A Quiet Reality
A chaplain's journey Into Babylon, Iraq with the 1st Marine
Author: Emilio Marrero Jr., Copyright @ 2009
A Quiet Reality is a heartwarming and hopeful story that invites you to join Chaplain Marrero in this exciting journey through Iraq as he ministered to US Marines. Join him through an exhilarating tactical convoy during his first night in Iraq, through the painful ministry to the wounded and dead. Reflect with him as he ponders on this quest as a man in uniform and a pastor. Walk with him through the ancient ruins of Nebuchadnezzar s Palace in Babil and join him on an exciting quest to open biblical history to his Marines while he seeks to care for the Iraqis around him. A Quiety Reality is a hopeful commentary on a selfless quest to be true to one s faith and one s calling in the most trying of times. A wonderful story that provides deep insight into how Americans and Iraqis touched one another in conflict and in peace.
A Soldier of God Remembers
Memoir highlights of career Army chaplain (Colonel) John W. Schumacher, Retired
Author: Chaplain John W. Schumacher, Retired, Copyright @ 2000
A Table in the Presence
The inspiring account of how a U.S. Marine battalion experienced God's grace amid the chaos of the war in Iraq
Author: Lt. Carey H. Cash, Copyright @ 2005
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”
There are some places where you just don’t expect to find God. For the men of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, downtown Baghdad was one of those places. Moving into the heart of Iraq and ever deeper into enemy territory, they found themselves face-to-face with the ruthless Iraqi Republican Guard and Fedayeen militia. But when the smoke cleared, God’s touch was clearly visible.
Serving as a chaplain to the U.S. Marines, Lieutenant Carey Cash had witnessed the miracles that began in the desert of northern Kuwait, and found their culmination in one of the fiercest battles of Operation Iraqi Freedom. With vivid detail and gripping emotion, Lt. Cash gives a firsthand account of this amazing story–how the men of an entire battalion found God in the presence of their enemies.
Bringing God to Men
American military chaplains and the Vietnam War
Author: Jacqueline E. Whitt, Copyright @ 2014
During the second half of the twentieth century, the American military chaplaincy underwent a profound transformation. Broad-based and ecumenical in the World War II era, the chaplaincy emerged from the Vietnam War as generally conservative and evangelical. Before and after the Vietnam War, the chaplaincy tended to mirror broader social, political, military, and religious trends. During the Vietnam War, however, chaplains' experiences and interpretations of war placed them on the margins of both military and religious cultures. Because chaplains lived and worked amid many communities--religious and secular, military and civilian, denominational and ecumenical--they often found themselves mediating heated struggles over the conflict, on the home front as well as on the front lines.
In this benchmark study, Jacqueline Whitt foregrounds the voices of chaplains themselves to explore how those serving in Vietnam acted as vital links between diverse communities, working personally and publicly to reconcile apparent tensions between their various constituencies. Whitt also offers a unique perspective on the realities of religious practice in the war's foxholes and firebases, as chaplains ministered with a focus on soldiers' shared experiences rather than traditional theologies.
Chaplain Turner's War
Life and faith on the frontlines with the U.S. Army in Iraq
Author: Moni Basu, Copyright @ 2012
The U.S. mission in Iraq ended Dec. 18, 2011, as the last American soldiers climbed into trucks and headed south through the desert towards Kuwait. Nearly 4,500 American troops died in the Iraq war. More than 30,000 others were physically wounded. Countless others live with scars that can't be seen. While medics and doctors heal the physical scars of the wounded, the military employs a select few to heal the hearts, minds, and souls of soldiers--all of whom are changed forever by war. In January 2008, Atlanta Journal-Constitution international reporter Moni Basu began documenting life at war with Darren Turner, a chaplain in the U.S. Army. Chaplain Turner served as the emotional support system of U.S. soldiers more accustomed to toughing it out than opening up.
Despite a rough and tumble youth, Chaplain Turner found spirituality and made the decision to practice faith amid a flock of the suffering. For that reason, he chose to be an Army chaplain on the front lines of The Iraq War. But Chaplain Turner's war would unfold on many fronts: as a soldier on the battlefield, as a counselor behind closed doors, as a minister at the altar, as a friend, as a father. He would become the backbone of an infantry battalion on its third deployment in Iraq. As the sole chaplain for a thousand men and women, he would absorb all that befell them. He would share in absolute joy--and tragedy.
Ms. Basu captures the entire range of these emotions in this book based on her time covering Chaplain Turner in Iraq and at home. In a series of articles she published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and expanded upon here, Ms. Basu deftly depicts the emotional weight carried by soldiers in the field, veterans at home, and a man charged with the harrowing responsibility of being a salve to their scarred souls.
For the first-time ever, the entire series of Ms. Basu's articles on Chaplain Turner have been collected into one book. There have been few looks into one of this nation's most controversial wars that have been as honest, heartbreaking, and inspiring as Chaplain Turner's War. The experiences of the young men and women Chaplain Turner served speak with a clarity and force that is relatable to readers of any religion and of any opinion about The Iraq War. It is a story of people's lives who are so often taken for granted as steely warriors, and so rarely appreciated as heroes returning home with a lifetime of emotional weight. Chaplain Turner's War is a must-read for anyone interested in the end of The Iraq War and the perspective of it from those most directly involved.
Faith Under Fire
An Army chaplain's memoir
Authors: Roger Benimoff, Eve Conant , Copyright @ 2010
“Running away from God doesn’t work. I had tried.”
As he left for his second tour of duty as an Army chaplain in Iraq, Roger Benimoff noted in his journal: I am excited and I am scared. I am on fire for God...He is my hope, strength, and focus.
But not long after returning to Iraq, the burdens of his job–the memorial services for soldiers killed in action, the therapy sessions after contact with the enemy, the perilous excursions “outside the wire” while under enemy ﬁre–began to overwhelm him. Amid the dust, heat, and blood of Iraq, Benimoff felt the pillar of strength he’d always relied on to hold him up–his faith in God–begin to crumble.
Unable to make sense of the senseless, Benimoff turned to his journal. What did it mean to believe in a God who would allow the utter horror and injustice of war? Did He want these brave young men and women to die? In his darkest moment, Benimoff wrote: Why am I so angry? I do not want anything to do with God. I am sick of religion. It is a crutch for the weak.
Benimoff’s spiritual crisis heightened upon his return home to Fort Carson, Colorado. He withdrew emotionally from wife and sons, creating tensions that threatened to shatter the family. He was assigned to work at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, where he counseled returning soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder–until he was diagnosed himself with PTSD.
Finding himself in the role of patient rather than caregiver, connecting as an equal with his fellow sufferers, and revisiting scriptural readings that once again rang with meaning and truth, he began his most decisive battle: for the love of his family and for the chance to once again open his heart to the healing grace of God.
Intimate and powerful, drawing on Benimoff’s and his wife’s journals, Faith Under Fire chronicles a spiritual struggle through war, loss, and the hard process of learning to believe again.
For God and Country
Four stories of couraeous military chaplains
Authors: John and Bonnie Riddle, Copyright @ 2003
As U.S. soldiers battle terrorists around the globe, Americans--from Main Street to Hollywood--are viewing the military with a renewed respect. Now comes an exciting biographical collection of a vital, but often overlooked, member of the military: the Christian chaplain. Featuring the stories of Timothy Dwight, grandson of Jonathan Edwards and Revolutionary War chaplain; E. M. Bounds, the famed theologian who served as a Confederate army chaplain; George Fox, one of the "Immortal Chaplains" of the U.S.A.T. Dorchester; and Robert Preston Taylor, who willingly suffered with his men in a Japanese prison camp, For God and Country will stir readers with the courage of these specially called ministers of the gospel.
