Friday, October 16, 2009


There's a side of me that honestly doesn't know how we have gotten to
this place in our society. Of course, all the talking heads can give
you various answers. It is a little like CA: largest state in the
union, very complex and contentious. Plenty of answers but few willing
to take the hard path.

A dose in perspective would help all those who seem to know all the answers, however. I was on the bus today and sat beside this lady who had one of these POW bracelets that we use to see. I commented on it and she said my son's commander sent it to me. My son was killed in Afghanistan last year. I was absolutely floored. Speechless was more like it. Immediately, I thought of what Dr.Boyce, my seminary professor told us once: sometimes there is a sympathy so great for people that you simply don't know what to say. Or, there is nothing to say. Talk about "getting it," today I did.

God bless you my brother.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Claude brings up some good points. and something I'm wondering if it is being addressed at the chaplain's school. It should be and with the idea of what role the media plays. Claude, for instance, had enough smarts to play it
cool and understand that the media would distort or put the chaplains in a bad light. Knowing Claude as we do, we know that he was just too smart to get trapped. Today, the media is much more sophistigated as well as the chaplains and soldiers. They have Internet, email, instant everything. Today's chaplains have a lot to navigate. Maybe, here's where the indorser has to come in. What think? God bless. Jerry


Set down clearly what you think the schools should teach about the media; I have UM contacts in all the schools and will pass on to them.


Tom Carter
Director of Endorsement

Tom, thanks for giving me this say. Here's what I think off the top of my head.
1. Should invite some media types in: both print and Internet, etc. like Slate. What do they report, how do they go about it, etc. Relate some stories like we're talking about. Maybe a good hard hitting round table.

2. Some way to educate commanders. Unfortunately, so many of these guys have the same problem we have, rarely can they speak the truth. I mean, politics aside, in both Iraq and Afghanistan, we are in a mess. Let anyone dispute it. I'm listening.

3. Let the chaplains discuss what they believe their role is; personality does play a part, i. e., an SJ will approach different than an NT for instance but all will face, "loyalty to Pentagon or to God."

4. Chaplains should have a proactive PAO person, probably at the Chief's office. Much like Dave had when he was at Fort Bragg. The Chaplains got more publicity than Britney Spears. This person could be on top of the scene when chaplains are involved, not to interfere but the idea of, what is the role confusion issue? Chaplains have to be free to express opinions and say what they believe. I have read so much stuff from WW 11 chaplains and did they ever have it easy. All they had to do was minister.

5. Has to be emphasized that we are not spokespersons for the military and we are ministers in uniform and more likely than not, soldiers still trust us.

Tom, if I can think of anything else, will fire it off to you. God bless. You're doing good work. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Jerry}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Today, I did what Jackie often says to me "you are now free to move about San Francisco." And, I did, went to the Blues Festival for a bit, like an ADD type might. As I was making my way back across the City, I saw hundreds of breast cancer survivors apparently finishing their three day participation in a walkathon. It was pretty inspiring, people were cheering and clapping all across town. They began by camping out all night on the Marina in little pink tents. Quite a sight. At UCSF (University of CA at San Francisco which is the medschool and all the health Sciences) UCSF is always listed as one of the top hospitals in the world when it comes to treating and fighting cancer. UCSF has these quilts made by survivors all over the hospital. I'll post a few. They are great.