Faith Under Fire

I just finished reading the book "]Faith Under Fire " by Roger Benimoff. Although I'm not an Army Chaplain - or even pastoring right now - I thought the book was excellent and well-thought out. The book is actually an autobiography of a chaplain who served overseas and came home with PTSD, but there are a lot of similarities to the position of chaplain and the position of pastor.

If anyone is interested in a taste of what the book is about, you can read the Newsweek article that inspired Benimoff's book (Benimoff was interviewed for Newsweek, then told he ought to write everything in a book, which he did).

Here are two excerpts from the Newsweek article that I thought described the plot of the book best:

It is up to military chaplains to help relieve battlefield stress, even as they may be suffering themselves. According to a 2006 military study, 27 percent of chaplains and their assistants in the field reported burnout levels that were "high" or "very high." Some of the potential effects of what the Army calls "provider fatigue" are acutely troubling for chaplains: hopelessness and doubts about spirituality...

Many chaplains think that war strengthens their belief and the spirituality of the troops they serve. "It is the trials of life that ultimately help us to grow in our faith," says Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Trent Davis, who was deployed to Iraq in 2005. He recalls one soldier who wasn't much of a believer at home but decided to read a Psalm each day while deployed. The day the soldier started in his vehicle across the Iraqi sands was the day he read from Psalm 23: Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil. "After that his faith grew much deeper," says Davis.

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