Chaplains Serve and Struggle in Face of War

CNN recently featured a frontpage story about US Army Chaplain Darren Turner, who served in Iraq.  Upon his return, he suffered from the very things about which he counseled his Soldiers.  His family fell apart.

When his 15-month tour was over, Turner returned home to face all the problems he had counseled his soldiers about: anger, depression, stress and – most important for him – preserving relationships with loved ones.

With God’s help, Chaplain Turner saw what was going on, and he made a decision: he quit the Army.

Turner eventually realized how much he had hurt his wife, he said. How he had stepped away from God’s calling by failing those he cared about most…
He quit the Army in August 2009, believing the military would demand too much time away from his family at a critical juncture in their lives.

A few months later, he and his wife reconciled, and they made another significant decision: to rejoin the Army.

He and Heather found their calling. God, he said, gave them a special connection with soldiers and their families. They know they will stay busy for a while.

US military Chaplains serve troops around the world in every circumstance.  Sometimes people forget that while Chaplains don’t carry weapons they, too, are susceptible to the wounds of war.  It is this very exposure that gives chaplains the unique credibility to be respected by the troops and to earn their trust and friendship.

Chaplain Turner and his wife have some of that tragic experience, and soldiers and their families will benefit from their service.