Tuesday, December 21, 2004

MASCAL

By the time I got back to our compound it was all over the news. It seemed like the thing had just happened when in reality I had been neck deep in it for several hours. And there it was on TV. Frankly, it's kind of a blur.

The day began early as I didn't sleep very well last night. Once I was awake I decided not to just lay there and stare at the darkness so I got up, got dressed, shaved and headed into the TOC, the heart of what goes on. In the TOC (Tactical Operations Center) they monitor several different radio nets to keep abreast of what is happening in the area. It's the place to be if you want up to the minute information. When I arrived it was fairly calm. I made small talk with the guys there and sipped that first cup of morning coffee. The day was clear and there was very little going on, or so it seemed. A very short while later we received the initial reports. In this area there are several "camps" or "posts" that house the various combat and support units that do the day to day fighting and working around here. The first report said that a mortar had just hit one of the nearby chow halls during the middle of lunch (I'm on GMT so my morning is actually the middle of the day). It's called a MASCAL or Mass Casualty event and it's where the rubber meets the road in military ministry. They said there were approximately 10 casualties. That was the extent of it so I kind of filed it away in the back of my mind and continued to sip my coffee. The next report wasn't so good. 10 dead and approximately 50 wounded. They were being transported to the Combat Surgical Hospital down the street. The Chaplain at the CSH is a good guy and I knew he'd be in need of help so I woke my assistant, SGT Crawford, and we rushed to the hospital. I didn't expect what I saw.

The scene was little more than controlled chaos. Helicopters landing, people shouting, wounded screaming, bodies everywhere. As the staff began to triage the dead and wounded I found the chaplain and offered my assistance. He directed me to where he needed me and I dove in. I would be hard pressed to write about every person I had the opportunity to pray with today but I will try to relate a few.

I found "Betty" on a stretcher being tended by nurses. I introduced myself and held her hand. She looked up at me and said, "Chaplain, am I going to be alright?" I said that she was despite the fact that I could see she had a long road to recovery ahead of her. Most of her hair had been singed off. Her face was burnt fairly badly, although it didn't look like the kind of burns that will scar. What I do know is that it was painful enough to hurt just by being in the sun. I prayed with Betty and moved on.

"Ilena" had been hit by a piece of shrapnel just above her left breast causing a classic sucking chest wound. The doctors said she had a hemothorax (I think that's what they called it) which basically meant her left lung was filling with blood and she was having a very hard time breathing. For the next 20 minutes I held her hand while a doctor made an incision in her left side, inserted most of his hand and some kind of medical instrument and then a tube to alleviate the pressure caused by the pooling blood. It was probably the most medieval procedure I have ever been privy to. In the end she was taken to ICU and will be OK.

"Mark" was put on a stretcher and laid along a wall. A small monitor on his hand would tell the nurses when he was dead. Even a cursory glance said it was inevitable. Mark had a head wound that left brain matter caked in his ear and all over the stretcher he was lying on. I knelt next to Mark and placed a hand on his chest. His heart was barely beating, but it was beating, so I put my face close to his ear to pray with him. If you've never smelled human brain matter it is something unforgettable. I had something of an internal struggle. He's practically dead so why stay? He probably can't hear anything! A prayer at that point seemed of little value. But I couldn't risk it. I prayed for Mark and led him in the sinners prayer as best I could. There are few things in this life that will make you feel more helpless. After that, I needed some fresh air.

I stepped outside and found the situation to be only slightly less chaotic. The number of body bags had grown considerably since I first went inside. I saw a fellow chaplain who was obviously in need of care himself. I stopped him and put my arm around him and asked how he was doing. A rhetorical question if ever I asked one. He just shook his head so I pulled him in close and prayed for his strength, endurance, a thick skin, and a soft heart. Then I just stood and breathed for a few minutes.

Regardless of what some may say, these are not stupid people. Any attack with casualties will naturally mean that eventually a very large number of care givers will be concentrated in one location. They took full advantage of that. In the middle of the mayhem the first mortar round hit about 100 to 200 meters away. Everyone started shouting to get the wounded into the hospital which is solid concrete and much safer than being in the open. Soon, the next mortar hit quite a bit closer than the first as they "walked" their rounds toward their intended target...us. Everyone began to rush toward the building. I stood at the door shoving as many people inside as I could. Just before heading in myself, the last one hit directly on top of the hospital. I was standing next to the building so was shielded from any flying shrapnel. In fact, the building, being built as a bunker took the hit with little effect. However, I couldn't have been more than 10 to 15 meters from the point of impact and brother did I feel the shock. That'll wake you up! I rushed inside to find doctors and nurses draped over patients, others on the floor or under something. I ducked low and quickly moved as far inside as I could.

After a few tense moments people began to move around again and the business of patching bodies and healing minds continued in earnest. As I stood talking with some other chaplain, an officer approached and not seeing us, yelled, "Is there a chaplain around here?" I turned and asked what I could do. He spoke to us and said that another patient had just been moved to the "expectant" list and would one of us come pray for him. I walked in and found him lying on the bed with a tube in his throat, and no signs of consciousness. There were two nurses tending to him in his final moments. One had a clipboard so I assumed she'd have the information I wanted. I turned to her and asked if she knew his name. Without hesitation the other nurse, with no papers, blurted out his first, middle, and last name. She had obviously taken this one personally. I'll call him "Wayne". I placed my hand on his head and lightly stroked his dark hair. Immediately my mind went to my Grandpa's funeral when I touched his soft grey hair for the last time. And for the second time in as many hours I prayed wondering if it would do any good, but knowing that God is faithful and can do more than I even imagine. When I finished I looked up at the nurse who had known his name. She looked composed but struggling to stay so. I asked, "Are you OK?" and she broke down. I put my arm around her to comfort and encourage her. She said, "I was fine until you asked!" Then she explained that this was the third patient to die on her that day.

"Rachel" was sitting in a chair with no injuries. She was worried about two friends that had been moved to other hospitals in country. So we prayed.

"John", a First Sergeant, asked me, "How does my face look?" knowing he had been badly burned and would probably have some scaring. He was covered in blood, pus, and charred skin so I said, "First Sergeant, you look better than some people I know back home." He laughed and we prayed.

One of the many American civilian workers had been hit in the groin. He was happy to be alive and even happier to be keeping, "all my equipment." It was a light moment in a very heavy day.

As SGT Crawford and I walked away at the end of the day I saw another chaplain and a soldier standing among the silent rows of black body bags. The soldier wanted to see his friend one more time. We slowly and as respectfully as possible unzipped the bag to reveal the face of a very young Private First Class. His friend stared for a few seconds then turned away and began to cry.

The last count was 22 dead, and around 45 wounded. Nevertheless, our cause is just and God is in control even when the manure is a yard deep. I'm where God wants me and wouldn't change that for anything, even if it means death. After all, "to die is gain".

Post Script: all patient names are fictitious.

456 comments:

1 – 200 of 456   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

Unbelievable. Your faith seems strong, in spite of the evil you witnessed. I will pray for you and all there in Iraq working for a free country.

Greg
Seattle

Jason said...

May God bless you and the people who were injured today. My wife and I thank you for your service. Please let the men and women there know they are in our prayers.

OkieBoy said...

Chaplain Lewis, I just heard this story read on Hugh Hewitt's radio show and was very moved. My and my families' prayers will be with you and with these brave men and women. God be with you.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

God bless you and God speed to those who were murdered today.

Miss Prissypants said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis - thank you so much for what you are doing over there. I pray daily for our brave heroes fighting there so we can live in peace here. I am so sorry for what all of you have to go through, especially what just happened in Mosul. Please know that millions of us support you and the others who are so far from home. Please let the men and women you encounter know how proud we are of them and that we think of them every single day even though we don't know all of their names. May God bless you and keep you safe. Also, thank you for writing your blog - I really appreciate it. Stay safe.
--Karen in San Diego

Anonymous said...
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Michele in Denver said...

God bless you for your service and strength. God does have a plan -- however hard it is to see at the time.

Our prayers are with you, the troops and your fellow chaplains.

God bless.

Michele in Denver

Guy said...
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Anonymous said...

May God Bless You and All Who Serve. My Prayers are with You All. We Will Stand United and this Great Nation Will Not Fail !!!!
Thank each and every one of you for being there and giving so very much! Bless those who gave their all, the families and loved ones left behind!!!
Linda in Louisville, KY

Anonymous said...

I cried as I read your e-mail. Not just out of grief for those wounded or dead, but out of shame. Never again will "things" happening in my life be an excuse for not reaching out to those in need. Thank you for your faithfulness to those serving our nation, but most of all thank you for your service to our Lord.

Marianne
Citrus Heights, CA

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis, You are doing God's work. The prayers of our 25,000 members are with you. We are Soldier's Angels, if there is anything we can do to aid you please allow us the privilege. Sincerely, Chris Caywood
www.soldiersangels.org

Anonymous said...

Chaplain

God bless you and all who are serving with you. I pray that He will give you and the wounded strength and peace in the midst of suffering. You and the troops are doing God's work there, and I thank you for your efforts.

R Gates

Rodd said...

Funny how those who belittle our brave troops efforts on this on your post as do so as 'anonymous'.

Don't let the obtuse, small-minded fools get you down Chaplain. Those of back home who actually understand this has to be done love you and respect you.

We'll be praying for you and crying for the sacrifices. Please pass that on to your troopers.

Toni said...

Thankyou for your entry. It was difficult for me to read and so I imagine it was heart punching for you to write. From the moment I heard about the attack I have been dreading the results and ensuing injuries. For all of you please go to soldiersangels.com and help with their wounded warriors program. I pray for you and those you were with today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks you for remembering to tell me of your sorrows today. Your article is a sober reminder to remember my brothers fighting a just war everyday in prayer. Help me do more than prayer Our Father. May those who have past be a testemoney to those who still live. May their families be comforted in your grace and may your mercies fall upon the men and woman fighting a war to bring freedom to your people. Blessings and honours are yours Our Father, may your name be a comfort to the soul of all our brothers in Iraq today. Be with them. stay with them and glorify them. In the Name of Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior. Amen.
A. John

Guy said...

Chaplain Lewis,

May God bless you and all that you minister to.

Zephaniah 3:17

Kerry said...

Chaplain Lewis. May the Grace of God surround you, and Legions of Angels come to the aid of you and those wounded and killed. I will be praying for you and your charges. As I read the comments, it pains me to see that the rebellious spirits to whom Jesus preached in Hell seem to have eamil and radios down there. Who know computers could be made so fireproof? I suppose the lost need prayers too. I bring to mind Bernadette of Lourdes saying, "To those with faith, no explanation is necessary. To those without faith, no explanation is sufficient." God bless you.

Anonymous said...

My deepest prayers and most positive energy is with you all. Your dedication and strength is incredibly admirable.

Rodd said...

Funny how those who belittle our brave troops efforts on this post as do so as 'anonymous'.

Don't let the obtuse, small-minded fools get you down Chaplain. Those of back home who actually understand that this has to be done love you and respect you.

We'll be praying for you and crying for the sacrifices. Please pass that on to your troopers.

The Puddle Pirate said...

I just heard this on Hugh Hewitt's radio show, and could barely restrain the tears. Keep doing the Lord's work, Chaplain. We're praying for you and your flock, so keep pushing on toward the goals of a free Iraq and our troops coming home after a successful mission.

Anonymous said...

Chaplin I openly cried as I heard Hugh Hewitt read your posting. I was in Special Forces for many years in Vietnam. The work you do, the service you give to the injuried and dying is unmeasurable. I believe that NO ONE dies alone. An angle is always there. In the war these angles are in the form of Chaplins.

Anonymous said...

I heard about your letter on Hugh Hewitt. I just had to tell you that I am so grateful to you for being there for all the service men and women.

I hope there's a way to tell the service men and women how much we want to Thank them for sacrificing for us. It makes my heart hurt every time I think about them being there and being in danger. Being away from home and family during the Holidays only makes it worse.

Please tell them that we still believe in what they are doing...we understand that the thugs and killers are trying to break our resolve, and most of us are behind them, and understand that what they are sacrificing to accomplish is important.

Please let us know how we can make things a little better for them...it feels so helpless to sit here in comfort while they are giving all.

God bless and protect you and every single one of the servicemen.

Sincerely,
Kathy Ingalls
Whittier, CA

Tom said...

Dear Sir,

I just heard Hugh Hewitt read your post over the air and was nearly in tears afterwards. I am not a regular prayer, but will pray for you and the soldiers you treated today. Thank you so much for providing those of us stateside with such a poignant reminder of what our soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen go through. God bless.

jp said...

Chaplain: Of comfort so often to some, especially in 'white-knuckle faith' circumstances is, as you may well know, Psalm 29.11 ... You are there in our stead, making sense of nearsightedly useless lives as you stand with them in the breach - but never again so alone, in the flesh, for our prayers and presence, in the spirit accompany you, brothers. Thank you. Praise the LORD.

Anonymous said...

I weep for you & all those you serve, Thank you & thank all the brave men & women. You can be sure those you pryed with are with Jesus. God is in control & as you say , our cause is just.

Tom said...

Chaplain Lewis, you and every soldier, sailor, Marine and airman are our heroes. Thank you for everything you do, and the sacrifices you and everyone makes on a daily basis. For those that do not understand why we are there I have but one question...what in this world do you find worth fighting for if it is not the freedoms you currently have?
God bless you all and keep you safe.
Tom - Anaheim, CA

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,

With tears in my eyes, I will think of you and the many brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines doing their jobs. The civilans are probably Halliburton employees too. I heard your blog read by Hugh Hewitt and had to read it for myself. Thank God for people like you and the people serving with you in Iraq and Afghanistan. These people are not freedom fighters they are terrorists and thugs. Unfortunately the socialist idiots in our media and Hollywood will try to make this another Tet Offensive.

Chris in Aurora Colorado

Faith McDonnell said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis:
My heart broke yet again as I heard about what happened in Mosul. God bless you, and may He listen to our cries and intervene to stop the "insurgents" "terrorists" "militants" -- whose true name we dare not speak. Oh that you would rend the heavens, O God, and come down. How long, O God, how long? I've never felt closer to King David than I have in these last months as our beautiful brave young men and women are being killed as the murderous thugs try to bring in the dawa Islm. I hope they get what they deserve. I am so angry, I can't continue this right now. Just now that when I am not railing at God, I am praying, asking that the evil schemes of the enemy would be brought to light, that they would backfire or be revealed BEFORE they can do what they did in Mosul today.
Lord have mercy. Please.
Again, Chaplain, God bless you and keep you and all those who fight for freedom for all.
Remember the Chaldo-Assyrian and other Christians in Iraq, too. They seem to get left out of everything that is done for Iraq.

Sincerely,

Faith McDonnell
Institute on Religion and Democracy
Director, Religious Liberty Programs

timon_phocas said...

Hugh Hewitt just read thoughts from your blog. God bless him, and God bless you.

I am a "recovering jarhead" going through nursing school. Clinicals are deeply satisfying, but there are times when I want to blurt out to a patient just how much God loves them. But, it would be inappropriate, the college doesn't like it, and the hospital doesn't either; so I button my lip and concentrate on the task at hand.

Thank you for serving in a way I cannot. God bless in all that you are...

OSAPian said...

My God Bless you and your work.

Tim said...

God Bless you Padre, remember that all things happen for the service of God. He wanted you there and I know that those brave men and women need you. Stay strong.
Semper Fi.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,
We here at home so appreciate your service and sacrifice and all you do for your fellow soldiers. We pray for and remember your families at this time of year while you are so far away protecting our freedom and liberty. Please let your fellow servicemen know everyone I know cherish you and your commitment to a just cause. You are the finest younge men and women. God bless you and keep you safe.
Thinking of you here in San Diego.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis:

My thoughts and prayers are with you and those you serve. Please know, and let them know, that your (their) trials are not in vain - that those of who appreciate liberty and justice are moved by the work you are doing, and we deeply honor your sacrifice.

Yoni Tidi said...

Chaplain Lewis,

I heard of how your today was, on Hugh Hewitt radio show after I told the story on air of the murder of a dear friend at the hands of terrorist in Israel. I spent my life in the anti terrorist field in Israel and I know what you have gone through today.

Their are no words in any of the three languages that I know that I can share with you to ease the pain and horror of what you have lived through today. Any more than I could share words with my daughter after she saw the butchered body of our friend to ease her pain.

As an Orthodox Jew, I don't share your exact beliefs other than we believe in G-D. May HE give you strength as you are a source of strength for the brave soldiers who are serving in Iraq.

When we can meet in the future the first beer is on me.

Yoni Tidi
yoni@yoni4knesset.com

Anonymous said...

Lord bless you for your work. My neighbor is over there and his wife is still waiting to hear if he's okay. I and my friends are praying for his safety. I mourn for those who are lost and those who remain behind for the pain they must bear. I wish there was more I could do. Sometimes just praying seems so inadequate.

Do not let Satan beat you down...keep up the amazingly difficult and important work. Don't let the men and women doing God's work get down. They are on a mission of mercy, despite what the nay-sayers say.

Anonymous said...

God bless you and all those who serve.

Anonymous said...

Chaplan thank you for your service and optimism during this trying time. This is my passagefor you. Philippians 1:4-7. “5In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” .

Anonymous said...

Sir:
I have been crying off and on today, as I heard more and more news of this awful attack in Mosul. When Hugh Hewitt read your account, I had to stop working and cry some more.
God's comfort to those who have been injured and to those who have died, as well as to their families. God bless you for assisting all of them.
Most of us in the country know why you are there and what you are fighting for.
I apologize for those who would use this sad event as a platform to spew their simplified view of this war. They are not the majority.
Jeane Bell
El Dorado Hills CA

Anonymous said...

Dear Sir,

I just heard about your story on the Hugh Hewitt radio show. I wouldn't call myself a Christian, that's another story, but may God bless you and the men and women fighting for our way of life. Your cause is just; and I believe that most Americans believe in what those of you in harms way are doing for mankind.

Please know sir that you are providing a great comfort to your men and women. As I stated earlier, I wouldn't describe myself as a Christian, but when I was in the first Gulf War, I did find comfort in what our battalion chaplain had to say. At times you may feel that your efforts have no effect, however, they do. Please understand that your efforts are as important as the grunt's.

Again, God bless sir.

Simper Fi.

Doug Dohman
Denver, CO

Denine said...
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Jen said...

I'm also a Soldier's Angel and I second what Chris posted earlier. If there's ANYTHING we can do for these men and women, please let us know. I've personally witnessed the way SA members will move mountains to accomodate the requests of our military men and women. I pray that God gives you the peace and strength to continue your work. Thank you so much for being there and taking care of our guys (and girls). Please let them know that we're all thinking of them and praying for them--and, of course, are indebted to them for all that they're doing for us.

Jennifer, Detroit MI

Matthew said...

May God keep you safe. We'll be praying for you as we pray for all those in harm's way.

alio48 said...

Chaplain Lewis,
I was listening when Hugh Hewitt read your blog. I too stopped what I was doing and cried for you, the soldiers, their families, the Iraqis, and our nation.
We need so badly to hear directly form you to be constantly made aware of what all you brave men and women are doing to protect us while we continue in safety day after day. So too, the fact that you are gaining the same benefits for the Iraqi people can not be relayed to us enough.
I will never forget you all in my daily prayers as I go through my daily tasks and as I attend daily mass and offer it for all of you.
God be with you and yours.
AliO

stont flar said...

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." Psalms 23:4.

Dear Sir,
God is with those today. My thoughts and prayers are with the survivors. My heart goes out to the families. Reach within and contact them.....they need to know and hear what you can share; it will make a difference.

Anonymous said...

God Bless ya'all on this terrible day for so many involved. They will not be forgotten.

Bill in Portland said...

I can't began to imagine what you and your comrades are going though. Most of us seem to go on with life in the states like the war in only on the news but accounts like yours brings this to life. I thank God for men and women like you who are willing to stand up and pay the price for what mankind wants – freedom to have a relationship with God – which was difficult at best during Sadam but may be possible because of what you are doing!!

God Bless you Chaplin Lewis and we pray for you daily.
Bill in Portland

Anonymous said...

I cry when I read this.

How do you forgive?

nicolette

Anonymous said...

I heard Hugh Hewitt read your entry online. It is incomprehensible to me what it must be like to go through what you and the others do, but I thank God that He is with you and He is definitely using you.
God bless you.
-Laurie in Tucson, AZ

Terp Mole said...

December 21st is Winter Solstice-- the darkest day. It is also the anniversary of the 1988 Lockerbie bombing, where 270 innocents were murderered by Kaddafi's Islamo-fascism.

Victims' families know that these brave soldiers are NOT sacrificing in vain. They fight ruthless, evil men who would return to indiscriminately killing innocent civilians at Christmas time (as Kaddafi did at Lockerbie)-- but for their bravery and sacrifice.

Kaddafi has unconditionally surrendered in fear of American military wrath. The architects of today's grisly attack must not be permitted to break American resolve. In remembrance of the innocent Lockerbie dead, and these brave soldiers who met them in glory today, we must prevail.

artocrat said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis

God will bless you and keep you and the brave people of America and Iraq in his heart. So I will pray for your safety as you minister to the need of our soldiers.
Merry Christmas
artocrat

Lisa said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis: When I heard Hugh Hewitt reading your post, I was in the car with my two young sons, ages 12 and 9. They were silent as we listened to your words. It was unbelievably touching and sad. Please know that you and all our brave military personnel in Iraq and all over the world are in our thoughts and prayers at all times. God Bless you, Chaplain. Your words will not be forgotten, nor will those young men and women affected by this tragedy.

JudyL said...

Dear Chaplain, I've tried three times to get through your post without crying and I cannot! Thank you so much for your sacrifice and for being there for our soldiers. This has been a tragic day. I have a friend at FOB Marez and my heart is breaking tonight. You all have been in my prayers today.

goddessoftheclassroom said...

My students (8th and 10th grades) just wrote letters to a unit stationed in Mosul. I read about the attack this morning on the Internet, and I told my classes. I said I didn't know if "our" unit was there, but that if prayer was a part of their tradition, I invited them to pray. ALL heads bowed and there was silence--and this is public school.

One of the best definitions of Hell I've read is the absence of God, but in our world, "bidden or not bidden, God is hear."

At the end of the Eucharist at my church, we pray that the Lord will now "send us out to do the work [He] has given us to do." May He bless, comfort, and strengthen you and all with whom you serve.

Anonymous said...

I heard about your letter on Hugh Hewitt. I just had to tell you that I am so grateful to you for being there for all the service men and women. As far the Anonymous poster that said get us out of there I too agree, get us out of there, but not until you have completed the job that has been started. The majority of people who live in Iraq want the freedom that our troops are fighting for.

God bless and protect you and every single one of the service men and women that service this county with HONOR and PRIDE.

I am not a Anonymous poster

Ed Ayo
TSGT Ret USAF

StriplingWarrior said...

Thank you. The kids got an extra long hug this evening.

Ed Brennan, Burbank, CA said...

Chaplain Lewis,
I heard your recent posting read on the Hugh Hewitt Show. It was incredibly moving.
Thank you and your family so much for your sacrifices and the comfort you offer to the brave members of our military.
God bless you Chaplain.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis, I heard your story on the Hugh Hewitt show out here in Los Angeles and wanted to thank you for your service to God and to our country. May God bless you and keep you safe. Our prayers will be with you this Christmas season and through out the New Year.

Chad Gueits
Whittier Ca

twostellas said...

God bless you. Let everyone there know that we care.
Stephanie- Raleigh, NC

Cathy said...

Thank you so very much for sharing your day with us. You are doing God's work...you are blessed to be a blessing. May you know God's joy and peace in a special way this Christmas. And may you be able to offer that same joy and peace to the soldiers.
Please pass on to the soldiers that I support them fully...and that I pray for them.
Cathy
Jer 29:11; Num 6:24-26

Anonymous said...

Every time I think about Iraq or hear about something like this, I feel so guilty that I am not with our soldiers while they fight for righteousness in our world.

We believe in you and why you all are there despite what you hear in the anti-American agenda driven MSM.

Bless you for the work you have done during this crisis and every day. Bless all our troops. God Bless American and the new Iraq.

Shelley
Monrovia, California

granman said...

God bless you Chaplain, and God bless those soldiers who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,
Thank you for the kind service you are administering to the troops. I just heard Hugh read your account. I prayed for you
-- that you would stand firm in your faith as you minister to the injured; as long as there is a wisp of breath left in a human, they have a possibility to respond to God and you may be the last tool to bring that message to them in their dying moments.
-- that God would give you the wisdom, discernment and words you need to minister to the living: the touch, prayer, smile, light-hearted comment.
-- that the Holy Spirit would protect you from discouragement. Though man's inhumanity is great, God's love and compassion are 10,000 times greater. The reality of the cross proves that.

