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, April 24, 2007


Well, last night (Kuwait time) I flew into Kuwait. Our flight from Ireland took us over London, Brussels, Germany, Austria, Romania, Turkey, and over Iraq into Kuwait. I had a fantasic view of Kuwait City coming in. I have not been to downtown Kuwait City, though I've driven through parts of it, but it looks like a great city.

What a contrast to Iraq. That is the sad part of all of this. Iraq could be a Kuwait.

Granted, there are serious obstacles. Kuwait is a small, fairly homogenous kingdom, with growing and limited democracy that has followed prosperity brought by oil. Iraq is a diverse national- in both an ethnic and religious sense- which had decades of oppressive rulers.

Yet, one cannot help but wonder, "what if?" The Iraqis have enough oil to have what Kuwait has- a high standard of living and peaceful prosperity. But they need to learn some fundamental lessons about living together with diversity.

It seems that most Iraqis understand this at some level; but enough troublemakers (both foreign terrorists and Iraqi ones) are causing enough troubles for the rest of the nation to make it so difficult.

Soon it will be off to Baghdad for me. Strange to say it, but I'm looking forward to my comfy trailer after spending a day in an airplane, and last night in a tent.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting to hear and see things from the perspective of someone who is there in real life and experiences things there real, compared to the sad and hopeless story that the media portrays to us. I really hope that the US can somehow make a difference there, the way I believe it, and not the way the media tells me.
Take care.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You don't know me, but my father is Lou Hesse (the pig farmer in WA), and I've been reading your blog for almost a year now. I was just wondering which camp you were at? My husband just got to Liberty and if you were there, I thought he could try to find you and go to your services if possible. Anyway, keep posting. I love reading what you have to say, and I check it every day! Thank you for all you have done, do, and will do in the future!
Be safe, take care.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know if it is incredibly shallow to compare your comments to the strife in Iraq to a movie I just watched, but I will do it anyway. I will just keep my comment anonymous :-).

I watched "Blood Diamond" yesterday and couldn't help but see the similarities between the struggles between the tribes of Sierra Leone and Africa to Iraq. Both have the potential to be great countries because of their beauty and their natural resources. But both are plagued with the inner struggle tribal and cival warfare.

As a character in "Blood Diamond" said, "God left here long ago." Americans are so incredibly fortunate; to gripe and complain about our government is a right we have, but at the same time an ingratitude. For the majority of us, we are not living in fear for of our lives. We are not listening to gunfire and bombs or worrying that our husbands/wives/children are not going to come home from work/school each day because our safety is in such jeopardy . Perhaps I am idealistic, but we DO live in a country that is incredibly blessed. Our politicians may be off their rockers at times but we have the right to criticize, joke and critique without the fear of death or imprisonment.

My heart goes out to the the good people stuck in the middle of the fighting.

8:34 AM  

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