Monday, June 18, 2007

No More Boxes!

Since November I have received over 2,000 boxes valued at over $100,000 to share with the Soldiers here. You have inundated us with beef jerky, twizzlers, shampoo, dvd's and a host of other items. On behalf of all the guys and gals here, THANK YOU!

However, my time here is short. We are told to cut off mail 30 days out, and I am near that magic number, Lord willing. So, my time now will be spent packing up, shipping things home, and preparing things for the Chaplain who will follow me. If you want to send more boxes, email me at and I will give you the name and mailing address for a chaplain who can receive your items after 1 SEP.

On another note, the article that appears below entitled "Soldiers" has certainly made the rounds. I am receiving emails from all over the world about the piece. The Sergeant Major of the Army, Kenneth Preston has received it, as have GEN's Casey and Cody. Thanks for sharing it with your friends.

I will continuing posting to this blog as I am able during my time remaining here, and as I transition through Kuwait and the States. Thanks for taking the time over the past year to read it, and especially for your comments.

Thursday, June 07, 2007


One thing I have not spoken about on this blog is food.

Quick quiz. We eat in a:

1. DFAC (Dining Facility)
2. Mess Hall
3. Chow Hall
4. All of the Above

Actually, we eat at the DFAC, but we go to “chow”. Mess Hall is another era.
Do you remember eating in the cafeteria in high school or college? Imagine doing that 24/7 365 days a year, since 6 March 2006. And no, Domino’s doesn’t deliver to Iraq. I should weigh either 300 pounds or 100.

Tuesdays, however, are my favorite: Mongolian BBQ. We go through the line and put whatever we want on the plastic plate. I usually opt for shrimp, polish sausage, garlic, broccoli, garlic butter, spaghetti, and red pepper flakes. The KBR folks then throw it all on a grill and cook it. I figure it is not half bad because I make half of it.

Breakfast is my other favorite meal. But how can you mess up single serving cereal, radiated milk from a carton, a banana (when fresh fruit is available) coffee, and orange juice in a carton, all with Arabic writing?

My friends who know how much I like to cook must know how much this is driving me crazy. So, when I get home it’s pork tenderloin, pulled pork, baby back ribs, t-bones, chicken parmesan over angel hair pasta, grilled chicken quesadillas, lasagna, seafood linguine, spatchcock chicken, omelets, and whatever else I can find in Bon Apetit, Gourmet, and Southern Living.

I haven’t figured out what I’ll make for my second meal.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Several months ago the force protection folks finally put T-walls in front of our building. T-walls are the handy dandy concrete barriers that keep mortar rounds and shrapnel from slicing through our walls. The walls, however, lack a certain aesthetic quality. So, my Chaplain Assistant put his rather formidable artistic skills to use and painted the Chaplain Crest on what we are calling the “UMT Rock”. I thought you might be interested in the symbolism of the crest.
1. The sun and the rays symbolize the provision and providence of God in nature;
2. The dove and olive branch is the traditional symbol of peace;
3. The open Bible represents the primacy of God’s Word.
4. The color blue represents the heavens and alludes to the spiritual nature and mission of the Chaplain Corps;
5. The rays, in addition to symbolizing the provision and providence of God in nature, also remind us of God’s universal Truth;
6. The surrounding palm branches at the top remind us of spiritual victory;
7. The Shepherd’s Crook indicates the pastoral nature of our ministry;
8. The date 1775 indicates the founding of our Corps – the oldest branch in the U.S. Army;
9. The Latin inscription “Pro Deo et Patria” is our motto, “For God and Country”.

Hopefully the new Unit Ministry Team will keep this wall in place and paint their own. If not, maybe they will simply paint their unit and names in place of our own. And perhaps that is appropriate as they build on our ministry and mission as we have built on those before us.