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! :)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Minnesota National Guard- Star Tribune

Here is a link to a thought provoking article from Nick Coleman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune about the need to seriously support returning Soldiers. As many of you know, the Minnesota National Guard has had Soldiers mobilized for 22 straight months- 16 of those months in Iraq.

Mr. Coleman and I might disagree about the need for the war in Iraq- I don't know- and I don't agree with everything he writes in the article, but the core point is that we need to ensure that Soldiers are taken care of.

This brings me back to what I wrote about the other day: what about the effect of multiple tours? I believe we need to look at seriously enlarging the size of the Army in order to continue this current war- if it continues.

On another note: there are a lot of resources available to returning Soldiers. In my Army Reserve RRC, for example, the Chaplain's Office organizes family retreats, married couple retreats, and single Soldier retreats. All of these are paid for- so there is no expense to the Soldier- and they get paid while there. I believe similar retreats are done throughout other RRCs as well. Another excellent resource is Military One Source (, which is sort of an all encompassing help "desk" online for Soldiers and their families. For example, when a Soldier is deployed, a family members can contact (by phone or email) Military One Source for help with just about anything. Military One Source will arrange for free counseling for familiy members, as one resource. This is especially valuable for members of the Guard and Reserve who are not on military installations, and don't have resources readily available in the same way as the active duty.

The challenge is not only to continue to get the word out about these resources, but to step them up, and find ways to reduce the burden on Soldiers from a multiple deployment perspective as well.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

fyi Reading:..

11:35 PM  
Blogger Bruce-Julia said...

What a refreshing blog. I thank God for men, like you, of faith who serve both Christ and country.

As a retired army CWO, with two tours in Vietnam, there is no doubt that it was my faith in Christ and willingness to take a Christian stand that carried me through 23 years of active duty.

For all the doubters out there, not once during my career was I ever discriminated against for my faith or my Christian stand.

May the Lord richly bless you, your loved ones and your troops!

At least that's the way this old soldier sees it/

5:31 AM  

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