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Chaplain Hill Captures Three Enemy Pickets

On this day (16 May) in 1863, Chaplain James Hill engaged the enemy and without injury or death captured three enemy pickets, which eventually earned him the Medal of Honor. Here’s the story:

1LT James Hill (21st Iowa Infantry) for capturing enemy pickets at the Battle of Champion Hill in May 1863 (at the time, he was serving as an infantry lieutenant – later he would become his regiment’s chaplain).

“In the waning hours of the battle, Lt. Hill was returning from a foraging mission through dense woods. He came upon three armed Confederate pickets. In his words:

“I realized at once that I had gotten myself into a nasty position. I instantly . . .ordered the Johnnies to ‘ground arms!’ They obeyed. Then slightly turning my head, I addressed an imaginary guard in the brush with a hasty order to ‘halt… and then gave the order to my prisoners: ‘Single file, march’ and to my imaginary guard: ‘Forward March.’ I hurried toward the command at good speed.”

His quick thinking and ingenuity provided a peaceful solution to a deadly encounter.”

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Source: http://www.iowahistory.org/shsi/museum/exhibits/medal-of-honor/hill_james_cw/index.htm (cited on the U.S. Army Chaplain Corps Facebook page).

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Helping Vets

homeless-veteransOn this third anniversary of The Chaplain Kit, I thought that it would be a good time to introduce a new initiative that is needed in the military/veteran community. I often see posts from an organization in Las Vegas which I support, that they have an urgent financial or material need for a homeless or in-need veteran. I always try to help but my personal resources are limited. I also realize that for every “call to action” from Caridad, there are certainly dozens or likely even hundreds of other immediate needs across the country to care for former Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsman who need a little help in a hurry. While there are many organizations out there that provide assistance for Veterans, often those wheels move slowly and/or are not available in the “immediate” timeframe needed to help them be ready for a job interview, get a place to live, or even have food to eat today. I would like to have a fund that can quickly be dispersed to legitimate and certified “charities” when there’s a call to action for an immediate, and limited, need to help a Veteran.

I reasoned that chaplains, and others who are interested in the ministry of chaplains (visitors to The Chaplain Kit), are likely to be among the most compassionate givers around, so anticipate that this can be a tremendous ministry drawing from the hundreds of people who view The Chaplain Kit every month. So, The Chaplain Kit is beginning The Offering Plate as a place for interested people to contribute to a fund which can be quickly disbursed through recognized charities to help veterans with an immediate need.

This fund will not be used for development or maintenance of The Chaplain Kit website, collections, exhibits, advertising or anything related to The Chaplain Kit; to promote or evangelize for a particular faith group; to establish, develop or support charities or ministries; or anything other than the stated purpose of the fund.

This fund will be used to quickly get money to recognized charities when a call to action goes out for a limited, immediate and urgent financial or material need for a veteran or veterans. Funds from The Offering Plate will go directly to meet the need of the veteran (through a recognized charity) and not into the charity’s general or administrative funds.

Official 501 (c)(3) status will be pursued, as well as membership in a financial accountability organization such as the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability, to provide accountability and transparency in regard to receipts and distributions. From the beginning, The Offering Plate page will have publically available receipts and disbursements as well as any “testimonials” received from recipients, so donors and interested visitors can see exactly what has come into the fund and what has gone out.

Very soon, a new widget with links will show up on The Chaplain Kit Facebook page and website. Readers are encouraged to keep up with what The Chaplain Kit is able to do through The Offering Plate and, as you are able, contribute to this important and vital fund to help our veterans.

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Photo of homeless veteran from The Blaze website. The caption read: “In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013 photo, homeless Korean War veteran Thomas Moore, 79, left, speaks with Boston Health Care for the Homeless street team outreach coordinator Romeena Lee on a sidewalk in Boston. (AP/Steven Senne)”

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Celebrating Three Years!

It has been three years since The Chaplain Kit went live. That first month (April 2014) there were just 32 views dipping to just 8 in May then 11 in June! From then on, visitors have consistently increased until in November 2015 it hit over 1000 page views per month, then this past April (2017) it topped 3000! There have been over 44,000 page views since the beginning, viewed by nearly 20,000 visitors from all 50 U.S. states as well as from 122 different countries including China, Iran and Vatican City! It has been fun collecting, researching and posting, not to mention the many people I have met and gotten to know through The Chaplain Kit, both the website and the Facebook page. I hope that the materials and information on the site have been beneficial (and maybe even a blessing) to those of you who have found your way here. Thank you for your support of the ministry of chaplains evidenced by your visits to The Chaplain Kit, your “likes” and your shares!

 

“The Chaplain Kit” Offers a Window Back in Time

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Easter in Uniform

Wherever Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and Marines go, Chaplains go with them to provide for worship and other religious events. Easter is no different, and for Christians, even brings a greater emphasis when deployed and away from home. Below are a few pictures from Easter celebrations from years past.

