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    U.S. Transportation Command chaplain helps others lead passionate-driven lives through spirituality and his own example

    U.S. Transportation Command chaplain helps others lead passionate-driven lives through spirituality and his own example

    Photo By Michael Kleiman | U.S. Army Lt. Col. George Wallace, command chaplain, U.S. Transportation Command,...... read more read more

    SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, UNITED STATES

    07.24.2019

    Story by Michael Kleiman 

    U.S. Transportation Command

    U.S. Transportation Command chaplain helps others lead passionate-driven lives through spirituality and his own example

    BY MICHAEL P. KLEIMAN
    U.S. TRANSPORTATION COMMAND PUBLIC AFFAIRS
    Release#: 20190724-001 Wednesday, July 24, 2019

    SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. – Each week, U.S. Transportation Command Chaplain, Army Lt. Col. George Wallace, conducts two separate studies, Contemplative Practice and Mindfulness Meditation, providing transformative spiritual instruction that assists participants in living passionate-driven lives and in meeting life’s challenges.

    Similarly, Wallace credits the spiritual realm in helping him overcome post-traumatic, stress-related depression.

    In his first active-duty tour from 1992 to 1995, he served as an Army military police officer. During that timeframe, Wallace deployed in support of Operations Restore Hope and Uphold Democracy in Somalia and Haiti, respectively. Following the deployments, he experienced the initial post-traumatic symptoms. Wallace subsequently left military service to pursue the spiritual profession.

    In 2006, Wallace rejoined the Army as a chaplain, and during the next two years, he served two deployments supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. While in Iraq, he witnessed the horrors of war, and that experience significantly impacted him three years later, while assigned as chaplain to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

    “In 2010, I went to the emergency room to treat anxiety attacks and months of insomnia. I learned post-traumatic symptoms had returned, while receiving follow-up mental health care at Fort Stewart,” stated Wallace. “The two Iraq deployments, in tandem with multiple suicides on the installation that occurred during my tenure as brigade chaplain, prompted me to seek help. It was as much about grief as it was about anxiety.”

    Following his Fort Stewart duty, Wallace served the next four years as deputy chief of ministry and pastoral care, Madigan Army Medical Center, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. As the senior chaplain clinician, he supported three mental health programs, including residential treatment and the inpatient psychiatric unit, once per week. Wallace helped soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and some family members seek spirituality to assist in the healing process. He used poetry, film, and art to engage the participants.

    For example, Wallace showed video excerpts from the 2014 film “Wild,” starring Reese Witherspoon, and adapted from the 2012 book and real-life story of Cheryl Strayed. Both the movie and text document

    Strayed’s 1,100-mile, 90-day hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from America’s border with Mexico to Canada. With her own mental health issues hindering her life, including drug addiction and the loss of her mother, she took to the great outdoors to get well and to find herself.

    After viewing “Wild,” a military member’s spouse remarked to him Strayed’s story was hers, too.

    “Strayed’s saga illustrates spirituality is universal,” Wallace said. “There’s something wild inside of humans that cannot be snuffed out. It is God’s spark placed inside of us.”

    He added the JBLM tour afforded him the opportunity to demonstrate empathy to those he served due to his PTSD experience. Wallace then deployed again to the Middle East in 2017 as the command chaplain, Area Support Group - Kuwait, U.S. Army Central, Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. In August 2018, he became USTRANSCOM’s command chaplain, providing strategic direction and clarity of purpose on matters of religion, morals, ethics, quality of life, and works to ensure the free exercise of religion for military personnel, civil servants, and contractors assigned to the organization.

    In addition to his USTRANSCOM duties, Wallace preaches once per month at St. George’s Episcopal Church, Belleville, Illinois.

    “I want to take this opportunity to remind anyone in a state of crisis to get help,” stated Wallace. “You do not have to be in dire straits to get support from the chaplain. I’m here to assist anytime.”

    For more information, contact Chaplain Wallace at george.l.wallace12.mil@mail.mil or at 618-220-2139/DSN 770-2139.

    USTRANSCOM conducts globally-integrated mobility operations, leads the broader Joint Deployment and Distribution Enterprise, and provides enabling capabilities in order to project and sustain the Joint Force in support of national objectives.

    -30-


    Photo Caption: U.S. Army Lt. Col. George Wallace, command chaplain, U.S. Transportation Command, leads a Contemplative Practice Study July 17. In his position, Chaplain Wallace provides strategic direction and clarity of purpose on matters of religion, morals, ethics, quality of life, and works to ensure the free exercise of religion for military members, civilians, and contractors serving in the unit. (Photo by Rob Wieland, USTRANSCOM/PA)

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 07.24.2019
    Date Posted: 07.24.2019 10:22
    Story ID: 332731
    Location: SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, IL, US 

    Web Views: 83
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN