Major Andrew Thornley spent four years as an Airman in the Security Forces — a beginning to a career in which he said he had difficulty finding a “spiritual mentor.” That challenge was something he would ultimately seek to help others overcome:
After completing his enlistment, Thornley began his theological studies, eventually becoming a pastor in the civilian world. After 10 years as a pastor, he began to feel that there might be more he could do with his newfound knowledge…
“I left the Air Force, but the Air Force never really left me,” Thornley said. “I’ve always had the blue blood running through my veins.”
Chaplain Thornley re-entered the Air Force in October 2001 and spent the next several years trying to help troops and their families cope with the hardships of war.
In 2003 he was featured on Good Morning America, where he Read more
Political controversies have largely led the news recently, which slightly obscured the Town Hall event held by US military commander-in-chief President Barack Obama on 28 September.
Some of the news from that event focused on Gold Star mother Tina Houchins asking President Obama why he refused to say “Islamic terrorist” — as well as his response that the issue had been “sort of manufactured.” However, Houchins wasn’t the first one to bring up the “Islamic” term. In fact, an Air National Guard chaplain Read more
US Army Chaplain (Capt) Ryan Mortensen recently became one of the few chaplains to graduate from the US Army Ranger School. He only heard of it when he arrived at his first duty station at Schofield Barracks, and saw Soldiers wearing the Tab: Read more
US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Timothy Dahl was recently deployed to Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, with Joint Task Force Bravo. Though not a traditional “combat” deployment (which makes the reference to “outside the wire” awkward), the trip provided many opportunities for both Dahl and those he served to expand their perspectives on the world:
We had nine orphanages that we were responsible for getting volunteers for. Almost every Saturday and some Sundays we had a group going out.
“One time we went into the mountains to check out a potential hike location beforehand and we saw a family bathing in a very deep ditch with lots of nasty water,” said Dahl. “They have no [plumbing] system in the mountains. I felt very blessed about where I got to sleep and bathe that night.
“It’s really easy for me to complain about my life,” added Dahl. “It’s really Read more
Spc. Courtney Dowdy, Chaplain (Maj) Mark Smith, and Staff Sgt. Anthony Maskarina
Religious support teams from the Tennessee National Guard supported their troops during a deployment in support of Operation Resolute Castle, a humanitarian civic assistance visit: Read more
The McGregor Range Chapel in New Mexico, just north of Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, provides religious services to some 16,000 transient troops in training each year: Read more
In an odd, if interesting, story, the Beale AFB chapel recently hosted “Hump-free” the camel in a recent resiliency event:
Hump-free, is a 13-year-old male dromedary (one hump) camel from Lyon Ranch in Sonoma, California. He has been a certified therapy animal for about 10 years.
The event was intended to open up conversations about deployment and returning from deployment: Read more