Gateway to Iraq
A chaplain's story
Author: Rachel Coggins, Copyright @ 2009
...the compelling and poignant account of one woman's experience as a chaplain on the edge of war. When Dr. Rachel Coggins received the call to serve overseas, the Army Reservist left a comfortable Georgia home to live in a harsh environment filled with challenge. Assigned to a base called the Gateway, she welcomed military members entering the war zones of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kuwait and then bid them goodbye when it was time to return stateside. In between those times, Chaplain Coggins listened to the warriors-to their fears, their worries, their heartaches, and sometimes, their joys. She became a confidante to some, a comfort to others, and a friend to still others. Chaplain Coggins offers a glimpse into a world few civilians ever see. In retelling her experiences, Coggins reveals the struggles that confront today's war-zone Soldiers and their loved ones, struggles that are often hidden from most Americans.
What readers are saying: "What a great book! I couldn't put it down. I laughed, cried, imagined, thought, reflected, prayed all at the same time" -Kathy Oldfield, seminarian "You bring the war home and make it a personal journey, rather than some far away experience in a country most of us don't even know." - Carol Glover, Chaplain's wife
"Compassionate, compelling and heart-felt! ...rare insight and much needed perspective." - Angela Marshall, Teacher
Rachel is an Army Reserve Chaplain and the wife of an Air Force Chaplain. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry in Women's Studies and is founder of Rachel's Well Ministry. She and her husband, Michael, and son live in Arizona.
Heaven in the Midst of Hell
A Quaker Chaplain's View of the War in Iraq
Author: Sheri Snively, Copyright @ 2010
War exposes the divide between who we think we are and how we behave in extreme situations. Commander Sheri Snively has crafted a vivid, unsettling, and ultimately hopeful personal account of the effects of the Iraq war on soldiers and civilians alike who find themselves astride that dilemma.
From her unique perspective as a Navy Quaker chaplain serving with the Marines working amid the boredom, tension, and seemingly meaningless carnage at a trauma hospital and morgue between Ramadi and Fallujah, Commander Snively negotiates a compassionate path to healing marked not by formulaic answers, but by an open and questioning spirit.
Lavishly adorned with the author's own evocative photographs, Heaven in the Midst of Hell is a compelling and unforgettable journey into the human soul.
Meditations from Iraq
A chaplain's ministry in the Middle East 2003-2004
Author: Lance Kittleson, Copyright @ 2005
In January 2003, Lance Kittleson's army reserve unit was deployed to Kuwait and Iraq. For the next 14 months, his ministry was transformed. Instead of pastoring an Iowa congregation, he now served under harsh and sometimes dangerous conditions as a chaplain for a support unit on the edge of war. Yet even in this chaotic and challenging environment, his trained pastor's eye finds the presence of God in moments both mundane and exhilarating.
In this collection of e-mails sent to family and friends during his time in the Middle East, Kittleson shares insightful, poignant, and humorous meditations on faith and life. You'll get a firsthand glimpse of military life, as well as the remarkable ways of the spirit (both divine and human) at work. When the camp's altar suddenly disappears, you'll read about how Kittleson comes to understand that the crude replacement altar hastily assembled from discarded shipping crates is a better symbol of Jesus than any fancy altar in an ornate sanctuary. You'll also see how the sight of a superior officer offering a cup of coffee draws quizzical responses from servicemen accustomed to a rank-conscious army.
Whether you are interested in learning more about what some of our men and women in uniform are experiencing in Iraq, want thoughtful sermon illustrations, or just desire inspirational reading that highlights God's presence even in the worst of life, Meditations From Iraq is a fascinating volume for everyone.
Some of the illuminating chapters include:
- Tikrit And Perspective (Or Dodging Bat Guano In The Desert)
- Eli's Christmas Tree (Or Someone In Iowa Loves You)
Lance Kittleson has been an ELCA pastor since 1981. He is currently the pastor of Deer Creek Lutheran Church in Carpenter, Iowa, and St. Peter Lutheran Church in Toeterville, Iowa. Kittleson previously served parishes in Iowa and Oregon, and has been a missionary in Senegal. Kittleson's military service has included 17 years as a chaplain in the Army Reserve and 10 years as an infantry officer. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University and Luther Seminary.
