One of the soldiers in my unit (we’ll call him Joe) had approached me before we left the states to let me know that he was a Buddhist and would not be needing the services of a Christian Chaplain. I told him since he didn’t need a Chaplain, I suggested that he and I be friends. As I got to know him a little better it became pretty clear to me that his Buddhism had little to do with Buddha, but more with sticking it to his strict fundamentalist parents. He was looking to make his mother mad, and had met with a large amount of success. I had the privilege of meeting her before we left, and she expressed her concern about her son’s choice of religion.
Joe was out on a patrol when a sandstorm hit. It was a pretty rough one, and they only had vehicles for shelter. We had been allowed 3 duffel bags and were told to pack all our gear and anything we might need in those three bags. Joe had decided to use some of his packing space for a Coleman hammock. That night he had strung his hammock up in the back of one of our 5 Ton Trucks. The force of the winds was so strong that the soldiers were sitting between the slats trying to brace the cover of the back of the truck. They were unsuccessful. I was told later that the truck had moved in excess of 15 feet sideways in the sand. During this time, my battalion's only Buddhist got spun up like Frodo Baggins. I guess Buddhism doesn’t give you someone to rescue you when you’re in a bind, because Joe cut a deal with Jesus.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
New Blog Posts from Chaplain Tim Fary in Iraq
Finally catching up on many of the online blogs/journals that I follow. Saw that my friend Tim Fary has put up another post about his service in Iraq. (see my previous post on miltary chaplains for links to his other posts) An excerpt: