Chaplain's Corner

October 2017
Dear Members, As we finish the summer season, vacations and start thinking about the things or projects we want to do, perhaps we can also take some time to think of our Military men and women that are deployed.  We here in our country, often times, get complacent because we might feel sound and safe forgetting that the men and women in harm’s way are giving their all for our safety. We cannot talk enough about keeping them in our minds and especially in our prayers.
A few months ago, I was talking with a young captain, CPT Brent Harty, who shared his experience with me about prior and while in his deployment, and of course, I have his permission to share a part of his story.
He said, " From January 2011 through January 2012, I was deployed with 2-43 Air Defense Artillery Battalion, 11th ADA "Imperial" Brigade out of Ft Bliss, TX. Our unit was a PATRIOT weapon system that served to defend against ballistic missile and fixed wing threats against the Combatant Commander's Critical Asset list.  I was serving as a new platoon leader and one of 3 Tactical Control Officers for the battery. At that time, I was a father of 5 and had been married for over 14 years.
About 6 months prior to the deployment, right during the height of the train up where the training hours were long and the learning curve of the Patriot tactics seemingly exceedingly steep, I fell victim to spousal infidelity. To say I was stunned that this happened to me would be a gross understatement. After all, I was active in my church congregation and was recently released from my lay leadership position in the Bishopric due to the upcoming deployment. Looking back some 7 years later after this tragedy, I see clearly now I was not only in shock, but was particularly in denial that being a victim to marital infidelity was going to be a significant issue for the 12-month deployment."
In spite of the critical challenges and personal problems with his family, he was able to overcome the trials but with tremendous emotional strain.
This is how he described it.
"It is strange to describe but everyone who has deployed, understands. Life continues for your family and they grow and change. However, for those that are deployed, we seem to go into a situation that is much like being placed in stasis. Another way to describe it is like watching life pass you by while you are sealed behind a one-way glass. You see your family, but they can't see you. However, there were three things that got me through.  I prayed a great deal and felt my Father in Heaven's love.
The second action I took, was to repeat the Soldiers Creed -over and over- until my acute despair subsided. I would start reciting it almost always to myself in the mirror until I had convinced myself of the sentiments and ideals that are found therein. I found great power in those ideals of 'warrior', 'team', what it meant to serve, 'always placing the Mission first and never accepting defeat. I felt like I was a part of a kindred group of Soldiers who had gone before me and overcame similar struggles in their life of service. I knew that since they succeeded, I could too.
Ultimately, this led me to hope. Hope that my family and marital situation would improve and that with my efforts when I got back to home station, I'd be able to have peace and joy in family and marriage once more. Hope comes from our Savior Jesus Christ. I learned again quite clearly that when we hold hope in Him and His plans for us in life, as we submit to His will for us, we go onto greater heights as we pass through- and eventually beyond- our personal valleys of despair in life."
Unfortunately, his marriage did not endure and since then, he is remarried to a lovely lady and has found happiness.
We don't know how much these soldiers carry with them when they go to war so we do need to
keep them in our prayers.   

Mrs. Connie Sullivan 
Chapter Chaplain


2020 Communications Award