Friday, February 06, 2009


I received an email today which I want to share with you in a slightly redacted form:
Hey Chaplain,
this is CPT C with [unit name withheld]. As I requested the other day, I would like to receive some weekly inspiration. Everything is cool out here at the JSS, albeit the no running water, which equates to no showers or latrines.
I hope all is well with you...

Did you catch the part about the "no running water"?

No showers and no latrines.

Think about it.

These Soldiers put up with some pretty nasty conditions, even this long into the war here Down Range. It never ceases to edify me how uncomplaining and dedicated these young people are.

The place where this Soldier lives is so small that no Chaplain (of any denomination) may get out to visit them. There are lots and lots of these tiny outposts through the battlespace.

It breaks my heart to know that these courageous young Soldiers are in the thick of things, enduring such daily hardships and indignities, and may not get visited by any Chaplain while they're there. And whereas they put up with constant deprivations, I'm able to sleep in my CHU and walk to the shower and latrine trailers in which we have running water. I wish I were able to get out to visit each of these places!

I suspect there are an awful lot of folks back home who have no idea as to what goes on over here, and what these brave Soldiers bear on behalf of the rest of us....

It certainly places things into perspective for me.

I'm reminded of a quote from the First Letter of Peter in the Christian Scriptures:
In this you rejoice, even if now for a little while you have had to suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith—being more precious than gold that, though perishable, is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls. (NRSV: 1Pet 1:6-9)

Please pray for CPT C and his buddies at this Joint Security Station, and so many others like him around this county, if you'd be so kind.

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It makes it a little more difficult to complain about slow internet doesn't it? I think Christ is the brillo pad and we are the pots. He makes us shine!

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