Miracles and Moments of Grace
Inspiring stories from military chaplains
Author: Nancy B. Kennedy, Copyright @ 2011
In Miracles and Moments of Grace, seasoned author Nancy B.Kennedy brings together stories that touch the heart, with inspiring messages drawn from the day-to-day lives of our nation's soldiers.
This collection of compelling first-person stories comes from the many military chaplains who are eyewitnesses to amazing displays of divine intervention, whether in small moments of grace or through events experienced as miracles. Telling stories that range from the simple joy of a Christmas party for deployed service members tothe intervention of a chaplain talking down a suicidal soldier, this book makes it clear:military chaplains are tough, on a mission to face some of the darkest moments of the human experience and bring the light of faith with them.
Whether you are in the military yourself, a family member, or simply a reader seeking inspiration about the work God does even in gritty circumstances, this book will introduceyou to people worth knowing. These chaplains put their lives on the line to minister to souls all over the world; their stories can open your eyes and lift your spirits. "It is my privilege here," writes Nancy, "to tell the stories of these dedicated men and women entrusted with the spiritual well-being of our country's armed forces. God bless them,and through them, you."
Mission at Nuremberg
An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis
Author: Tim Townsend, Copyright @2014
Mission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend’s gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, a compelling and thought-provoking tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity.
Lutheran minister Henry Gerecke was fifty years old when he enlisted as am Army chaplain during World War II. As two of his three sons faced danger and death on the battlefield, Gerecke tended to the battered bodies and souls of wounded and dying GIs outside London. At the war’s end, when other soldiers were coming home, Gerecke was recruited for the most difficult engagement of his life: ministering to the twenty-one Nazis leaders awaiting trial at Nuremburg.
Based on scrupulous research and first-hand accounts, including interviews with still-living participants and featuring sixteen pages of black-and-white photos, Mission at Nuremberg takes us inside the Nuremburg Palace of Justice, into the cells of the accused and the courtroom where they faced their crimes. As the drama leading to the court’s final judgments unfolds, Tim Townsend brings to life the developing relationship between Gerecke and Hermann Georing, Albert Speer, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and other imprisoned Nazis as they awaited trial.
Powerful and harrowing, Mission at Nuremberg offers a fresh look at one most horrifying times in human history, probing difficult spiritual and ethical issues that continue to hold meaning, forcing us to confront the ultimate moral question: Are some men so evil they are beyond redemption?
No Greater Glory
The Four Immortal Chaplains and the Sinking of the Dorchester in World War II
Author: Dan Kurzman, Copyright @ 2005
The sinking of the Dorchester in the icy waters off Greenland shortly after midnight on February 3, 1942, was one of the worst sea disasters of World War II. It was also the occasion of an astounding feat of heroism—and faith.
As water gushed through a hole made by a German torpedo, four chaplains—members of different faiths but linked by bonds of friendship and devotion—moved quietly among the men onboard. Preaching bravery, the chaplains distributed life jackets, including their own. In the end, these four men went down with the ship, their arms linked in spiritual solidarity, their voices raised in prayer. In this spellbinding narrative, award-winning author and journalist Dan Kurzman tells the story of these heroes and the faith—in God and in country—that they shared.
They were about as different as four American clergymen could be. George Lansing Fox (Methodist), wounded and decorated in World War I, loved his family and his Vermont congregation—yet he re-enlisted as soon as he heard about Pearl Harbor. Rabbi Alex Goode was an athlete, an intellectual, and an adoring new father—yet he too knew, the day Pearl Harbor was bombed, that he would serve. Clark Poling (Dutch Reformed), the son a famous radio evangelist, left for war begging his father to pray that he would never be a coward. Father John Washington (Catholic), a scrappy Irish street fighter, had dedicated himself to the church after a childhood brush with death. Chance brought the chaplains together at a Massachusetts training camp, but each was convinced that God had a reason for placing them together aboard the Dorchester.
