Thursday, July 12, 2007

Prayers for our military

I wanted to respond to a blog I read last night. I thought I would put my reply here as well. This post is not political per say but if you don't want to hear my feelings on the war you may not want to read on. Iris' post hit close to my heart because my "baby" is deploying to Afghanistan in August. This brave young man turned 28 yesterday. Happy Birthday Mike!!! For most of the last ten years Mike has been away from his home and family. Three and a half of those last ten years have been spent overseas.
His brothers and sisters have grown up; some have married and purchased homes. His friends have married and started families and careers. He has missed out many of those milestones! He doesn't complain though, he just feels like he's just doing his job.
One thing I did not address on Iris' blog that I should have is this; I think the role of Chaplains is VITAL! They perhaps have the most difficult job of all.A good pastor is worth his weight in gold. They carry their congregations on their hearts. The marry us and burry us. The counsel us when our marriages are in jeopardy and when our children have gone astray. They sit across the desk from us and hear some of the ugliest things that lurk within the hearts of men and women! They visit us in the hospital when we are sick. But most importantly the pray for us and spend hours studying so they can teach us truths from Gods word. Stop for a minute and imagine what a military Champlain deals with in the course of each day. How do you counsel and encourage a man or woman that has lost a limb or the ability to function as an able bodied man or woman? How do you help a man or woman that has allowed alcohol to get a stranglehold on thier lives because alcohol has become their coping devise? What do you say to a man or woman that comes home from war only to find out they have no marriage to come home to? For the couples that stay together how do you help them navigate the rough waters ahead?
What do you say to the parents, siblings, spouse, or children that have lost a loved one? How so you deal with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress on the family? How do you explain depression to a child?
Chaplains are dealing with many different belief systems unlike a civilian pastor or priest. A Military Champlain is not allowed to be compensated for many of the vital services your pastor and mine might get financially compensated for such as performing a wedding ceremony.
Don’t forget Chaplains when you pray for our military personnel., you have had many good insights. I am not sure anyone really counted the cost of this war physically, emotionally, or spiritually. War as you said is war and the cost of war is always high.Military life during times of peace presents many hardships for military families but the collateral effects of war on our men, women, families and society as we know it may not be realized for many years to come.These men and women need all of our love and support and continual prayer. They need them now and for years to come! There is not one that will return home to us unchanged. Theresa,

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