Your blog made military service "real" to me. Tears ran down my cheek as Hugh finished your account. My nephew, a High School Senior, has just signed up for the Navy and is looking at the Chaplaincy, and I am reminded of the need to pray for him as well.

God bless you and keep you buoyed up by His peace that passes all understanding.

Anonymous said...

God Speed, All of my prayers are going out to you. Keep the faith, we are standing behind you.
God Bless you.
Semper Fi
Michael
Colorado

Anonymous said...

Sir, I read your letter with a broken heart. How honorable your task was today--to be with those as they stood between heaven and earth. We pray for you, and the men and women who are our heroes.

Thank you for attending to your calling.

Billie
Virginia

Patti said...

Bless your heart,
you and all the heroes are in our thoughts and prayers daily.
Please let us know if we can send any supplies,
Patti
SOLDIERS ANGELS

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis - Please let them know they are in our hearts each day. They are our finest. They are our heroes. There is nothing I could ever say to thank them enough for the job they are doing.

David
Tustin, California

Charles Radebaugh said...

Dear Chaplain:

Thank you for this report and your ongoing work. As several who have commented already have noted, the extent and full impact of your ministry will be known only in Heaven. You all are in my prayers every day!

Anonymous said...

Moved by the tragedy today, and by your comments. My prayers to Our Heavenly Father for you, the soldiers, health care providers, and especially the families of those not going home. War is an awful business. Sometimes necessary, but none the less awful. May God give you rest in Him when you cannot get it anywhere else. You and your soldiers are not forgotten. We are so grateful and proud of you all and the work you all do. I just had to write something to you. This is my verbal arm around your shoulders. Thank you for being there for them, and thank them for being there for the good citizens of the middle east who need a chance for hope. Martin

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,

God bless you and all those serving with you. You are in my prayers and in my thoughts. May God give you strength.

Buck Pennington, MSgt, USAF (Ret)
Portales, NM

Anonymous said...

My heart is so heavy. I am thankful that you are there to comfort and help these young men. I thank the Lord that you pray with these men and give them the salvation message. I pray daily for these young men and women that they would know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. May Abba, Father, give you the grace, strength and wisdom you need to cope in these difficult times.
God be with you and yours and hold you in the palm of His hand in the next few hours, days and weeks. In Christ's name, Mary Ann

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain,

Mercy and grace to all in harms way.

G_d Bless.

LargeBill said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,

May God continue to give you the strength of heart to care for the wounded in body and spirit. Having seen people deal with the aftermath of tragedy I realize your job is not complete. The days and months which follow many of the survivors will need support, comforting and guidance. Bless you for all you're doing over there. I'm thankful there are good men like yourself out there to help them deal with what life brings their way.
Sincerly,

Anonymous said...

I heard most of "Mascal" in the car on Hugh Hewitt's show. It brought me to tears while driving. I can imagine being a soldier, but can't begin to comprehend your strength, courage and devotion. Thank you for caring for our troops.

Anonymous said...

Sir,

I was not aware of your blog until today. If those of us back home had half the wisdom and courage you have displayed in the aftermath of this heinous and cowardly attack, we would be a better society for it. Thank God for men like you and our armed forces. Our prayers are with you and your brethren.

Modesto Gomez

Anonymous said...

Dear CHAPS:

Today's hit in Mosul must have tested all of your faith and courage to the limit. G-d Bless you - you did well, and the troops you served are the better for your efforts.

I'll say a few extra prayers tonight; for you, for the wounded, for the dead and their families, and even for the few posters who so blindly sent venom towards you and Hugh Hewitt.

Know that your words have touched the hearts of a few million Americans today. That's one heck of a Homily.

Bravo Zulu from an old sailor. G-d Gless You.
Steve McCombs
Los Angeles

Glitch said...

God bless you sir, and those you are serving over there.

Charlie Eklund said...

God bless you sir, and all who serve with you. From the bottom of my heart and from the depths of my soul, I thank you for your service, both to our country and to each of us here at home.

Dhun said...

What an incredible portrait of faith, humility and strength during the most fear provoking set of circumstances a human can face.....life and death during wartime.

Thank you for what you do.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain,

I wept as I listened to Hugh Hewitt read your account of what you witnessed today. Thank you for your faith and kindness for each person you came in contact with today. Your strong faith even when you wonder if you're making a difference is what faith is. I will include you on my prayer list until you come home to your family and our grateful country.

There's no doubt that your compassion and sweetness are greatly appreciated by the lives you touch.

God be with you.

Nancy - Huntington Beach, CA

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your service. I will pray for you and for all our people in harm's way. God Bless.

whiskeyman said...

Hearing Hugh Hewitt read your blog moved me to do something I seldom do: respond. Visions of Twin Towers falling, gray and ghost-like, were behind the scene you described. And, while I served in Viet Nam, and came under attack enough to recognize 81's and 122's, I never lived though such carnage as you described. Indeed, I had become dispassionate about my own fate, my faith in my country reduced to the rubble of war.

I write to applaud your faith. This from an athethist at worse, an agnostic at best. My faith my be diplaced: faith that the sun will rise tomorrow, that drivers will heed traffic lights, that co-workers will render good work and support the success of the companies for which I work. Yes, that faith is based on the imperical. And it, too, can be betrayed: heedless drivers, slackers at work.

I make the comparison so that you know that even we "heathens," the godless and unwashed, support your beliefs, your faith, and your right to express that faith. And to let you know, that while no military service will (currently at least) allow me to return to active duty, I stand beside you in spirit.

While once before I risked life and limb without understanding, I would now gladly trade the years I have left, and give it to those you held dying in your arms. I hope they understand the sacrafice that is asked of them.

My unrelenting anger at 9-11 is only fueled by such scenes as you described.

This war circles the world; few should doubt the carnage you have seen will be repeated here. It is precisely because of that, and because of my faith in you and my fellow Americans, that while prayers did not pass my lips even at the passing of my parents, I will say a prayer for you. I could fight and die; but I could never do what you do, what you did.

May peace forever reside in your soul.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis - Thank you for ministering to others in the name of Christ. I will lift you up in my prayers as you minister to others. I will continue to pray for the men and women who are serving our country. I am praying for one man who I adopted to pray for. I found his name through the Presidential Prayer Team web site.

May God richly bless you. In Christ,
Steve
Aurora, Colo

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your our doing to help and encourage our troops. They are the reason my family can sleep in peace at night and spend our days in safety. May God bless you and all our troops.

Anonymous said...

i heard abuot this, this morning. i cant imagine the pain you, the soldiers and marines are going through right now. i cried when i read abuot betty and mark.
god bless you all
Christina
christinaphotos@comcast.net

Anonymous said...

Thank you for what you are doing. I'm sure the dying soldiers did hear your prayers (as well as God). We will continue to pray for you and our troops protecting our freedom. THANK YOU!

Jack Spaun said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,
Thank you for your kindness and service toward the physical and spiritual needs of our service men and women.
May God grant you the courage and ability to continue your great service.
God bless you!

Patriot Dave said...

May God have mercy on the souls of those who have died. I pray for those who also serve the wounded and may they all find strength. Their work is unselfish for the betterment of man. "There is no greater love than to give ones live." Thank you chaplin Lewis for sharing your experience and may God bless you in your work and protect you with His mighty shield. May your gardian angels continue to watch out for you and protect you.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis:
I heard Hugh Hewitt read your story and it also brought me to tears. When I first heard the news of the attack, I cringed, I want us to succeed and I don't want the evil over there to win. You are doing a great service for our men in uniform over there. I am so glad they have you.Please tell the soldiers that we are supporting them 1000 % and more. We thank all of you for your service. As you said it is a just war, and every death hurts. If there is anything we can do, please post it on your blog. You have no idea how much people are willing to help when asked. Be well and may God Bless you all.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain - Only those who have seen war as you and your comrades have can know what this day was like. When God seems furthest away is when He is closer than ever. May His wings cover and protect you and our troops, may His face shine upon you and may you know the comfort of His grace. To all who serve this country and sacrifice more than anyone will ever know, God Bless You and your families. May His comfort descend on the grieving and let them know their loved ones sacrifice will never be in vain.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Dear Brother,
I work as a Biblical Counselor at a Bible camp in NC. My wife and I have nearly 40 years experience between us as Paramedics in Atlanta. I saw a lot,but, not in the concentration you have seen and will see. I am working on a seminar on depression to give at a Winter Youth Retreat in Toledo next week. Sadness + Anger= Depression. I believe you have the eternal perspective you need to get through. Weep with those who weep and do not forget the sovereignty of God, the Love of God, and the Power of God. Evil is in the world but a Good God, an all powerful God will soon do away with that evil. Your cause is just. Freedom isn't free. I appreciate you very much. Romans 8:28.

