Service to God and Country has traditionally been paramount to citizens of the United States of America. In fact, the history of the US military chaplain dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Unfortunately, an alarming trend away from these principles of purpose is creating a vacuum of spiritual leadership among the ranks of our fighting men and women in the military.
Since the time of General George Washington, military leaders have valued the spiritual guidance of unit chaplains. Although the value of such insight and advice has remained, there exist fewer and fewer chaplains to provide it. Currently, there are hundreds of vacancies in the Army chaplain corps and the Army is seeking new ways to ensure that the men on the field maintain a spiritual connection.
No matter what plans Army leaders put in place, the effectiveness of such plans relies directly upon the participation of men and women of faith. Without such spiritual leaders, the military, much like society in general, is falling rapidly into a permanently secular organization.
Nobody said that living a life of faith was easy. Then again, what better way is there to live than a life of dedication to Jesus Christ, instilling the values and message of the one true savior in the lives of those who protect us daily?
In 2001 the Army instituted a program titled, "Finders Keepers" to help bolster their declining chaplain population. It is efforts like this, and others, which offer proof that while the media may portray the government as an anti-God establishment, there are those in high governmental position that recognize, desire and actively seek the participation of people of faith.
We should not let down our fighting forces. Instead, we should answer the call and lift up God's name in remote corners of the world normally inaccessible to our influence. There are men and women sitting on cold, tiled floors at basic training camps every day seeking truth. There are men and women burdened with heavy gear in hot arid climates around the world who need the power and the might of Jesus Christ to lean upon.
Let us use the tools freely provided by our military to reach soldiers and civilians. Make no mistake, if men and women of the one true God abandon their posts at such a crucial time as this, the enemy will attack and overrun those who do not have access to the truth of the gospel. Don't become a chaplain out of guilt, become one through a true calling from God. There is ample evidence that He is calling, loudly. Who will answer the call and be all that He asks us to be?
Patrick Whalen is Christian husband, father, historian, writer, Civil War Reenactor, and outdoor enthusiast.