Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Return To Military Life?

It isn't a true return as I have never served in the armed forces, but I grew up in a military family. My dad flew in the belly of the BUFF, B-52 for the un-indoctrinated and later a desk for Wing/Base Ops, so I have more than a bit of fondness for those who serve. I know what they and their families go through and I admire them for making those sacrifices. Of late, I have been taking stock of my life and wondered if it is time to "return" to that life by becoming a Chaplain. To do so will, of course, mean a major lifestyle change for myself; I have to drop around 100 lbs, but that would be good for me. It would also be a major change for my wife, particularly with the likelihood of deployment, a thing which gives me pause. She is also concerned about the "nomadic" lifestyle of people who serve (she is not a big fan of moving, but I have faith in her ability to adapt). Of concern, also, is that fact that by its very nature chaplaincy involves working with people of differing faiths and I am not sure how that works for a theologically conservative confessional Lutheran. Anyhow, that is where I am at this time. I would like to hear from men who have served in the Chaplaincy about their experiences, so if you have served leave a comment or email me.


Norman Teigen said...

I encourage you to seriously think about the chaplaincy. I was a chaplain assistant in Viet-Nam in 1970-71. I think that there are so many trials and tribulations in military life that it is important for the church to send pastors to serve the troops.

Glover's blog contains the thoughts of an LC-MS pastor who has decided to become an Army chaplain.

Check it out.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

Liz said...

Ever thought of National Guard life? Sure, not full time service, but fewer moves/deployments for your wife. I know my husband could have used the encouragement of a confessional Lutheran Chaplain while he was deployed.

TulipGirl said...

Chaplains (and lay ministers at base chapels) have had a huge and positive impact on me. When I was little, I wanted to grow up and be a Navy Chaplain, just like Chaplain Mary Washburn. (My father was kind and smiled and didn't crush that zeal, though I know know that wasn't something he would endorse--and now that I'm older, I wouldn't either!)

If that is the direction the Lord takes you and your family--I know it can be a wonderful avenue of ministry.