News: Uniting for worship in the midst of battle: 116th Cavalry Regiment and 149th Infantry Regt. come together spiritually to celebrate the transfer of authority
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq — Bright lights flooded the room, which was filled with soldiers from Oregon’s 3rd Battalion, 116th Cavalry Regiment, and Kentucky’s 1st Battalion, 149th Infantry Regt., both belonging to the 77th Sustainment Brigade, 310th Expeditionary Sustainment Command, Sunday, Aug. 21. These soldiers, including the commanders of both units and others from all ranks and jobs, united for a Sunday morning prayer brunch for two main reasons: to celebrate the completion of the 149th’s training process in transferring operations from the 116th and to ask for God’s blessing in the journeys ahead for each unit.
After a brief speech from the 116th Cav. and 149th Inf. Regt. commanders, each unit’s chaplain led the group in teaching of lessons learned in the deployment and a moment of prayer aimed at offering fellowship between two units from different ways of life and complete opposite ends of the U.S.
Capt. Jock Johnson, the 116th Regt. chaplain, a native of Heppner, Ore., said, “It’s important to realize that our fellow brothers and sisters aren’t our enemy on deployment. Realizing the value of our teams is important, however.”
Overall, the prayer brunch offered a reminder to soldiers of the importance of a strong spirit in the face of adversity.
Maj. Brian Seidel, chaplain of 149th Regt. and a native of London, Ky., said, “The spiritual component of [a Soldier’s] total fitness is often undervalued till crisis. Sometimes we don’t appreciate the significance of spiritual fitness till we desperately need it. But we need it for all of life, the good and the bad.”
For both units in the months to come, perhaps good spirits will be useful to successfully finishing their respective missions.
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