Diane said...

Also heard about you on Hugh Hewitt. My kids and I will be praying (esp. Ps 91) for all of you over there as well as for your wife and the families here. Thank you for your service and for your blog. We are most grateful. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,
On my way home from work today I was thinking and praying for all of the soldiers in Iraq. It was then that I heard Hugh Hewitt read your blog posting regarding the events of today. As tears welled up in my eyes, I began praying even harder. I believe in our work in Iraq and I know it is all part of God's grand plan. I thank God for you. I pray that your work is not in vain and that lives will be changed as a result of your witness. Stay strong and keep the faith.
Greg C - Jacksonville, FL

chaoticsynapticactivity said...

Chaplin Lewis;

Most have expressed my feelings already. Thank you and your heart of Christ is placed where it belongs, ministering to those in need.

I'll add my prayers to those of the others...for you and all who serve for us today.

Cdr, USN (Ret)

marredbydust said...

Thank you, God Bless you, I am forwarding your post to all my friends.
The Cause is just. You are an inspiration and I hope to also be
Training for Eternity!

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaphlin; I am writing from San Diego, Ca. I am 60 years old and just wish I was young again. You boys are in my prays. I posted your Blog on a site here, I hope that is OK. Because we don't get good news coverage here as you may think, so I want people to know your stories first hand. We love you guys.

blacksheep_recon said...

Sir:

My deepest sympathy.

I have the utmost respect for the Chaplain Corps and its members. You volunteer to be with us, armed only with encouragement and faith as we deal with the enemies of our way of life. A Chaplain made a huge difference in my life while I was with the 82nd during the last engagement in Iraq. I have no doubt you are lifting the spirits and encouraging the souls of countless soldiers, young and old.

Thank you for your sacrifice. Thanks to your family for theirs. Thanks to God that we live in a country which places value on service above self.

Art Robertson
formerly of Sct Plt - 1/505 PIR, 82nd ABN

Anonymous said...

Our hearts ache for your suffering and loss. Americans of all faiths and political persuasions send their hopes for a speedy and successful end to your hard labors in Iraq and appreciate so much your courage and sacrifice.

Stanley Renshon
New York

Anonymous said...

May God give the soldiers involved today an extra portion of peace and serene strength,and may He give their families the strength and grace to endure the hardships of the future..May God give you the words to say, and may He open their hearts to receive those words. As the father of a soldier I prayer daily for all military,their safety,and their families.God Bless you..

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your service. You are a hero. - brent whitfield, Glendale, CA

Ben said...

Reading your post has brought back some memories of long ago. Please share with those you serve that my prayers and blessing are with all of you. Freedom is always paid for in blood. Thank you for your willingness to sacrifice yours in a good cause. Today you reminded me how proud I am to be an American. God bless you and keep you safe.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,

I heard your posting read on the Hugh Hewitt show while driving home from work in LA. My thoughts and prayers are with you and those you serve. Thank you for being there. May God bless and keep you and them.

Andy Vermiglio
SFC, USAR, Ret.

WeTwo said...

WeTwo are lifting you all up to our Lord in prayer. We serve a loving and compassionate God and Savior who holds all His Shepherds in His mighty hands, strengthening and blessing them with all His gifts poured out on the Cross.We love you and will pray for you daily.

God bless you all with His Lovingkindness,

WeTwo

Anonymous said...

hello Chaplain Lewis - you have people all over the U.S. praying for you awesome guys and gals. we are with you, brother!! we support you, we think of you guys all the time. you are in our minds, hearts and prayers. our hearts break for you and cheer for you. God bless you and your mission. as regular ole americans living in los angeles, we stand in awe of you. your courage, compassion, composure and your faith. we may feel like there's so much chaos, so much pain, and struggle. but God is at the helm. keep your eye on Him, as His is surely trained upon you. God bless you, Hero.

Mark Daniels said...

I pray for your safety and for that of all our military personnel in Iraq. I pray too, for an early end to this conflict.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,

You are in my prayers and thoughts, most Americans support you, you may not know it but we are very proud of you.

God Bless,

Eric

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,
May God grant you strength, wisdom, and the words to say as you continue to comfort and pray with so many in the days ahead. As Americans gather together at home with family and friends this Christmas weekend, may we all pause and give thanks for each soldier, those serving abroad and those training here in the States, who sacrifice so much for the cause of freedom.
It is time all Americans wake up and recognize the evil of this enemy. May God Bless and grant you His peace during this time.

Soxking said...

Chaplain Lewis,
God bless you for seeing to the spiritual needs of the men and women of our families who are serving in Iraq. When it hits the fan, its good to know that there is a Man of God standing in the gap in prayer for them. The men of my bible study will be praying for you.
Blessings,
An usher

Anonymous said...

God bless you, brother, true friend who is closer that a brother.

Our prayers will be with you, may you stay in the shadow of the Almighty. You are doing God's work.

This is one we will just have to ask Him when we get there.

Joe Sackett
Long Beach, CA

Anonymous said...

May the Lord bless you and your family, and all of the soldiers in your spiritual care. I especially pray for those who are wounded and those who have passed on, and for their families and fellow soldiers. May His will be done and His grace save and comfort all.

Rae said...

I heard Hugh Hewitt read your post on the radio on my way home from work. Not surprisingly, I had tears streaming down my cheeks. I know you brought solace and comfort to those that you touched, held their hand and prayed with. God put you there for a reason, for those that are now sitting at the Lords side you eased their journey. For the others they will never forget the chaplian who sat with them and prayed.

You are Gods conduit. What you are doing means something, may God give you srength to coninue to do His work.

Anonymous said...

Your faith is an inspiration to me. I can only hope that I would remain as steadfast in the face of so much adversity. Thank you for your courage and example.
I pray for our fighting men and women daily and also for our enemy. God heals all wounds.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,

My son, a Marine PFC, is currently in flight school at Camp Pendleton. It is likely that he may find himself in Iraq as soon as next spring or summer. Of course we are concerned for his safety, but like you we believe he is exactly where God wants him to be. It does a parent's heart enormous good to know that there are men like you serving side by side with our sons and daughters. Please let me also express to your wife and children that we are so, so greatful for the sacrifice they make, which allows you to be there on our behalf.

omar said...

Now i know why god has put on my heart to be an army chaplain.

reporterette said...

God bless you Chaplain. Please keep posting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your service in Iraq. I think of all Americans and coalition troops that are there everyday. I am so impressed with everything that the soldiers and civilians have been doing there. May you complete your work there and return safely.
Cheryl in (Very Cold) Minnesota

Scout said...

Thank you. Please convey this one American's HEARTFELT prayers and shared grief for your losses. I thank God on a daily basis for your commitment to our saftey and freedoms and NEVER forget that without you guys, there would be no America.

sue said...

God bless all of you. Let us know if we can do anything at all to help. You are in our thoughts and prayers as we feel such sorrow and helplessness with the enormity of this horrible attack. May God give you the strength required to carry on and to minister to those who need you.

Anonymous said...

So glad the troops have someone like you and the medics to lean on. Take care of yourself and stay safe. We're all hoping you can come back home soon.

Barb said...

Chaplain Lewis,

Thank you for telling this moving story, so that we can all remember the incredible sacrifice that all of our brave men and women are making every day. My heart goes out to the families of those lost today.

You are very special for ministering to these amazing people, thank you for your service and good works. I hope that you keep writing - your words help us to see and understand better, in as much as we can understand at all from this distance.

Bless you,
Barb Way

Colorado Bru said...

May God bless you and all our troops. We thank all of you for your service and sacrifice to protect us and our
families from the evil that exists

Dennis said...

