Thursday, October 08, 2009


I've been encouraging (read: cajoling, nudging, hectoring, suggesting, harping on -- depending upon whom you ask) Soldiers in my unit to consider taking a class or two while on this deployment, as I did while in Iraq. Civilian education units will become 'gimme-points' for promotion for the Junior Enlisted, and the Senior NCOs need a college degree to make it to the highest Enlisted ranks.

Some of the Soldiers I've spoken with aren't interested at all; some say they're going to sign up, and others are already working on their education. Given my background in higher education, it warms the cockles of my heart to see students excited about learning.

The G.I. Bill has done wonders for this Country, and the new G.I. Bill, despite its obvious deficiencies promises to do even more. Who knows? Once I get enough Active Duty time, *I* might even go back to school for another degree.

Anything worth doing is worth overdoing, right?

One of the Soldiers I worked with while mobilized is obviously bright, but suffered from a really poor elementary and high-school education. After a number of years in the Army, he had overcome much of that early deficit, but realized he still had a way to go. He's a hard worker, and would bring his assignments to me to look over and critique.

Like so many of his buddies, he lives pretty close to the bone financially, and even with the increased income from being deployed, still had to watch his finances carefully.

One day, after we had been working on some of his stuff, he mentioned that he'd seen a book at the PX (Post Exchange) that he wanted to get to help him with his education, but that he'd have to wait for the next payday even to think about getting it.

It was the first of the month when we got together, which was itself a payday.

The next day, I made a trip to the PX myself (about a 20-minute walk) and sought out the book he'd mentioned. It was $24.99.

Given the generosity of so many benefactors, I just bought the book myself, and slipped it to him that evening. When he asked how much he owed me, I told him I felt as though I owed him for all the years of courageous and honorable service he'd given in the military.

Many thanks to all those, like Dorothy B, who still are so generous in helping me to help Soldiers!

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ

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1 comment:

Katie A. said...

What a nice update Father. It is so awesome that you are there to feed their souls, their hearts and now their minds. Keep up the good work! :)

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