Chaplain Peter Paul Cooney

Catholic Chaplain celebrating Mass on Easter in 1864. Photo credit: http://the-american-catholic.com/tag/catholic-chaplains/

chaplain highline

Transferring the chaplain for Easter service by highline from the U.S.S. HEERMANN DD-532

“One of many Easter services held on Appenine mountainsides by the Tenth Mountain Division April 1, 1945; conducted by Caplain William H. Bell for the 605th Artillery Battalion at Rocca Pitigliano. A large group of soldiers sit in a grassy open field with heads bowed. Before them stands the chaplain with a box beside him, a jeep marked beneath the windshield with ‘Chaplain’ in between two crosses, and a portable pump organ.”

“April 1, 1945. Protestant Easter Service in Appennines, Italy
background are trees and buildings.; Members of the Tenth Mountain Division, 605th Artillery Battalion, attend a Protestant Easter religious service at Rocca Pitigliano, Italy, conducted by Chaplain William H. Bell. In the foreground, four men bow their heads together. Corporal Ralph Squires sits at a portable organ and two soldiers face the Chaplain who stands in front of his jeep draped with a white cloth in use as an altar for a small crucifix.”

“Tenth Mountain Division Cpl. Ralph Squires plays the organ during the 605th Artillery Battalion Protestant Easter service held April 1, 1945, at Rocca Pitigliana, Italy. Worshipers sit on grass listening.”

Elder Kim Shi-han

In 1952, soldiers of the 15th Infantry Regiment of the 3rd Division participate in Easter worship service in the open field in Cheolwon, Gangwon-do.

Navy worship

Worship service for Navy personnel. Looks like Easter

314th Bombardment Wing Bulletin

Easter Worship Service bulletin, 1 April 1945, 314th Bombardment Wing, Guam (author’s collection).

314th Bombardment Wing Worship Bulletin

Inside of Easter Worship Service bulletin, 1 April 1945, 314th Bombardment Wing, Guam (author’s collection).

Easter Sunrise Service Italy 1 April 1945

Allied Protestant Sunrise Easter Service, In front of the 17th General Hospital, Italy, 1 April 1945 (author’s collection).

Easter Sunrise Service, Italy, 1 April 1945

Allied Protestant Sunrise Easter Service, In front of the 17th General Hospital, Italy, 1 April 1945 (author’s collection).

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Capstone field exercise tests skills of new chaplains

(From the official Army website)

CHBOLC-1FORT JACKSON, South Carolina — Complete with a Tactical Operations Center (TOC), media engagements and reality-based missions — along with conducting Soldier Leader Engagements with indigenous personnel — students from the Chaplain Basic Officer Leader Course experienced the challenges of caring for Soldiers in a simulated combat environment, March 27-31.

CHBOLC is an intensive, outcomes-based, entry-level, initial military training process for newly accessioned chaplains and chaplain candidates, with a mission to train students to become religious leaders who demonstrate the core competencies of nurture the living, care for the wounded and honor the fallen, while advising commanders and providing religious support to the Army Family.

“The CHBOLC Capstone FTX (Field Training Exercise) is a Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) 2.2 scenario-driven exercise, providing students the opportunity to apply classroom training in a realistic and progressive training environment,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Andrew K. Arrington, the CHBOLC course developer.

Read the full article here

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Defense Logistic Agency HQ Dedicates New Prayer Room

Prayer, meditation room gives HQC employees calm atmosphere to practice spirituality

by Beth Reece. Originally published by the DLA at their website.

DLA Prayer Room

Army Capt. Demetrius Walton, DLA’s deputy command chaplain, kneels in prayer in the McNamara Headquarters Complex’s newly renovated prayer and meditation room. Above him is an LED light box that depicts a stained glass window from the Defense Distribution Susquehanna Chapel, which was built in 1941 and is one of the Defense Department’s oldest chapels. (Photo by Beth Reece)

Fort Belvoir, Virginia — A quiet, serene spot for prayer and reflection is just steps away for McNamara Headquarters Complex employees.

The former chapel in Room 1331 is now a newly renovated prayer and meditation room open 24/7 for employees of all faiths. A Feb. 16 ribbon-cutting ceremony will formally open the room to employees, but it is already available for use.

“We’ve redesigned the space so everything inside helps with prayer and meditation,” said Army Col. Carleton Birch, the Defense Logistics Agency’s command chaplain. “We also took into account different types of faith, so instead of being filled with chairs, there’s an open space on the floor for meditation and Muslim prayer.”

A water fountain, scenic wall mural and guest book where employees can record prayer requests are among the updates. Other changes include all new ceiling tiles, recessed lighting, carpet, furniture and prayer rugs. A private room is also available inside for pastoral counseling and reading.

DLA Prayer Room

A water fountain, scenic wall mural and guest book where employees can record prayer requests are among the updates in the McNamara Headquarters Complex’s meditation and prayer room. (Photo by Beth Reece)

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the room is an LED light box that depicts a stained glass window from the Defense Distribution Susquehanna Chapel, which was built in 1941 and is one of the Defense Department’s oldest chapels.