Thank you for your service in God's name to the defenders of liberty. We know what it is to be free. May the people of Iraq get a taste of the great price freedom carries and turn on those who would rule them in fear. May you with God's help comfort the frightened, encourage those who are worried and bring peace to the troubled, all in the name above all names, the Lord Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your service to God, your fellow members of the Armed Forces, and all of mankind. I'm sorry you had to endure the pain of dealing with the events you described, but I'm very glad people like you exist in the world. You have our love and respect, and we are remembering you in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain - our hearts, prayers and thoughts are with you and the troops. Godd bless you and thank you for your service.
Delia

Anonymous said...

Chaplain, as I sit and read your post, my heart goes out to you and every other hero fighting for our freedom. I truly believe that God's grace shines brighter on heroes such as yourself. I will keep you and all the injured and lost in my prayers. I believe your cause is just and that you fight the good fight. Keep faith in your God and know that you will succeed.

Joanna
Soldiers Angels

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain,
I cried when Hugh Hewitt read your post on the air. May God continue to bless you and your work. Tell the soldiers neither I nor my children will ever forget what they are doing for us and our country. You and they are our hero's. We are praying for your safe return and a safe and free Iraq.

May God watch over you,

from an American Family

Subsunk said...

Padre,

Please keep yourself and our men and women on the path to salvation and Victory. I know you have had a very hard day, but you and I know they are depending on you to help them through this test. We are proud of you all and pray for you daily. I know it must be very hard for you to continue doing your duty when faced with this spiritual test, but you are one of the primary tools in our arsenal against this evil. Your performance is as important to Victory as the crews who maintain the Strykers, those who cook the food, and those who kick in the door and defeat the oppressors of their fellow men.

God bless you Chaplain, and keep all of you safe in the future. I pray for Victory from the Lord for our troops and recognition of their sacrifice over the evil our enemies do. We love each and every life and wish you all will continue to do your duty and come home to us safe and whole. And for those who remain eternally on patrol, and those who may be wounded, or just doing their duty, we pray that our performance at home will be worthy of their sacrifice. Please deliver this message to your flock: Press on and carry the fight to our enemies, and thus deliver peace to the US and the Iraqis through Victory.

Subsunk

Anonymous said...

May the Grace of Christ our Savior
and the Father's boundless love
with the Holy Spirit's favor
Rest upon you from above

JJ Vancouver, Wa.

Anonymous said...

The Will of God will never lead you where the Grace of God cannot keep you.
Be assured of our prayers daily for the heroic men and women serving God and country.
God bless you richly.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for being Christ's hands and voice in such a needy place. It is so encouraging to know that our men and woman have the privilege of a comrade in arms who can help them, even to the point of facing eternity. I pray that God will supply His grace in abundance as you fight the eternal battle that rages on and that He grants you His peace within.
God's constant blessings...
J.L.C.

Anne said...

Thank you for the job you are doing and the calling you are fulfilling! May God bless you and those to whom you minister! I thank God for people like you!

Anonymous said...

Chaplin: God bless you and all the troops for the work you do. There are no words that can describe the thanks I feel for the work all our service men and women do. I heard Hugh Hewitt read your post on his radio show. It took all I had to not break down in tears. I’m not normally a religious person, and don’t pray as much as I should. Tonight I will pray for you, and all our good folks in uniform. May God give you strength and wisdom during this difficult time. Keep it up, and thank you.

Bruce
Denver, CO

Dru Arnold said...

Dear Chaplain,
May God bless you. I know the troops so appreciate what you do. It soothes my pain a little to know you are there with them. We are praying for you all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, all of you, so much for your service. I can't begin to imagine the hell you must experience. I pray daily for all who are serving and for their families. God bless you. MK Portland, OR

Anonymous said...

From Canada, I send my condolences to you and my hope for peace and liberty in Iraq. You are performing a vital role, fighting terror and tyranny on our behalf, even when many of us are so misguided that they criticize you instead of the terrorists. But there are many more who stand solidly behind you, and in these difficult moments, our prayers are with you.

Anonymous said...

War is so terrible, but I believe this must be done now rather than later. I pray for peace for Iraq. For just elections. For good leaders. Lord, bless the nation of Iraq and bring peace and freedom to that land. Father, bring our men & women home safe, and be with them in their danger.

Anonymous said...

Reverend,

I post this anonymously simply because I am not sure how to post with my name, which I shall therefore use here in the body of the message.

I am Ken Harlow, I live in Delaware, Ohio and I pray that God will give you the strength to carry on with your ministry. I pray too that God will keep safe the brave men and women who defend our country. Although I pray for the safety of each of them, some will be injured or killed. I pray for them, their souls, and that those who survive find the strength to bear their suffering and to find something enobling within. I pray too for their families and loved ones that they find the strength to endure and to continue their love to their cherished one.

And finally I pray that God soften my heart toward these enemies for as much as I love and pray with gratitude for our troops, my heart would leap with joy at the nuclear annhilation of as many arabs and muslims as possible. I know I am admonished to pray for my enemies, but at the moment all I can feel is unbridled contempt and hatred. I pray God give strength and healing to our service people, wisdom to our leaders to find a path to peace and serenity to those like me who have difficulty loving our enemies.

May God especially bless our clergy in this Christmas season to offer the words of healing and peace to our troops.

Grumpy Old Man said...

God bless you and our brave soldiers.

May we acquire a tenth of their courage and your compassion.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,

Your blog was touching and heart-wrenching. God bless you for being the Lord's hands, feet, ears, eyes and mouth here on earth. May He continue to keep you healthy and safe and fill you with courage, compassion, wisdom and strength. Thank you for being salt and light in a very dark part of the world.

Bev in California

Maggie45 said...

May God bless you and all with whom you come in contact. Thank you for all you do for our country. And please tell all our troops that they have a lot of love and support from home.

Love My Marine said...

Chaplain:
My husband is in Fallujah with 1st Marine Division. I cannot thank you enough for what you are doing for our troops. The comfort, love and support you offer is immeasurable, and I thank you from the very bottom of my heart for your willingness to be with our loved ones, and offer them hope and comfort when we can not be there for them. Knowing that there are Chaplains there by their sides makes it easier for us here, and I can not even begin to imagine the personal pain that you feel and witness. Bless you Father and thank you. M

AndMoreArtInterests said...

Dear Chaplain, your last comments were that our cause is just & God is in control & that you are in the right place. Right ON!! Our prayers go with you & the men & women who are defending the freedoms we enjoy & that we wish to bring to this part of the world.

PAT DUENEZ said...

I'D LIKE TO START BY STATING ON BEHALF OF THE DUENEZ FAMIL, YOU AND ALL OF OUR SERVICE MEN & WOMEN, THANK YOU & YOU R IN OUR PRAYERS.
I'M LISTENNING TO HUGH HUWITT ON THE RADIO TODAY WHEN HE READ YOU BLOG. I STARTED TO CRY. I HAVE FAM IN THE ARMY THAT ARE OVERTHERE FIGHTING FOR OUR FREEDOMS AND THOSE OF THE IRAC PEOPLE. THER IS NO WAY FOR ME TO THANK YOU ENOUGH FOR THE SACRIFICE YOU AND THOSE WHO ARE THERE FIGHTING, ALL I CAN SAY IS YOU ALL MAKE ME PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.
THANK YOU ALL,
IN MY PRAYERS,
PAT

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,
Technology is amazing -- a few years ago, a friend of mine called his friend in Sweden, and the call was automatically forwarded to his cell phone on a train in the mountains... it seemed so incredible; nowadays we take that kind of thing for granted, almost....
Today, you, on the other side of the world, physically and metaphorically, posted your thoughts and Hugh Hewitt read them from California, and we (my wife and I) heard them in Minnesota (in below zero temps. and artic wind chills!!). But more amazing, our Lord and Saviour hears our prayers for you, and I know He will give you comfort and support. I hope it helps just to know that you are not completely alone, nor are you forgotten. We are praying for you.

God bless you,


Greg and Lana

Anonymous said...

An Orthodox Prayer

Into Thy hands, O Lord, we commend the souls of thy servants, and beseech thee to grant them rest in the place of thy rest, where all thy blessed Saints repose, and where the light of thy countenance shineth forever.

And I beseech thee also to grant that our present lives may be godly, sober, and blameless, that, we too may be made worthy to enter into thy heavenly Kingdom with those we love but see no longer; for thou art the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of thy departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto thee we ascribe glory; to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
Amen.


Dear Chaplain Lewis-

Bless you and all the other Chaplains that are there during battle to soothe our soldier's fears and to help them when they're in need. May an Angel always watch over you.

