Big Change

There has been much take place in 2008 (way too much to go into here), but the biggest change was a unit change. A few weeks ago I was pulled from my current unit and placed into another unit without a chaplain. The reason for the change one might ask? ANSWER: Deployment.

That’s right ladies and gents. I will soon leave the comforts of home and family and spend a year away from my loved ones in a distant land. The transition has been hectic and quick to say the least, but we are now prepared and ready. Although I cringe at the thought of life away from my family, I am excited about the opportunity and adventure. My previous Commander put it well when he said, “As a Chaplain, this is where the rubber meets the road.” He summed up my thoughts perfectly. When we joined the Army we did so during a time of war and partly because we are at war. The great Soldiers of this great nation make sacrifices day by day and struggle through it all. As a chaplain, I can be there for them through that struggle, which means journeying to the other side of the world.

I wanted to give this update knowing that I might not be able to write once deployed. We covet your prayers and thank the many people who are already part of the support. May the Lord continue to bless your lives and shine down upon you and those you love.

New Year’s Reception

This past Friday, my Love and I went to my Battalion Commander’s house for an early New Year’s/End-of-Year reception. The occasion was quite formal seeing that we wore our Dress Blue’s. We had a nice time and enjoyed the party. It was quite interesting being the Chaplain at the party since my Branch colors are different than the rest of the Battalion. I clearly stuck out, but that is not really anything new.

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After the party, My Love and I went down to Austin and had a night out without the kiddos. We ate at a favorite restaurant and then stayed in a nice hotel. It was simply wonderful, and I must say that I planned a fairly romantic evening. For those of you who know me that was an accomplishment.

As the year comes to an end, I truly love where the Lord has us and I love my job. The Lord has blessed us beyond measure and we are thankful for His goodness and mercy. I pray that you have a great end to 2007 and a happy beginning to 2008.

Promotion – CPT K

I am now CH (CPT) Kay. My promotion was held a few weeks ago and the ceremony was a wonderful event. My Love, Little Man and Baby Doll were able to attend and participate. My Commander said some kind things during the ceremony and verbalized the good relationship I have felt we have. I am the first Chaplain this unit has had in over 4 years, and they have welcomed me with open arms. I love what I’m doing and feel blessed to serve the Lord in this ministry.

When the actual ceremony began, my Commander told me that when he pinned CPT he was holding his son and he encouraged me to do the same. I was able to hold Little Man throughout the ceremony, which made things extra special. I then held Baby Doll for the pinning. It was a GREAT DAY!!!

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Special Coins

Recently I received 2 coins that are very special to me. The first came during an unfortunate situation. About a month ago, a soldier in our Brigade passed away. Since we don’t currently have a Brigade Chaplain, I am covering down in that position. I was able to travel down Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) with the HHD Commander to visit the soldier’s family. Those visits were sweet times with the family. The soldier leaves behind a wife and son, mom and dad, 3 sisters and 1 brother.

After he passed away I began planning for the Memorial Service since I would perform the service. The many funerals I did while in the pastorate enabled me to approach the service without too much anxiety. The only nerves came from wanting to do things well for the family while holding true to military tradition. I will write some other time about the memorial service and its importance in general.

Right before the ceremony, I was speaking with the Command Sergeant Major and he gave me the Brigade coin. It was particularly special because he took the time to have my name engraved on the coin. See for yourself.

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The second coin I received came from the Chief of Chaplains, CH (MG) Douglas Carver. He recently made a visit to our Installation and addressed many of the Chaplains here. While he was giving his talk CH Carver asked if anyone knew what CBRNE meant. I raised my hand and spouted off the meaning – Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and High-Yield Explosives. I must say, I had an unfair advantage since I’ve had some interaction with Chemical Soldiers.

After answering the question, he handed me his coin – the only one of the day if I might add.

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Quick Hello

I wanted to stop in for a moment and give a peek at what has been happening. Life has never been crazier to say the least. After 7 years of church ministry, I never thought things could be as busy as they are. My day is filled with meetings, counseling, PT, planning, and visiting. I am learning to balance the ministry side of the Chaplaincy and the officer side as well.

I do miss preaching at our previous church and the people as well. We continue to pray for those blessed saints as they search for the man who will lead their church. Remember to continue to pray for our Soldiers and the Chaplains that serve them. As the war in Iraq and Afghanistan continues, Soldiers continue to rotate in and out of country and families continue to say good bye for months on end.

My Love and the kids are doing well. Adjustments are being made, and we are getting used to the new life. I pray that all is going well. Until next time, Peace and Possums.

Sweet Betty

On Friday, I learned that a wonderful woman, know as Sweet Betty, passed away. The news shattered my heart while filling me with joy. Sweet Betty was a darling woman I knew from our last church. She was at church week in and week out, weather and health permitting. Sweet Betty lived with her sister (one of my favorite people in the world) who has taken care of her for many years.

My memories of Betty are nothing but fond ones. She is easily the least self-centered person I have ever known. She always had a smile and a hug for me and wanted to know how the “baby” was. She would show me her newest bracelet and tell me something about her week. Not a birthday, holiday or special event day would go by without my getting a card from this dear lady. While Sweet Betty is with us no more, and we are sad with that fact, she is now present with the Lord and everything is right for her now. I wish I could have been at the funeral, but our proximity didn’t allow for it. If you think of it, please pray for her sister, Mrs. Lottie, as I know she is sick with grief from the loss.

