Okay, okay, okay! So it's been a while! Sorry, things have just been pretty hectic here.
Let's see, Thanksgiving. In most ways Thanksgiving was a day like any other here. I went over to the Eastside to give a 0800 brief to Soldiers departing for R & R leave and redeploying Soldiers. After that I met with one of our UMT's (Unit Ministry Teams) in order to mentor them (part of my job as Brigade Chaplain). Doc Kelly asked if I wanted to go to chow, so we headed for the DFAC. I wasn't really prepared for what was there. There were ice sculptures, butter sculptures, colored rice mosaics on the floor, and the KBR employees were dressed as Pilgrims and Indians. Joe and I ate turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, and all the trimmings. We talked about Thanksgivings past and what we would be doing if we were home. It made it feel very much like a holiday. After that it was back to work and business as usual.
Operation You've Got Mail is going great! Thanks to all you who have sent boxes to the troops. Since October 18th I have received 364 boxes weighing over 3,000 pounds and valued at $17,500. You can see some of the boxes in the picture above. The S-4 had a conex brought in to hold all the boxes I haven't gotten out yet. The Soldiers are overwhelmed by your generosity. Give them time to get "thank you" cards out. And if you don't hear from them please know that they appreciate all your support. These folks are working ungodly hours without a day off. For most of them it's work, eat, shower, and sleep.
It looks, at this point, like I will be doing double duty as Battalion Chaplain and Brigade Chaplain for the duration of the deployment. We are currently 500 Chaplains short in the Army alone. There just aren't enough of us to fill all the slots. I would much rather be able to focus on one job; I just can't be effective trying to minister to the largest battalion in the brigade and act as Brigade Chaplain as well. Luckily I have nothing else to do here but work!
I'll try to do a little better about updating the blog. Thanks to all of you, again, for your support!