Saturday, July 28, 2012

AFGHANISTAN: Anglican Chaplain ministers Christ to soldiers on the front lines

By Chaplain Kelly O'Lear in Afghanistan
Special to Virtueonline
July 27, 2012

This is my third combat tour as a Chaplain. 2003-2004 I was an Infantry Battalion Chaplain in Tal Afar, Iraq. I was part of the 'siege of Tal Afar' in 2004 and saw great heroics by our Soldiers. 2008-2009 I was in Nuristan, Afghanistan with an Airborne Reconnaissance Squadron as the Squadron Chaplain. There I ministered as I walked the very mountains that Rudyard Kipling walked as he penned 'Gunga Din.' I am now completing my tour of Kandahar District of Afghanistan as the Brigade Chaplain of an Airborne Brigade Combat Team. This is where the Taliban started and it is a fiercely contested area with great religious significance to the Taliban. An article is far too small to contain the joys and trials I've experienced during my time as an army chaplain. I will share some of the more memorable moments.

I've had the joy and privilege of being a priest to Troopers in the harshest of conditions. Those relationships have grown and matured over the years. I still hear from many of my former congregants-whether those congregations were in Middle-East mud-huts or Chapels on military posts. Some have left the Army, some continue to serve. Some names I've read as they join the all too long list of the Fallen. I look forward to seeing these Christian Brothers in the resurrection. the rest

Chaplain Kelly O'Lear is an Iowa native and a Brigade Chaplain with 4th Brigade 82nd Airborne Division.He is an Anglican affiliated with CANA/ACNA. Bishop Derek Jones is his Bishop. He is currently deployed to the Zharay District of Afghanistan. He has been an active duty Chaplain for nine years with three deployed to combat. He is with the 82nd Airborne Division FOB Pasab, Afghanistan. He is a graduate of Dubuque Theological Seminary (M. DIV) and Lee University (BA Pastoral Ministry). He is married to Jennifer O'Lear and they have four children. They make their home in Whispering Pines, North Carolina.


Post a Comment

<< Home