Laundry Day

Today is laundry day! Sheri, my wife, knows that I have never been excited about laundry before. Since we don’t have washers at the training FOB (Forward Operating Base), we get to go back to main post to do laundry. At our building there, we also have air conditioning and a good internet connection. So, for the moment, laundry is a good thing.

It’s amazing how one’s priorities change relative to the circumstances. You find that very small things bring great happiness: running water, toilets that flush, a small piece of chocolate, and waking up at 1:00 in the morning and realizing that you don’t have to get up until 4:00.  Joy can be found in places you would never expect.

Pray for peace…

Bullets and Sleep

The unit had a night fire last night, and returned to the compound (affectionately known as cell block B) last night after midnight. We then got up at 4:00 this morning to go get smallpox shots and the second round of the anthrax shots. They then went to another live fire range immediately after the shots. I’m not sure that giving real bullets to a bunch of ticked-off soldiers with less than four hours sleep is a good idea.

Pray for peace…

Birthday Party

img_0033-tents_small.jpgYesterday was my birthday. We convoyed from our beautiful home in the woods (see picture) to the main part of the base. The soldiers went to practice firing their weapons, and I walked down to the main chapel to pick up some communion supplies. When we got back, I stepped into the tent for a moment, and stepped out into a crowd. Somehow, the soldiers had managed to get a decorated cake out into the field. The box was slightly crushed after the HUMVEE ride, so the decoration said

HAP
BIRTH
CHAPL

Everyone sang, then we cut the cake with a big Gerber knife, and ate cake.

All in all, it’s not a bad way to spend one’s birthday.

Pray for peace…Yesterday was my birthday. We are currently training at an Army base in the states, but staying in a compound designed to be like a Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Iraq or Afghanistan. We convoyed from our beautiful home in the woods (see picture) to the main part of the base. The soldiers went to practice firing their weapons, and I walked down to the main chapel to pick up some communion supplies. When we got back, I stepped into the tent for a moment, and stepped out into a crowd. Somehow, the soldiers had managed to get a decorated cake out into the field. The box was slightly crushed after the HUMVEE ride, so the decoration said:

HAP
BIRTH
CHAPL

Everyone sang, then we cut the cake with a big Gerber knife, and ate a very good cake. The next morning, I had many messages from colleagues at OBU.

All in all, it’s not a bad way to spend one’s birthday.

Pray for peace…

Welcome to the Army, One More Time

I teach philosophy at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, but have recently been mobilized as a chaplain for a unit that will soon deploy to Iraq. I hope to use this blog to let family (especially my loving, and much loved, wife and daughter) and friends know what I am doing.

For security reasons, I will not post specific details, but only general information concerning my experiences as an Army chaplain. Feel free to comment, but also feel free to pray for soldiers, their families, and for peace.

Randy Ridenour