The Mustard Seed preschool program had been run at the US Army garrison at Yongsan, South Korea, for more than 30 years. Apparently, someone applied to become director of the preschool but was rejected — so they filed an anonymous complaint that triggered an investigation of the entire program.
Initially, the Army was simply going to shut it down, but it relented when parents voiced their concerns over the hardship a sudden closure would cause. The Mustard Seed school has now moved off post to Seoul International Baptist Church, where it can still serve US troops and civilians without military involvement.
“We decided to see if it would work, and it worked beautifully,” said Jon Goldsmith, executive director of the Seoul International Baptist Church, which now operates the Mustard Seed Preschool. “It’s not really out of context for us because we have a large military presence at our church, and we were the closest church to the base, with a sizeable representation from the base.”
Congressman Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) published a lengthy and very strongly worded column that summed up what he called “Obama’s War on Religion in the Ranks.”
If Army chaplain Emil Kapaun served in Afghanistan today rather than Korea six decades ago, President Obama would probably give the Catholic priest discharge papers instead of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
An interesting, if wordy and sometimes hard to follow, paper entitled “South Korea’s Christian Military Chaplaincy in the Korean War – religion as ideology?” was recently published by Vladimir Tikhonov, a Soviet-born professor at Oslo University with a doctorate in ancient Korean history. It seeks to find the “reason for the rapid growth” of Christianity in South Korea — which the author suggests is the military chaplaincy: Read more
An Air Force article documents the story of Chaplain (Maj) Robert Borger, deputy wing chaplain at Osan Air Base, Korea, as he “played” in a wartime exercise:
Chaplains play a huge role in the hospital during times of war. They give hope and comfort in the last minutes of the lives of those expected to die.
“During wartime, we provide care and ministry to the critically injured,” said [Chaplain] Robert Borger…”We spend their last moments with them, providing care, to give them a view to that window of hope.”
Chaplains need to train to their duties just as other troops do. In the photo above, Chaplain Borger sports his chemical protection suit (and obligatory reflective belt…).
The Mustard Seed preschool operated at an Army base in South Korea will be closed after military leaders received a complaint it was operating illegally. After commanders reviewed the program’s status, they determined there were no regulations governing the operation — thus, it had to be closed.
A long-running Christian preschool at U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan will close at the end of the school year due to Read more
A Stars and Stripes article describes a fairly unusual situation at the US Army Garrison Yongsan in Seoul, South Korea, in which a Christian preschool is run by an Army chapel:
Garrison officials say a recent anonymous complaint prompted them to look at whether the Mustard Seed Preschool has been operating illegally Read more
Most recent articles on the high visibility sexual scandals in the Air Force have focused on charges of sexual assault, largely with reference to the Lackland basic training incidents. Despite a fairly thorough article at the New York Times (which included that topic), almost no one has been talking about Air Force Technical Sergeant Jennifer Smith — who is threatening to sue the US Air Force over the sexually-charged atmosphere in the fighter pilot world. (The Air Force Times picked up on the story just days ago.)
This is particularly notable in light of the recent “health and welfare inspection” ordered by Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen Mark Welsh, since the inspection seems to precisely target some of TSgt’s Smith’s allegations (yet the media continues to connect it to other accusations). Notably, there are reports Shaw AFB — where TSgt Smith reportedly lodged the complaint — did a “health and welfare” inspection weeks before Gen Welsh ordered it Air Force wide. The organization representing TSgt Smith, “Protecting our Defenders,” certainly made the connection.
As noted in the New York Times more than a month ago, TSgt Smith has filed an “administrative complaint” (PDF, with attachments) that reads much like a primer on the vices of the fighter pilot world. She seeks Read more
The Air Force assignments in Korea are generally one-year remotes, meaning Airmen are stationed in Korea for a year while their family waits back home. That doesn’t mean the Air Force stops supporting their families and helping them strengthen their marriages. In fact, the opposite is true:
A Marriage Care Retreat hosted by the Kunsan AB Chapel from Aug. 8-10 here gave them and 20 other couples the chance to work on their relationships.
The Kunsan Chapel intended the Marriage Care Retreat to be a means for those “physically separated from their spouses to still connect with them,” though it also Read more