Thursday, November 12, 2009

An historic occasion

The Soldiers we're replacing will be going home soon, and they seem generally pretty pumped about that. I can't say as I blame them! Just a few months ago I was in the same place as I counted down the last of my stay in Iraq.

Those final days actually had a strange, dreamlike quality to them. I guess I finally believed I was going to get out of there when I was on the plane from Kuwait to Shannon, Ireland.

The Chaplaincy for our predecessors here arranged a luncheon recently to which were invited local religious leaders from the Area of Operations (AO) they covered. This was an ambitious undertaking, and from the look of the Soldiers who attended (there were a lot of brass, let me tell you), it was taken very seriously.

Nice to see the Chaplaincy taken seriously by them!

In any event, we had quite a number of people who showed up for this occasion, and the very fact that they all were together, in the same room at the same time, sharing a meal together was truly an historic occasion.

I'm led to believe that such a thing would never have been imagined even a few years ago.

I spoke with a number of the participants (several in German, a couple in Italian (sort of), one in Spanish; most through interpreters), and all of them said pretty much the same thing: It's good that the United States is here.

Several even went so far as to say, "The only people we trust here are the Americans. Were you to leave, this place would fall apart."

Who knew?

It's great to have been a witness to history in the making....

Blessings and peace to one and all,

Fr. Tim, SJ


Katie A. said...

Very interesting post. The thought that these people are embracing the U.S. Servicemen/women and general U.S. presence is amazing. Be safe! Looks like you're in beautiful country! :)

seg said...

Why is that amazing? The US military is the best trained and the best of our young people! When I was stationed in Panama, the Panamanians loved us. The problem is when our leaders go around the world bad mouthing us for no reason. The bad news stays in house and gets taken care of in house, not for other houses (or countries) to have an opinion or a decision.

David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the blog post From the Front: 11/16/2009 News and Personal dispatches from the front and the home front.

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