Deo Et Patria award in scouting/church and just finished reading Alan Paton's "Cry The Beloved Country".

On page 157 of that book, a very sad pastor in Africa, is speaking with his superior about his son who has been charged with murder.

His superior explains that the attorney who has agreed to defend his son, will take the case pro deo and that means the case will be defended for nothing. The pastor is dumbfounded and asks the question: "He takes it for God?"

His superior responds: "That is what it meant in the old days of faith, though it has lost much of that meaning. But it still means that the case is taken for nothing."

When we serve our country and give up ourselves in that service, I suggest, whatever our faith, that we "take it for God". We give it freely.

God bless all of our men and women in Iraq and especially those who have given up themselves.

8:01 AM  

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