Drawing on extensive interviews with the chaplains’ families and the crews of both the Dorchester and the German submarine that fired the fatal torpedo, Kurzman re-creates the intimate circumstances and great historic events that culminated in that terrible night. The final hours unfold with the electrifying clarity of nightmare—the chaplains taking charge of the dwindling supply of life jackets, the panic of the crew, the overcrowded lifeboats, the prayers that ring out over the chaos, and the tight circle that the four chaplains form as the inevitable draws near.
In No Greater Glory, Dan Kurzman tells how four extraordinary men left their mark on a single night of war—and forever changed the lives of those they saved. Riveting and inspiring, this is a true story of heroism, of goodness in the face of disaster, and of faith that transfigures even the horror of war.
My Journey to the Heart of Military Marriage
Author: Corie Weathers, Copyright @ 2016
Like many military couples, Corie and her husband, Matt, an Army chaplain, accumulated significant unshared moments during Matt’s deployments. Matt lost friends and fellow soldiers to combat in Afghanistan. On the home front, Corie sat with bereaved military families and walked through dark days with new widows as a friend and professional counselor. When Matt returned, he and Corie began using the term “sacred spaces” for these and other significant moments they had experienced independently. After multiple deployments, sacred spaces were taking up a lot of emotional room in their relationship.
When US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter invited Corie, as the 2015 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year, to join his team on a one-week overseas holiday trip, she eagerly accepted, hoping to gain a better understanding of her husband’s deployment experience and lessen the impact sacred spaces had on her marriage.
Corie didn’t choose the timing or circumstances of her trip with Secretary Carter—Christmastime, in the midst of her family’s second cross-state move in six months—but it seemed the perfect opportunity for Corie and Matt to gain a better understanding of each other’s perspectives.
Matt experienced life on the home front with new eyes as he moved their household belongings, prepared for the holidays, and settled their two young sons into their new school.
At US military installations and aboard aircraft and aircraft carriers in Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf, Corie spoke with military families stationed overseas and deployed troops on the ground, in the air, and at sea. She paid close attention to her own sensory and emotional reactions to these new environments and recorded her thoughts each day via video log, blog, and social media. She also wrote about the trip for Military Spouse magazine.
While she wanted to inform other military families about her discoveries, Corie deeply hoped the trip would impact her own marriage as well. She didn’t choose the locations the entourage would visit, yet fate landed her in the very place that had changed the trajectory of her life.
As Corie sat in the belly of a C-17, where her husband had said goodbye to the remains of friends and fellow soldiers, as she touched with her own hands the memorial at FOB Fenty and reflected on her grief as a care team member following the battle of COP Keating, Corie realized this journey was about much more than the push-pull of duty away from loved ones.
This was a journey to the heart of her marriage, a place where she would have to leave behind her resentment in exchange for ground she and her husband had surrendered to hurt, misunderstanding, loss—and to Afghanistan.
Corie set out on this trip hoping to gain a better understanding of her husband and his deployment experience, but along the way, she discovered a whole new perspective of herself and her military marriage. By sharing her story, Corie hopes to help other military couples strengthen their marriages.
The Chaplain's Cross
Crisis in Conscience-An Inspirational Historical Novel
Author: Ed DeVos, Copyright @ 2014
“I was mesmerized by the way the author captured the realism of how World War II was experienced through the eyes of the soldiers and their families … A must-read for all generations.”
—Jim Walsh, former president of the 307th Bomb Group Association
The Chaplain’s Cross is a thought-provoking, inspirational, historical novel honoring the chaplains and the men who serviced in the US Army Air Corps in World War II. It is a story of how God knits together all things for His glory.
The story follows two men—one an army air corps chaplain and the other a Japanese fighter pilot—as the two prepare for a battle that takes place over Truk Atoll on 29 March 1944, a battle in which the 307th Bomb Group is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation. The Chaplain’s Cross weaves together the actions of these two men, exploring their views of their faith as well as how they interact with those around them. Each man faces a crisis in conscience in his own way, leading to a surprise ending that continues to have implications for us today.