Katina (TX)
Soldier's Angel

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis ...I'm left speechless reading your account of the events of this day. Please rest assurred that I pray daily for the needs of those, like yourself, who so faithfully serve our Country. My most earnest prayer is that many would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their savior and Lord. Thank you for your faithful ministry, eternal perspective -- and desire to exalt Christ in the work you are doing in Iraq. Please be assured that many are praying for you and your fellow solidiers in this hour of need. For well over a year -- our Pastor has placed a weekly reminder in our church Tableau to pray faithfully for all of you. He often exhorts in kind from the pulpit. May the Lord richly bless you, Chaplain. I look forward to someday meeting you in eternity. Please drop me an email if there is anything we can do on this end to help -- and we will continue to pray. (kspaffo [no-spam] @comcast.net) Simply remove the "spaces" and "no-spam".

Anonymous said...

I am touched by the courage of all of you there in country. You are doing a great service to the Lord and will be in my prayers daily.

K Baxter said...

Chaplain Lewis:

I believe with all my heart your prayers were necessary for these wonderful young soldiers on their final journey. You were meant to be there, remember there are no coincidences. Thank you for all you are doing and know that you are in the prayers of many many people on the home front. You and those serving with you are not forgotten!!!! God Bless you all.

rkruger said...

Chaplain Lewis,
Thank you for your service to both God & Country. Thank you for obeying your call to the ministry & to the armed forces.
Thank you for your sacrifice & your willingness to be used - it reminds me of the scripture in Isaiah chapter 6 when the Lord asks "whom shall I send, and who will go for us" and Isaiah responds "here am I, send me". You have responded in the same way, and likewise - you are being used in a mighty way (though you may not feel it or see it right now).
I will pray for your strength to be renewed, for your faith to be strenghtened & outright contagious to those around you, and for the peace of God to flow in spite of & because of the circumstances you encounter. Keep fighting the good fight of the faith!
God Bless you, those with you & all of your families back home.

quark2 said...

May God bless you and the troops who face this harsh reality daily. May the Holy Spirit be among you all, covering you with his comfort. I pray that Jesus Christ will intercede with our Holy Father that all prayers are heard and answered in a victory for the Iraqis and our military who are sacrificing so much.
I pray that all the souls of those who were killed now are resting with our Heavenly Father and Our Saviour Christ.
Strength and enduring faith I pray will be with you in your calling. May God forgive them who trespass. May God forgive those trespassers for they know not what they do.
Amen.

Jomelli said...

I suspect that expressions of gratitude are not what you seek. I will however suggest that you have given faces to those anonymous prayers which are frequently solicited online, on air and in our churches. But the men and women in need of our prayers are not faceless. Thank you for your service to our Countrymen and women and more importantly to God. It is He that will provide you with needed rest and peace and He that will strengthen you when your human ability is at it's end. It is my privelage to offer a prayer each night for those serving, many in capacities unknown to me and most whose names are known to only a few. Tonight my prayers include you and those around you and the care giver who broke down when given a moment to reflect.

May God bless and keep you and your family, may He provide you with peaceful rest and His wisdom for tomorrow and may He provide these things each day.

John

rich glasgow said...

God bless you Sir for being there and for your service. Many prayers go up for you and our loyal troops. Please convey that to all!
You all are much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Sir,
Our prayers are with you and your soldiers.
David Marlatt USMC '85-'92
Melva Marlatt USN '82-'98

Anonymous said...

When I heard Hugh Hewitt read your post on the air this evening, it brought tears to my eyes. It is thanks to you and all our armed forces that those of us at home continue to live in relative safety, and we owe all of you not just our thanks, but our prayers as well.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and all who serve our country, and those of the coalition, in this far off land. May God bless and protect you all.

Todd
Northfield, Minnesota

Anonymous said...

Chaplain, God bless you - He has put you where you are needed, and we are so grateful to you for stepping up and doing so much for us and for the people who are serving and in harm's way. Words cannot convey how grateful we are. You are all in our prayers.

Catttt
Baltimore, Maryland

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,

God bless you. I admire your strength and faith. How we need men like you. Thank you for being there.

To the men and women serving America and the good citizens of Iraq, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13.

Anonymous said...

We are praying for all of you everyday. God bless you all.

Curtis in Montana

Rudy said...

Prayers are with you.

Rudy
Pasadena, CA

Anonymous said...

Chaplain, May God bless you & hold you in His hand as you minister to our troops. Your comment about praying with another Chaplain brings back the truth that you all are men, too. As a preacher's son I know that, although some would believe that nothing gets you down. I read your post to your wife & know that you can only minister when there is peace at home. Good bless her as well. More spouses like yours (& my Dad's) would make it a lot easier for those that serve, where ever they serve.
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord" 1 Cor. 15:58
GT, an old Marine, Semper Fi.
(for you & those you serve, I'm sending money to Soldiers Angels)

james said...

I wept for those soldiers and families.I pray everyday that their lives would of been spent for good.I do understand what we have to in Iraq, but it still shake me to the bone everytime an American dies over there. May God bless all of you over there and keep you safe and know that you are in my families daily prayers

guest said...

God bless you and the great work you are doing. Prayers for the families (back home and their units) of the dead and for all of our heros over there still doing the hard work necessary to advance freedom and bring a lasting peace. And may those of us sitting here at home in our spoiled privelege have half your strength and resolve.

Anonymous said...

"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from which cometh my help."

Surely God has wrought a wondrous work in your ministry there. May He bless your thoughts, lift your spirits, infuse your words, and electrify your touch with the Holy Spirit to all those men and women who stand for us in our name and in our place--for freedom.

God bless you and those people. In the name of Jesus Chrust, may you stand on the solid rock of all those praying for your strength and guidance in this time of need. Amen.

M R Ward
Ohio

Anonymous said...

Sir

Thank you for your service to our nation & our troops. Your's is the highest calling for those men and women of honor with whom you serve. As I read your after-action report I have the words I hear so often mocking me: Islam is "a religion of peace".

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
AFSister said...

Chaplain,
May God give you the peace you seek after such a horrendous day. Thank you for providing the hand of God to these soldiers during their time of need!

Anonymous said...

What an overwhelming and helpless feeling.

I work in health care and have spent some time in a major trauma center. There were quite a few days I'd walk away drained and numb. But I don't think my worst day even comes close to what you described.

Please know that when times were difficult the presence of a chaplain brought peace and strength.

Thank you for your service and for caring for our troops in a time of great need.

KAM

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,

Luke 15 beginning verse 4

4 What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

5 And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.

6 And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Thank you for continuing to pray with them and serve. My family will be praying for you. Be strong and know that a grateful country believes in you and what you are doing. Keep Faith and know that God will keep you. Do not put any value into any media to the contrary. I see more Flags being flown every day and yellow ribbons seem to be on every car and tree.
Thank you,
Tim G.
Louisville,Kentucky

Steve said...

God Speed, Remind all of the heroes that we all appreciate them

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,
I read of your blog on Hugh Hewitt and I am very moved at your account. The intercessors at my church will now take up your name and location for concentrated prayer.
I know you trust our Father. I do too. He has a plan.
You doubtless will be strengthened more.
Prayerfully,

rgausmc said...

Dear Chaplain:

Thank you for your service and dedication to our men and women that serve our county. May God bless each and everyone of you, know that your in our thoughts and prayers daily. Merry Christmas!

Semper Fi
Azusa, CA

Anonymous said...

Sir,

My thoughts and prayers are with you. Faith is an amazing gift from God. In reading your entry, I am reminded of a verse from Proverbs.

It is Proverbs 18:10, "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe".

You Sir, were that tower to those who needed the comfort that God can provide.

May God bless you and all of the Chaplains who are always there for our Troops.

David Ehlert
Clovis, CA

Anonymous said...

I heard your letter on Hugh Hewitt's show today. My son just returned from Iraq with the 1st Armor Div. Words cannot describe your account. I thank God that there are men like you to help those in need. I pray each day for those who serve and for those who give the ultimate sacrafice. I was unable to continue with what I was doing until I had heard your complete letter. I cried for those who lost their lives and those who lived to help. My son was injured in Iraq and I am glad there are those like you and the others to help each other. I think of those two sayings about " There are no atheists in a fox hole" and " That each soldier fights not for a flag or country but for each other". May God love you and I thank you for what you are doing.

Jim

Glenn said...

