Chaplain Geoffrey Whitaker
Recently, a retired military doctor contacted me asking if I could help her track down a chaplain she had encountered briefly at a VA hospital. The two had talked about the chaplain's amazing life story and she wanted him to know she was praying for him.
That chaplain was Capt. Geoffrey Whitaker, garrison chaplain at Contingency Operating Base Marez, Iraq, with the Regimental Fires Squadron, 278th Armored Cavalry Regiment, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary).
Chaplain Whitaker was a Navy SEAL in 2003 when he suffered a traumatic head injury after a fall from a helicopter in a speed rope accident that crushed his skull.
Even though he received immediate care and life-saving brain surgery, doctors pegged his chance for survival at only 10 percent and an even smaller chance of recovery if he did survive.
But the doctors weren't counting on the power of prayer to raise those percentages. Whitaker made a complete recovery, returning to full duty within a year.
After his recovery, though, Whitaker went back through the cards and expressions of care people had sent, and he realized that upwards of 60,000 people around the world had prayed for him. That number, more than beating the odds of recovery, changed his life. The impact of the outpouring led him to swap his SEAL career for the military chaplaincy.
After I was able to track down Chaplain Whitaker, the doctor who had contacted me was able to correspond via e-mail with him. I was so pleased to be a link in the network of people who care for each other's well-being.