Day One at Ft. Jackson

I arrived at Ft. Jackson on 17 Sept 2011. The lodging for CH-BOLC is insane. Way nice little apartment in a four floor hotel. Fully equipped kitchen, two TVs (with cable – now WHEN do I have time for that?) DVD player, walk in closet in the bedroom, couch, easy chair with ottoman, breakfast/meal bar, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, free laundry access, and central heat/air. Outside my fourth floor window I can hear the bugle calls over the loudspeakers all day long. I can look across the open field to see the US Army Chaplain School and Center. I am loving this. Went to buy food to prepare and eat healthy every day. I brought my vegetable steamer, George Foreman grill, crock pot, and my Keurig cup coffee brewer. I placed my bathroom scales in front of the coffee maker to weigh in every day. Must maintain weight.

Later this morning we gather for the first time. But I just got back from about a three and a half mile run. This isn’t the Indian Mounds! My run took me in a meandering wide circle past the Infantry barracks, the mess hall, lots and lots of pull-up bars and training obstacles, the Chaplain Schools for the Army, Air Force and Navy, the US Army Drill Sergeant School, and mock battlefield training sites strewn with obstacles such as trucks, burned out buildings, and concrete pylons beside ditches.

I must tell you this. Busloads of new recruits, all volunteers, were arriving throughout the night. By 4am hundreds of men and women in combat uniforms were marching and working, moving everywhere in formation, and shouting cadence so loud you could hear it two blocks away. They are so dedicated and motivated. Now, around 8:30, they are heading to the mess hall and preparing for chapel (those who wish to attend). I dare anyone anywhere to say there is another nation out there who’s security forces are more motivated and harder working than our own. When you see a soldier in public shopping at some store, buying gasoline, or attending some function with his or her family, remember what you dont see. By the time most of America rolls out of bed every morning, these heroes have put in a half days work – at full speed. This morning, as you sit in church, remember to thank God for men and women who volunteer for the all armed forces, but especially the Infantry. It is because of them that you can sit in your pew or in your Sunday School class, without fear of someone attacking our country or blowing things up, or preventing you from worshipping – or not worshipping. Most Americans seriously do not have a clue as to the true cost of freedom. When I heard and saw these dedicated troops this morning, I know most of them will soon go to battle, and that many may lose their lives – even some before the year is out. But it gives me chills and a deep sense of gratitude and pride that I can even serve beside them and call them my comrade, let alone be a Chaplain to them. We are blessed, people. We are blessed. And the report from Fort Jackson today is, there is still much good in this country. I’ve seen and heard it. It’s dressed in green camo and its shouting HOOAH!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Buford Marion Pennington on 18 September 11 at 11:22

    Howdy,
    Passed two kidney stones last night and around 3AM today. Waiting for a couple more to break loose so we can go to Marshall & B. Iveys’ Ordination Service at 6PM. I slept only 2hrs but surprisingly, I don’t feel too bad. Enough about the 75yr old; now, what did I tell you about your new BOQ(In my day they were called Batchelor Officer’s Quarters) and I later had many friends who were officers who lived in them while I was in the Mil Intel in Germany. Actually, your stay there will be more like returning to college than anything else and I’m sooo proud for you and of you. Yes! When I served my seven(7) yrs on Active Duty in the US Army during the ’50s, I was the only (RA) Volunteer in any of my assigned units because the “Police Action” war was going on and everyone was drafted; they all teased me for being a volunteer but I didn’t mind. Take care, be safe and enjoy yourself and I know the troops will befriend you many times over as so many did around here. God Bless you, we love you William; OOPS! I.E. Capt(Chaplain)W. Beaver. Brother in Christ, B. Marion

    Reply

  2. Posted by Barbara and Wendell Wood on 19 September 11 at 12:27

    Good luck and God bless you in your training and service. We’ll keep in touch thru your blog.

    Reply

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