Preparing for Home

We have been working very hard to turn in any equipment that we won’t need in the time we have left here. It’s exciting to be preparing to go home. Going home presents a new set of challenges for chaplains. I have to make sure that the soldiers understand how to cope with the stresses of plugging back into “normal” life while trying to leave the war behind.

Along those lines, I have read some disturbing articles recently. One was on the recent suicide increases in the military. Guard and Reserve troops now make up more than 50% of suicides in the Army. The other story was on the decreasing civilian income level of Guard and Reserve soldiers. This suggests that Guard and Reserve soldiers are having greater difficulty getting, and keeping, good jobs. Employers may be less likely to employ someone who may be gone for a year at a time.

It’s important that the country say thanks to those who serve, but let’s make sure that our thanks is not just lip-service.

2 thoughts on “Preparing for Home”

  1. Returning home after a long period away from the family is a very stressful situation. Attempting to reestablish the role as “head of household” requires a great deal of support of the spouse who has filled the role for many months as a single parent.Upon my return from VietNam 40 years ago, the problems were there as they are now. Don’t remember any one talking to us about the perils we may face. I’m glad to see someone is stepping up to be a source of support for our veterans. Thank You for your service and I look forward to your safe return. God Bless

  2. Glad you’ll be coming home soon. I’ll miss the blog though! Here’s another joke to lighten up the day:
    When I was a young minister, a funeral director asked me to hold a grave side service for a homeless man with no family or friends. The funeral was to be at a cemetery way out in the country. This was a new cemetery and this man was the first to be laid to rest there.

    I was not familiar with the area and became lost. Being a typical man, of course, I did not ask for directions. I finally found the cemetery about an hour late. The back hoe was there and the crew was eating their lunch. The hearse was nowhere to be seen.

    I apologized to the workers for being late. As I looked into the open grave, I saw the vault lid already in place. I told the workers I would not keep them long, but that this was the proper thing to do. The workers, still eating their lunch, gathered around the opening.

    I was young and enthusiastic and poured out my heart and soul as I preached. The workers joined in with, “Praise the Lord,” “Amen,” and “Glory!” I got so into the service that I preached and preached and preached, from Genesis to The Revelation.

    When the service was over, I said a prayer and walked to my car. As I opened the door, I heard one of the workers say, “I never saw anything like that before and I’ve been putting in septic systems for twenty years.”

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