Birch said the room further demonstrates DLA’s commitment to resiliency, a goal that’s part of the “People and Culture” objectives in the agency’s strategic plan. The DLA resiliency model includes four pillars: mental, physical, social and spiritual.

“DLA recognizes the value of people’s spirituality in their personal resiliency, and the fact that we can provide a place to practice that is a good thing for employees and DLA as a whole. People don’t stop having faith just because they come to work,” Birch said.

He hopes the room will become a center where employees can also exhibit their faith by helping others.

“We used to collect toiletries for homeless shelters in the area, for example. We’re trying to get that going again, and we’re also partnering with the Fisher House here on Fort Belvoir to see what we can do to help them,” Birch added.

DLA Prayer Room

The McNamara Headquarters Complex’s prayer and meditation room features a private room for pastoral counseling and reading. (Photo by Beth Reece)

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This article first appeared at the Defense Logistics Agency’s website, 15 February 2017. The photos, taken by Beth Reece, appeared with the article and are in the public domain.

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Fort Jackson’s Cantonment Chapel

Similar to U.S. military posts around the country during the train-up to our participation in WW2, Fort Jackson had built on it 17 cantonment chapels to accommodate the religious support of the thousands of new Soldiers who were flooding into it for training. Today, there are few of these chapels left, some posts having one or two being used, others with one being preserved as part of the museum system or historic districts. Fort Jackson has one of these chapels remaining which, due to budget cuts, is slated to be razed. On 13 December 2016, The State newspaper did an article on the future of their Memorial Chapel.

Should Fort Jackson’s World War II-era Memorial Chapel be saved from demolition?

Fort Jackson Memorial Chapel

Memorial Chapel (Originally Chapel #1) was built in 1941 (Photo from The State website).

“For more than 30 years, Kathryn Woodward has attended an interdenominational worship service each week at the World War II-era Memorial Chapel on Fort Jackson.

“Today, the chapel, along with all other World War II-era wooden buildings on Army installations across the country, is slated for demolition. They are inefficient, expensive to heat, cool and maintain, and they don’t fit the needs of the modern workplace, the Army says.

Fort Jackson Memorial Chapel

Interior of Memorial Chapel (photo from The State website).

“But Woodward, 92, believes the chapel should stay because in 1983 it was dedicated by then-Fort Jackson commander Maj. Gen. Albert Akers to all the soldiers who trained at Fort Jackson for service in World War II. Woodward’s late husband, Arthur, was also a World War II veteran.

 “The chapel — along with 16 others constructed at the fort during the buildup to World War II — were initially dedicated 75 years ago Wednesday.

“ ‘We’re trying to get an exception,’ said Woodward, who is joined in the effort by many of her fellow 40 or so congregants, along with a Jewish congregation that also worships there.”

Continue reading at The State website

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Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration

With 2016 being the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack and the United States’ official entry into World War Two, the various commemorations around the country are even more significant. I had the priviledge of attending the Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration  at the National World War 2 Memorial in Washington D.C. Present were seven Pearl Harbor survivors along with many more WW2 veterans. The keynote speaker was Senator John McCain, whose father and grandfather both served during WW2. The Invocation was given by Rev. Richard Young who is a Pearl Harbor survivor who became a minister after his military service. Navy Chaplain, Commander Michael Pumphrey, CHC, prayed the closing prayer with significant emphasis added through the accompaniment of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Band.

Here are a few pictures from the ceremony, with videos of Rev. Young’s and Chaplain Pumphrey’s prayers:

Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration

 

Mike Hydeck

The Master of Ceremonies was Mike Hydeck, WUSA9 CBS Morning Anchor.

Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration

At the podium is Gay Vietzke, NPS Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Seated to the left is Senator McCain, Vice President-elect Mike Pence and Frederick Smith, founder and president of FedEx.

Elliott (Toby) Roosevelt III

FDR’s great grandson, Elliott (Toby) Roosevelt III, read FDR’s statement to Congress on the day after the Pearl Harbor attack, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s message to the nation on the evening of the attack.

Senator John McCain

Senator John McCain was the Keynote speaker. Not only is McCain a Vietnam veteran and POW survivor but his father and grandfather both served during WW2 and both became flag officers.

Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Commemoration

On the other side of the fountain, the dignitaries and veterans in attendance place wreaths at the Freedom Wall.

 

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WW2 Memorial

Volunteers of the NPS Living History program (dressed in period uniforms) escorted the WW2 vets into the ceremony.

National WW2 Memorial

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A Greeting From Your Chaplain

Published around World War Two, this brochure offers advice to Soldiers and Sailors, such as selecting companions carefully, living a morally clean life and establishing a reputation for good character. It was written by Chaplain Moehlmann, who according to the Wartburg College website, “… entered the Army chaplaincy in 1930 and was stationed in Hawaii at the time of the Pearl Harbor attack. He attained the rank of Colonel while supervising as many as 242 chaplains in the European Theater during World War II” (author’s collection).

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