We Have Arrived

There is really no good excuse for not writing, so I won’t give you one. To say the past few weeks has been busy would be an understatement. Since my last entry, I have been to the field for a week, graduated, traveled 1200 miles from South Carolina to TEXAS, checked in with my unit, Inprocessed, rented a house, and signed out on permissive TDY for 10 days. I am tired.

Graduation week was great. My Love, the kids and my parents got to Ft. Jackson safe and sound. My Love and I had a wonderful time at the Graduation Banquet. She was simply gorgeous and took my breath away. Once I caught my breath, we had a wonderful evening.

I will say, My Love made me quite jealous. The guest speaker for the evening was CH (COL) Moore, FORSCOM Chaplain. While the evening was just getting underway, my wife read that CH Moore was from Mississippi. She let this cool fact be known to our endorser who was sitting with us and he went over and got CH Moore (we are both endorsed by the same agency). Come to find out, my wife and CH Moore are from some of the same places and even know some of the same people. To make a long story short, My Love received the FORSCOM Chaplain’s coin. Very cool and very jealous.

Graduation was a great event as well. CH (MG) Douglas Carver, Cheif of Chaplains, was on hand and gave a wonderful talk. I will say, it was quite weird sitting there at graduation. I could feel the reality of the situation and it was heavy. In the 13 weeks of CH-BOLC, I built friendship that will last a lifetime. Strangely though, it might not be until heaven that I see some of those blessed Chaplains again. May the King of kings watch over them and their families.

Our trip to Texas went off without any major hiccups. The 9 hour trip did take 15 hours and an over night stay, but what should one expect traveling with a 2 1/2 year old and a 6 month old.

I have already gotten into the busyness of the Chaplaincy. It is amazing how fast a day can go by when you are trying to run around and do this ministry of presence thing. I am the first Chaplain my unit has had in 4 years. I have actually had people tell me that they didn’t know Chaplains worked at the Battalion level. Truly amazing. I pray that my time here is fruitful. I still feel that I am drinking out of a fire hydrant, but I have a great Brigade Chaplain who will be a great mentor. If you think about it, please pray for me on the 19th. I have been tasked to pray at a ceremony for the standing up of a new Brigade. I have been tasked to pray at the ceremony because I am currently the only Chaplain in the Brigade. May the Lord receive all glory and honor and praise.

I hope to change the way I blog from here on out. My focus will be on the Chaplaincy within the confines of the Battalion. I won’t be specific about the unit I am with, but I hope you will get a taste of what Chaplains do. WE NEED MORE CHAPLAINS, and the longer I try and do this job, the more I am convinced that the Chaplaincy needs to be pushed more at our seminaries. May the God of all creation bless you.

Almost There

It is hard to imagine how quickly the past two to three weeks have flown. Let me explain my reason for not blogging. My family was able to visit for the past couple of weeks and their presence was distraction enough to not write. What a wonderful time we had! It was so nice having them around. I was actually quite pleased with the ease of our time together.

Little Man and Baby Doll were champs. They seemed to acclamate to their new surroundings quite quickly, which gave me hope concerning our pending move to our first Duty Station. It was nice coming home for lunch each day and having my son greet me outside of the apartment. He always met me with a hug and a question, “Want to play trains with me Daddy?” How does one say no to that? It was great getting to hold my little girl as well. Oh how she has grown. When I left home she was a mere 3 months old and was over 5 months old when they left. She has almost doubled in age and size. They really do grow up fast. I will say, I enjoyed my time with my beautiful bride most of all. I just love being in the same room with her and desperately miss her presence when we aren’t together.

Having them leave on Friday was a sad but bearable moment. I hated to see them go but will get to see them soon. Our next two weeks are so busy here at CH-BOLC that it wouldn’t have been too beneficial for them to hang around. My Love is returning to our home to coordinate the move while I complete my schooling. Wooohooo.

My pending transition to “real” Active Duty in a “real” Active Unit is overwhelming to say the least. The longer I am here the less I realize I know. This Chaplaincy ministry that the Lord has called us to is so much bigger than I can ever hope to be. It has been made quite clear that we will NOT be successful without the presence of an almighty God. Praise be to Him.

As this week crashes to a hault (APFT on Friday – please pray I maintain my strength) and we prepare for the field next week, my heart is continually drawn to the soldiers deployed throughout the world, those preparing to do so, and those who have already been. Their sacrifice never ceases to amaze. I am convinced we live in the greatest country in the world. My prayer is that this great country will honor the God who allowed us to get to this point of blessing and humbly bow before Him. May the people of God worship the Lamb of God, the One who was slain.

Have a great week! “Crazy Ramblings from a Crazy Chaplain”

Pro Deo et Patria

Chaplain’s Ball – The Family is Here

I am having a great weekend. My family finally arrived and our time together has been wonderful. Life just seems right having them here. I have felt more relaxed and peaceful. It’s neat how having those you love the most by your side can set your heart at ease.

My kids have grown like weeds. Little Man is so smart and perceptive, and Baby Doll is one of the most pleasant babies I have ever been around. She smiles and talks ALL THE TIME. It’s great.

On Friday night, My Love and I were able to attend the Regimental Chaplain’s Ball together and we had a blast. It was fun getting to dress up and spend time with one another. I must say, she was the most beautiful person there – and yes I am biased. Here are a couple of pictures of us and Little Man.

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Chapel Participation

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Here is a picture of a good friend, Chaplain May, and myself (thanks to CH Mark Olson). I have had the opportunity to lead music during chapel a few times – a great honor to lead people in worship. This was taken prior to the service. My Chaplain friendships are great and I thank the Lord for these mighty men and women of God.

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