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Chaplain Corps anniversary

July 29, 2012

Tags: Military chaplaincy, military chaplains

On Friday, the U.S. Chaplain Corps celebrated its 237th anniversary. Congratulations, chaplains!

The U.S. military has had chaplains almost from its inception. The official start of the military chaplaincy is widely considered to be July 29, 1775. On this day, Congress recognized chaplains in the national army with a standing equal to that of captain and a monthly pay of $20.

Perhaps it was the actions of early chaplains that persuaded Congress to recognize their service in this way. Three months earlier, one Revolutionary War chaplain had impressed General George Washington with his selfless and tireless devotion to the troops. David Avery, a pastor from Vermont, served as captain of a group of his parishioners, bringing them down to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in April 1775 after the Battle of Lexington and Concord. There, they were assigned to a regiment and Rev. Avery became a full-time chaplain. Two months later, he saw combat at the Battle of Bunker Hill. For his service, Chaplain Avery was lauded as:

"Intrepid and fearless in battle, Unwearied in his attentions to the sick and wounded—not only nursing them with care, but as faithful to their souls as if they were of his own parish—with a love for his country so strong that it became a passion—cheerful under privations, and ready for any hardship—never losing in the turmoil of camp that warmth and glowing piety which characterizes the devoted minister of God."

Chaplains have continued serving our country, in peacetime and in war, their courage and selflessness noted and recognized time and again. Thank you again for your service, chaplains!

Recognition for a hard-working chaplain

July 11, 2012

Tags: Chaplains in MMG, Military chaplains

Chaplain Lamar Hunt (Photo by ocala.com photographer Alan Youngblood)
One of the chaplains in Miracles and Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories from Military Chaplains was recently honored by the Military Chaplains Association.

Chaplain Lamar Hunt, a retired Army chaplain, received an award for his years of volunteer service in retirement.

His story in my book, "The Whispered Service," is one that many readers comment on. In the story, he tells of leading a silent worship service in a Vietnam jungle surrounded by the enemy. It is a moving story in which Chaplain Hunt reveals that this service is the most memorable service he has ever conducted, whether in a small chapel or in a grand cathedral.

Chaplain Hunt has also been mentioned in a recent book by Gen. George S. Patton Jr.'s grandson, “Growing Up Patton” by Benjamin Patton, published this year. Patton is the son of George S. Patton IV and grandson of Gen. George S. Patton Jr. Patton said one of his father’s favorite chaplains was Hunt because they both spent so much time in combat in Vietnam.

I just want to say congratulations, Chaplain Hunt, for your well deserved recognition on many fronts. It has been an honor working with you.