Chaplain Goetz Remembered by Colleagues

An article at the LA Times documents an interview with Christy Goetz, wife of Chaplain (Capt) Dale Goetz — the first Chaplain killed in combat since Vietnam.

Salient quotes:

His soldiers say the chaplain died doing what he loved — talking to them, praying with them, helping counsel them through long days and nights of fear and dread. He had been carrying CDs for them to record personal messages to their families.

“Chaplains don’t sit around the big bases waiting for soldiers to come to them,” said Chaplain Carleton Birch, a lieutenant colonel with the Office of the Chief of Chaplains. “They go out to where the soldiers are.”

Staff Sgt. Randall Rowlands recalled asking the chaplain how soldiers could justify killing the enemy when the Bible says they should not kill. Goetz spent parts of the next two days discussing the issue. He believed in self-defense but also in praying for his enemies, his wife said.

Pastor [Jason] Parker said his friend and fellow minister embodied the chaplain’s creed: Pro Deo et Patria, for God and Country.

As noted here already, the traditional Soldier’s cross had to be altered for the first time in decades:

For the first time since the Vietnam War, the military had to adjust its memorial service when it was time to pay last respects to Goetz. Soldiers killed in battle are honored by placing their helmets, dog tags and boots next to their rifles, but chaplains are unarmed.

For Chaplain Goetz, a wooden cross took the place of the weapon.

As noted at the Army Chaplaincy blog.