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! :)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ending R & R

Wow... it's time to head back to Baghdad. I left home early this morning, and now I'm sitting at the Atlanta airport, waiting to fly overseas.

R&R was great. It went by quickly... yet, time goes slower here in the States than in Baghdad. That may sound strange, but I am so busy during my work day, that it just flies by. During my time at home, I was able to enjoy being with my family. I didn't get to see everyone I wanted from church, but we also spent a good chunk of the time out of town.

However, we did make it to three hockey games and a Twins game. My youngest son rode his first roller coaster, at the Mall of America, and is ready for more when I return later this year (yea!).

It IS hard saying good bye. Not as hard as when I first left, since I know what to expect. But leaving home always creates a hole in your heart. That is the real sacrifice of this war (aside from the deaths): the families back home. Every time a Soldier leaves his or her family behind, it raises the question of whether it is worth it for what we're doing in Iraq.

My prayer is that the Iraqis could somehow, some way, realize what an opportunity is before them. Everyone- from left to right- agrees that the time is short for the Iraqis to get their stuff together. I hope they do. Maybe they won't. What a shame if they miss a chance to modernize and live peacefully because they cannot move past the barbaric hatred of some of their brethren.

But being back in the US reminds me how good we have it. Maybe the Iraqis cannot conceive of what life would look like if they worked together and stopped killing each other. Freedom of movement, soccer fields, fast food, superficial TV shows, good schools... the simple things we take for granted. We love to critique our obesity and our strip malls and our superficiality... but, it in the end, it is the result of the blessing of living in a country that is, by and large, peaceful and prosperous.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes ,we are blessed to have been born American . Travel Safe Chris . We all look forward to the day you return home to stay.


4:54 AM  
Anonymous Salomé said...

I don't live in America, but I too, have freedom the way you described it. And we often take it for granted.
Ditto, travel safe. My prayers will be with you and your soldiers as you are in Iraq.
Take care! :-)

6:58 PM  

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