“The narrative captures the historical accuracy of a major World War II air campaign … highlighting the ministry and sacrifice of an army chaplain who loved God, faithfully ministered to his flock …The story seamlessly weaves the circumstances leading to God’s will in transforming … a foreign land.”
—Dr. Charles Lewis, Chaplain, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF (Retired)
The Leapin' Deacon
The Soldier's Chaplain
Authors: Conrad N. Walker, J. Walker Winslow, Copyright @ 2012
An autobiography of Chaplain (COL, Ret.) Conrad "Connie" Walker as told to J. Walker Winslow. Connie began his ministry within the military community when he joined the Minnesota National Guard as a young pastor. He felt called to active duty and became a chaplain with the 101st and 173rd Airborne. He ministered to sky soldiers in Vietnam and at home and served as a command chaplain in the U.S. and abroad. Connie, shepherd and soldier hero, is a legend to the hundreds of service personnel who have had the good fortune to know this remarkable man of God.
The Miracle of Father Kapaun
Priest, Soldier, and Korean War Hero
Authors: Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying, Copyright @ 2013
Emil Kapaun -- priest, soldier and Korean War hero -- is a rare man. He has been awarded the Medal of Honor, the nation's highest military award, and is also being considered by the Vatican for canonization as a saint.
As remarkable as this double honor are the non-Catholic witnesses who attest to Father Kapaun's heroism: the Protestants, Jews and Muslims who either served with the military chaplain in the thick of battle or endured with him the unbelievably brutal conditions of a prisoner of war camp. As journalists Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying discovered, all of these Korean War veterans, no matter their religion, agree that Father Kapaun did more to save lives and maintain morale than any other man they know.
Then there are the alleged miracles -- the recent healings attributed to Father Kapaun's intercession that defy scientific explanation. Under investigation by the Vatican as a necessary step in the process of canonization, these cures witnessed by non-Catholic doctors are also covered in this book.
In tracking down the story of Father Kapaun for the Wichita Eagle, Wenzl and Heying uncovered a paradox. Kapaun's ordinary background as the son of Czech immigrant farmers in Kansas sowed the seeds of his greatness. His faith, generosity and grit began with his family's humility, thrift and hard work. Lavishly illustrated with 32 pages of photos.
The Road to Unafraid
How the Army's top ranger faced fear and found courage
through "Black Hawk Down" and beyond
Authors: Jeff Struecker and Dean Merrill, Copyright @ 2009
Jeff Struecker, a "Black Hawk Down" hero, the Army's Top Ranger, now an Army Chaplain, relates his own tales from the frontlines of every U.S. initiative since Panama, and tells how God taught him faith from the front in fear-soaked times. As readers go on-mission with Struecker through his harrowing tales, they will learn how to face their own fears with faith in a mighty God. Just as he told one of his charges in Mogadishu: "The difference between being a coward and a hero is not whether you're scared, it's what you do while you're scared."
The Sword of the Lord
Military Chaplains from the First to the Twenty-First Century (Critical Problems in History)
Author: Doris Bergen, Copyright @ 2004
The Sword of the Lord is the first book to examine military chaplains and the development of the military chaplaincy across history and geography -- from the first to the twenty-first century, from Europe to North America. The scope of this work reveals the astonishing fact that the military chaplaincy has existed in a recognizable form for more than 1,600 years. Contributors analyze specific historical moments in the development of the chaplaincy, beginning in antiquity and progressing through the Crusades, the English Civil War, the American Civil War, both World Wars, and the Vietnam War.
In addition to contributions by historians, this book includes vivid accounts by two former chaplains -- an American rabbi who served in World War II and an American Catholic priest who served in Vietnam. This remarkable work treats with care and sensitivity a fascinating and important topic. Anyone interested in military history, religious studies, ethics, or pastoral care will profit from reading this book.