Assigned to Arlington National Cemetary

I have the official word. My nomination to Arlington National Cemetery has been approved. I'll be transferring there toward the end of the summer.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/

Lots of stuff is in the air these days. I'm to have a wisdom tooth out in a few weeks. One finally decided to move after sitting still for 40 years.

It was a sad week for us here. We bid farewell to a one tremendous commander who past away over the weekend. This man was truly an outstanding person, someone I looked up to as an example of leadership and quiet Christian confidence. My wife and I had his family, and several of our chaplains, and the man's commanding officer over for Easter dinner. These opportunities to get involved and make a difference truly make it worth while to be part of this ministry. Once again my wife did an outstanding job putting together a first class meal for 20 folks. We all have our giftedness and our vocations for service. Together, we make a difference to one another.

I just returned from the ASF, the unit in the hospital that takes care of the wounded returning from over seas. I had quite a bit of opportunity for visitation and counseling tonight. I truly admire the Red Cross volunteers who are always there. Some of those volunteers seem as if they live there.

There is a great deal I'll miss about Andrews. I'll miss the 5 minute drive to work, especially fighting DC traffic to get to Virginia. I'll miss the incredible team I work with here at Andrews from our chapel staff to the folks in the units. I'll miss the great diversity in opportunities to reach out to our servicemembers and rub shoulders with them. I'll miss visiting with the wounded and leading my worship service.

But Arlington opens up new avenues for ministry. It provides the opportunity to honor those who have served their nation well and to comfort loved ones as they bid the family member goodbye. As a Christian chaplain I feel that I and my fellows have something to say about death. O grave where is your sting? O grave where is your victory? There is reason for hope and that reason is tremendous.

Today, I was asked to do an invocation for one of our Master Sergeants who was retiring after 22 years of faithful service. Being a Christian, he asked me to share a Christian witness and prayer. I spoke briefly from 1 Corinthians about the giftedness of folks and then prayed with thanksgiving for how God has used this man and his gifts to serve his nation and asked God to bless his continued life with service. This man gave a bold witness to the role that his faith has played in his life and his service. It was a true honor to share this moment and to be asked to speak to him, his family, and his friends.