In an era where intersectional politics and culture clashes threaten to tear the nation apart, no greater sense of America’s once-revered sense of “unity” and love of country can be found outside of the United States military.
A good example of this came on August 12, when nearly 400 soldiers of different races, creeds, and backgrounds joined together to worship at the Main Post Chapel- the majority being in uniform.
Army Chaplain Captain Jose Rondon recorded the event and posted it to Facebook, where men and women in uniform -many of them appearing to be basic trainees- sang “Amazing Grace” and joined together for prayer.
When asked by a viewer if the soldiers were required to attend, the Captain made it clear that the soldiers were there of their own volition.
“It [forcing soldiers to attend] would be the highest expression of religious repression and the most despicable interpretation of religious freedom,” he wrote.
According to Chaplain Rondon, “The total of salvations I have counted since 11 March 2018 is 1,459 Soldiers.”
While not all soldiers are Christians, chaplain services are not exclusive and serve the Army community as a whole. In addition, non-practitioners are welcome to attend services of other faiths, if for little else than to continue building camaraderie with those they serve with.
On the battlefield, the Chaplain serves to comfort troops in their time of need and provide last rites to dying soldiers, among other duties.
The military has long been looked to as a place where men and women of all walks of life can come together and serve as one, free from the associations, prejudices and other complexities of where they once came from. Perhaps there is a lesson that the American civilian population could learn from such an institution, which in the thick and acrid haze of combat, differentiates only between those who wear the American Flag on their uniform and those of hostile intent- who are soon to be beneath the boots of individuals who do.
Despite its small size in relation to the population at large, one would be hard-pressed to espouse American values better than the those who serve together in the US military.
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