The US military chaplaincy has sometimes been criticized for existing while troops are stationed in the United States. After all, can’t troops just go off base to one of the hundreds of local churches?
In an official military article entitled “Iron Brigade Keeps the Faith,” the service of Chaplain (Capt) Christopher Adunchezor demonstrated one reason why chaplains are necessary wherever US troops are deployed:
“It is my duty as a chaplain to serve soldiers in the field, or wherever they may be, and to restore their faith and to deliver the message of God,” said Adunchezor…
Pvt. Erik Allen…has been in the army eight months and this was his first time attending religious services in the field. Due to the fast-paced schedule of NIE due to missions and training, Allen was grateful the chaplain staff coordinated services in the field.
“I think it’s great that our chaplains can come out to us because we are in the field,” said Allen. “It’s really helpful because yesterday was very stressful and I found this has really relaxed me…It’s a couple minutes out of my day to have time to myself and with God and restore my belief.”
The US military recognizes the spiritual needs of its troops, wherever they are, and attempts to provide them the resources and time to meet those needs, as much as the mission will allow.
That’s yet another way in which the US military does a generally admirable job in defending the religious liberties of its troops.
Photo credit: Sgt. 1st Class Lori Kuczmanski. Capt. Christopher Adunchezor, chaplain, puts on his religious attire – the robe is called an alb and the stole is the scarf-like vestment worn over the alb – in preparation for Catholic mass held in the field Oct. 22 for soldiers in 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division.