Chaplian Lewis,
Thanks for this firsthand account of the attack. I heard about your blog on the radio earlier this evening as I was delivering pizzas here in Colorado Springs.
Your bravery is commendable, your faith is exemplary.
Please keep posting as America need more honest, nonbiased reports from the front. You and all the troops and civilians working in support of this operation are in our daily prayers. God Bless. GRC

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,
God Bless you!

Vic

Anonymous said...

Chaplain: How moving--my son has been to Iraq two times, and just home, is spending his Christmas away from the young daughter and loving wife he longs for so much. He is training replacement troops for the Marine Corps & expecting orders for a third trip soon. My heart is with you and those that suffer from the tragedy today.

This Christmas is the first time I have heard a bit of the story of my Grandfather's work as a Chaplain serving under Eisenhower on the troop-transport ships and afterward on D-day. Your work is not without sacrifice and effect--may all my enlisted Angels be with you and all those that were affected in today's evil. You will be in my prayers as everyone in harm's way stays since 2001, and especially as the advent of March 2003 made me realize the morality of our blessed children-heroes carrying on--as they are directed--always with energy and resolve--protecting the freedom of our nation. May the Lord make his face to shine upon you...and give you peace.

God Bless You All! As Always, VPMM in Huntsville, Texas

Anonymous said...

I was moved by hearing your letter read on the air via the Hugh Hewitt show. I had to go back and read it aloud for my wife, so looked it up on your blog. We are grateful for what you're doing on behalf of the fighting men and the Gospel in the land of Iraq. Be strong, my brother. God is with us. He holds our eternity.

--Mark

Anonymous said...

God Bless You for all you do!

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,

As a parent whose son, my only child, is serving his second tour in Iraq with the 1/7 Marines, all I can say is God bless you and all those souls that ministered to the casualties this day. With an aching heart I often wondered that if my son were to die in Iraq, who would be there with him. Now I know and that gives me peace.

Proud Marine Mom of LCpl Jeremiah, 1/7 USMC, Iraq

frenchfamily said...

Chaplain Lewis,
Reading your post today brought tears to my eyes. May God Bless you all. Our family prays for all of our Brave Men and Women fighting and also for their families. We pray that God grants everyone courage and strength and that the families who have lost loved ones find strangth and courage throughout the days that pass. May God Keep you all safe from harm and help to bring comfort and to all the soldiers. God Bless
The French Family

Janette said...

Chaplain,

May God bless you and others who serve, not only our country but the allies as well. Please know that the vast majority of us at home support each and every one of you and pray for your safety every day.

May you all find comfort in God and your faith during these difficult times.

Janette Stripling

Anonymous said...

I too have been brought to tears this afternoon. My tears will shape my prayers. Words seem to be so little an offering but it is all I have right now. You are not forgotten.
Blessed be His name...even in this.

Stephen, Loomis, CA

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,
Thank you for what you do and for ministering to those men and women. Thank you for fighting on our behalf. Please know that we love, support and pray for all of you. Bless you.

Jason Bendiksen
California

Midwest Jay said...

Chaplin,

America prays for you and all the boys overseas. Tell the flock they are not forgotten.

Jay

PJ Swenson said...

I am not a very spiritual person, but I will be praying for all of you tonight, the first prayer from me in a long time.

Stay safe, and know that many hope you can accomplish your mission as quickly and as safely as possible.

Tim said...

Dear Chaplain - praying for you and the brave men and women who stand and fight through the most difficult of times.

Anonymous said...

Chaplain Lewis,
Seldom I'm at a loss for words...you touched my heart today.
May God Bless you and strengthen you as you literally face the fiery darts from the enemy.
My family prays for our troups, yourself and your love ones here at home.
May God bless and protect our troups!
Brad S. Lewis

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,

Please pass on to those to whom you minister that millions of us here lift you all up in prayer daily. May God give you wisdom and strength and bless your ministry.

Kevin

North Cal Prof said...

Chaplain Lewis,

My heart was in my throat when Hugh Hewitt read your letter. Its late night on west coast but still felt the need to post my feelings. Although I don't know anyone in the military, whenever we lose one of our soldiers I try to look up some info on the lost hero; a picture, bio, etc., and offer a prayer.

I believe in the power of prayer. There are many, many people praying tonight to give you strength. Let me leave you with the words of a great American president who offered his words of condolesences during another trying time. His words capture my feelings.

I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom. God bless you,

Nor Cal Prof

Anonymous said...

My prayers are with you and the gallant Americans in Mosul. I thank each of you for your courage, resolve, faith, patience, and generosity of spirit. You are in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans who thank you each and every day for you are not only helping the Iraqi people, you are protecting freedom, and you are protecting us.
God bless you, Catherine Glass

Anonymous said...

Chaplain,
As many have been that have read you words here....I am wordless, but so much want you know that many, many are so very thankful for your sacrifice and that of all our heroes....As I read your very touching post these Bible words came to mind.....I pray this be an encouragement...
This is found in the book of Hebrews 6:10....."For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

I sincerely thank God for you....S West, Missouri, USA

keith said...

God bless you and thank you for your service. PLEASE let the young soldiers know that they are countless Americans at home who support them AND THEIR MISSION.

Anonymous said...

Psalm 3:

O LORD, how many are my foes!
How many have risen up against me!
Many say of me, "There is no help for him in God."
But Thou, O LORD, art a shield about me;
my glory and the One who lifts my head.
With my voice I cry to the LORD,
and He answers me from His holy mountain.
I laid me down and slept;
I woke again, for the LORD sustains me.
I do not fear the myriads of people
who have set themselves against me all around.
Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God;
for Thou hast struck all my enemies on the cheek;
Thou has broken the teeth of the wicked.
Salvation belongs to the LORD;
Thy blessings be upon Thy people.
Amen

dolfinwriter said...

Chaplain Lewis, I appreciate your service to our troops. I am retired Navy, but I never saw combat and I do not know what it is to be shot at seemingly from nowhere.

I cried also as I read this post. You and the other chaplains and all of our troops make us proud with your bravery. God bless each one of you and comfort those who've experienced loss today and every day of this horrific struggle.

Thank you all for your service. Right-thinking Americans see this as the struggle against evil that it is and support the troops 100%.

Dr. Tax in Sacramento said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,
Thanks for your blog. I wake each morning and give thanks for the brave service that each of you offer to our country and ultimately to humanity. Democratic aspirations are among the noblest of earthly desires. Our efforts in the Middle East will ultimately diminish the evil impulses that caused people to do the dastardly acts - whose results you described in your blog. Vince bono in malum - we will vanquish this evil with the good that you and your comrades have brought to this region. I will remember you in my prayers. And please be assured that the vast majority of Americans have you in our prayers but also for the eventual return of peace to the region and the safe return of our peacemakers.

Bill Williams said...

Chaplain Lewis,

My thanks to you and to the brave men and women you serve with. You are in our thoughts and prayers

May God provide you stength and wisdom. And to the wounded, healing. And to the mourning, comfort.

Romans 8:18

B

Anonymous said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis
I heard your Mascal posting read by Hugh Hewitt on his radio talkshow. Your words and his voice brought home the great challenges that you and your colleagues face out there in Iraq. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the thousands of other brave soldiers who despite this traumatic time, continue to fight in the name of Freedom.
Q. Denver, CO.

Rahel said...

Chaplain Lewis,

You are doing such difficult and important work. I wish you strength and consolation.

God be with you always.

Becky said...

Dear Chaplain Lewis,

I was very moved by your account of the events of today. As a Christian RN I too have wondered if dying patients knew I was praying for them to accept Jesus. One thing I can assure you is that hearing is the last sense to go. They had found that comatose patients can remember conversations, events, etc. when no one thought they could hear. Even patients under anesthia knows what was said during their operation. Our Lord, indeed, do work in mysterious ways. You will be in my prayers as you minister to your flock. Please tell all those men and women how much their sacrafice means to all Americans who cherish the freedom we have. God, indeed, has you in the right place at the right time. Thank you so much for sharing. Many people are holding you and the other dedicated military personnel up in our daily prayers.

God bless you,
Becky

Klein said...

Chaplain Lewis,

I started praying for our men as soon as I heard the report 1630 GMT. When I heard your account on the Hugh Hewitt show I started praying again. You, indeed, are where God wants you. Thank you for your service. Please tell the men and women you minister to that many of us are praying for you. We are humbly grateful of your service to us. God Bless you all. You are in our prayers.

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