As a former Marine officer and CH- 46 Sea Knight pilot, Navy chaplain LT Brian Crittendon felt a calling and made a dedication of service in one other path—his “Soul Practice” thought was warmly welcomed and definitely served a goal. (Photograph by LtCol Craig H. Covert)
tendon reported to the 2dMarDiv at Camp Lejeune, solely this time within the uniform of a sailor, not a Marine.
Deploying to Iraq in 2005, LT Crittendon arrange store inside a derelict railcar on the deserted Al Qa’im prepare station, generally known as “The Soul Practice” by resident Marines. Ministering to the lads of 3d Battalion, Sixth Marine Regiment, Chaplain Crittendon confronted considered one of his hardest days in November 2005 when an rebel ambush wounded 12 Marines and killed 4 of their comrades from second Bn, 1st Marines.
Speeding to the ahead resuscitative surgical suite (FRSS), Chaplain Crittendon prayed for the useless and wounded. “I had two major roles whereas I used to be down there. One was to minister to those that have been damage … to make contact with them, pray with them, encourage them and to deliver them as a lot consolation as I [could]. The opposite [was] to keep watch over the employees and to be a presence there [for] the non secular encouragement of the employees.”
Crittendon continued. “There have been factors the place I used to be placing my arms round surgeons and nurses and technicians who have been having a protracted day. We stopped, and I held prayer for everyone who was concerned.”
Crittendon recalled the second the regimental commander walked into the FRSS, encouraging his wounded Marines as surgeons struggled to avoid wasting a fellow Marine who in the end died from his wounds. “I view these males as being, in a way, ministers to their nation,” stated Crittendon of the Marines with whom he serves.
“They’ve a mission. … They’ve been known as as a lot to their job as a warrior as I’ve been known as to be a minister.” Crittendon rapidly modified the subject with a lighter remark. “The nice-news story for me, particularly as a minister, [was when] a younger man discovered his religion and requested me to baptize him a couple of hundred yards from the Syrian border, along with his firm. … It’ll all the time be a spotlight [for me] as a Christian minister.”
Each chaplain who experiences fight ministry comes away with a larger appreciation for the women and men they serve. “There’s little doubt that being in fight, with rounds coming and IEDs [improvised explosive devices] going off, that these Marines have a really totally different life than sailors [in] a ship,” defined Chaplain White of RCT- 8.
“It’s life or demise [here]. Whereas I can go on a cruise and are available again with everybody alive, that’s not the case right here. There may be undoubtedly a degree of dedication and a degree of threat that far exceeds something
we’ve had on a provider. Though you possibly can lose your life on a flight deck very simply, the rubber meets the highway right here.”
Editor’s word: LtCol Covert, a Marine Corps Reserve officer, is assigned to the Subject Historical past Department of the Marine Corps Historical past Division in Quantico, Va. He deployed to Iraq in 2005 with II MEF (Fwd) and picked up 240 oral histories, to incorporate these of the chaplains featured in his story.