Monday, January 20, 2014


Big article in the NYT about the military and how they will adjust to peacetime as opposed to war. Very interesting because the 10 Chaps have been through it all before. Maybe for a unit like the 82d that trains constantly--they are always going somewhere and so it really won't matter to them so much where it is war or peace. Places like Fort Drum will have a hard time, however, because most of the soldiers have only known war; and now, peace will be boring which means beaucoup problems. 

So, how is the military going to make it in peacetime? Many of them will be gone. The Army will reduce down and eventually throw (force)  people out. I saw this exercise after Vietnam. I was at Bliss and they had all these helicopter pilots, many who had been to Vietnam three and four times and been heroic. Shed blood. They threw them out with nary a thank you. 

In this long extensive article, the chaplain is never mentioned. He or she is key to this transition to peace and they are not even mentioned. Why do you think. This is good stuff, don't put it in the black hole. Amen?

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I have a story that speaks right to the question: did I know any personally that were killed in Vietnam? (A doctoral candidate working on his thesis of Chaplains in combat.)

Several. One, my best friend ever, a Priest. John was this great guy, handsome Italian. We met in in NY, where we were both assigned for a brief period. We were inseparable. He was always mocking me about my Southern accent. We go to Vietnam together. He gets assigned to the field hospital at Phu Bai. I am in an infantry battalion not far away. We see each other lots. He falls in love with a nurse and gets involved with her, against my advice, I might add. The hospital commander is a Catholic and hardcore and tries to get him thrown out of the army. I talk our personnel people into getting him reassigned to the 101st. They do and he goes to be the Artillery chaplain. On his second day, they have a sapper attack and John is killed. I was so angry and had to deal with that over the years, the "what ifs." Even today as I write this, it is a very vivid memory and very emotional.