Blonde moment

And the silver spoon.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

On some of the soldiers…

Saturday, the Strib published an article on how the 1/34 ID soldiers are handling the extension. The article appeared in the faith pages, and I’d like to offer some highlights. I’m personally not one to address soldiers by name, rank, and location. If one were *really* curious, one could always click on the above link.

A Chaplain’s Assistant: “…there have been so many things I never would have experienced if I hadn't been in the military, especially the people I've met and become friends with. I don't believe in coincidences, and I try to learn from every person I meet.” And, “They say that war shows a person's true colors, and I have seen a lot of good and a lot of bad. I try to be aware of what colors I'm showing. It has been difficult to remain positive. I lean on God's word, especially the Psalms, to find that strength to make it another day.” And, “Many soldiers have never been off the base except for leave. They have guarded the base's perimeters and stared out into the desert for up to 12 hours a day with only one other person in the tower, a radio and an occasional visitor. You can't listen to music, watch a movie or read while on duty. As I work with in the transition program, I observe that these soldiers have the most frustration and anger issues.”

A Chaplain: ”But the experience I most want to share was worship on this last Ash Wednesday. I had just explained how the symbol of ashes was a symbol of our mortality, how we are "created from dust, and to dust we shall return," when in the distance there was a sound of a mortar being fired, then the hiss of an incoming round and an explosion a few hundred meters from my chapel. It wasn't close enough to harm us, and by the grace of God, no one was hurt at the site of the impact, but we had to postpone worship. When we continued, and I marked the sign of ashes on people's foreheads -- well, my sermon pretty much preached itself.” And, “I found myself reading Psalms of lament, such as Psalm 22 ("My God, my god, why have you forsaken me?") and being reminded that pain and anger are not the opposite of faith and love -- indifference is. So my anger ran its course, and I found that I still loved God underneath it. I probably would have lost the connection if I hadn't been schooled in what Lutherans call a "theology of the cross," which points to the suffering and death of Jesus to remind me that the presence of suffering is not a sign of the distance of God.”

An Infantryman: “For me, the hardest things about being in Iraq has been being forced to work desk duty instead of being out doing what an infantryman is supposed to be doing in Iraq. It is hard to do a job different from what you are trained to do, far less fulfilling and below your potential as a leader. We all left our families and home lives in Minnesota to do what we volunteered to do on behalf of our nation, and in doing so we want to push the envelope and make the biggest impact we can. No one joins a team just to ride the bench.” And, “Talking about Iraq will be hard, not because of the horrors of war, but because the reality of what is happening in Iraq is so different from what is being reported. There is a reason why soldiers over here are so disenchanted with the media coverage of this war -- the "gloom and doom" on your nightly news is not representative of the true story of Iraq in its entirety. Failing in Iraq would hurt innocent people and America.”

Their words speak for themselves. God bless our soldiers and keep them safe.


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