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A Prayer of Benediction for Chaplain Dale Goetz

Eight years ago (30 August 2010), Chaplain Dale Goetz was killed in Afghanistan ministering to his Soldiers, the first chaplain to die in combat since the Vietnam War. Wanting his sacrifice to not be forgotten, I’m reposting this short prayer from a Memorial Ceremony for him at the U.S. Army Chaplain Center and School held a few days after he died.

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FT. JACKSON, SC (3 Sep 10) – Recently, the Chaplain Corps lost one of its finest chaplains, Chaplain (CPT) Dale Goetz, in Afghanistan.  We received the news here at the Chaplain School while attending the Chaplain Captain’s Career Course.  Since many of us knew Dale, and the rest of us felt the camaraderie of a “Brother in Arms,” we felt it appropriate to have a Memorial Service for him.  My part was to pray the benediction.  As I prepared the prayer, I felt very impressed that Dale needed to be remembered.  His sacrifice needed to be remembered.  As I post it here, I pray it again . . .     -Daryl

Our most Gracious God and Father,

100_3560We thank you for your presence and love which helps us to endure through difficult times.  We thank you for moments like these when we don’t have to be alone but can gather among brothers and sisters in the faith.  We thank you for the peace that you have brought us today, your peace—that can exist within us even when all around us there is no peace.

As much as you comfort us who have gathered here today, we pray that in an even greater measure you will comfort Dale’s family, especially his wife Christy and their three sons Landon, Caleb and Joel.  Be for them all that they need you to be just now and continue to provide for them in every way in the days, weeks, months and years ahead that they face life without their husband, father and son.

Finally Lord, we pray that you will bring real peace to our land, so that we can rest in safety and comfort and not have to send our sons and daughters into harm’s way.  Bring to us, we humbly ask you, the time when parents don’t have to grieve the loss of their children killed in war; hasten the day when spouses don’t have to say goodbye to their loved ones because they serve their country; provide for us, dear Father, a world whose children do not have to grow up fatherless because of the sin that envelopes us; and be victorious, Almighty God, over the Evil One, establish your Kingdom on Earth finally and forever, that we may enjoy your loving and peaceful presence for all eternity.

Go with us now, Lord we pray, as we reluctantly return to the world out there.  Please don’t let us soon forget our brother Dale but help us to honor his sacrifice through our lives lived for your glory and Christ’s life lived through us.

“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.  Amen.”  (Heb 13:20-21)

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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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