“Doubly So When Wars Increase”

Living, working and playing among the Service Members they minister to, chaplains usually have insight into the struggles and feelings of those Service Members. They help them try to navigate their troubles successfully through many means, based on their strengths and talents. Some use poetry, as did Chaplain Henry W. Habel, who by March 1945, had been an Army Chaplain for three years.

Chaplain Habel was from Buffalo, New York and graduated from Acadia University in Nova Scotia before pastoring churches in Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada through the Baptist Church of the Northern Convention.

The following poem, written by Chaplain Habel, was found in a worship bulletin from 6 May 1945, from the 13th General Hospital Chapel in New Guinea where Chaplain (Major) D.O. Luginbill and Chaplain (Captain) L.V. Walters were the chaplains.


Our Worship

Oft men feel they’re “in a spot”,

Wondering how to bear their lot,

Grieving that there must be change;

“Why?” they ask. “Tis all so strange!”


Such the case in time of peace;

Doubly so when wars increase.

Yearning hearts cry every where,

Weighed with this most awful care.


Here’s a truth. Grasp it with me.

Change is a necessity!

Through it better days are born,

Life made wholesome while it’s torn.


Hardships build a stronger man,

Vision full, a will that can,

Satisfied with simple things,

Fighting all that evil brings.



About Daryl Densford

I am an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene serving as an active-duty Army Chaplain. I am currently an ethics instructor at the U.S. Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Posted on 11 November 2017, in Chapels, Chaplaincy, History and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. A beautiful and true verse.


  2. A fine entry, and a touching poem. “Life made wholesome while it’s torn” is good theology, in non-theological language. As an unrelated aside, Fort Leonard Wood loomed large in my childhood. Often, when we visited relatives in Kansas City during the summer, we’d see convoys of troops heading there for training and exercises. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a military convoy on the road, but it certainly was impressive in the 1950s and 1960s.


  3. “Hardships build a stronger man,” I always say hardships build character. Great poem!


  4. Excellent. You could live your life from the last eight lines of the poem.


  5. I never fought in battle. But even my brief time in Militia was a life changing experience that made me a much better person. This is one reason I decry that the Draft was stopped. I’ve met very few who have Served in any way that didn’t say that their Service time was of great benefit to them.


  6. Een heel mooi oorloggedicht


  7. Powerful and beautiful ♥️♥️♥️


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