CHBOLC: Day 60 “Traumatic Event Management”

Today was another day spent in a sobering class. We spent probably the last 90 minutes of the day watching and discussing footage of traumatic events, most of them from the current war the military is involved in.

There was one that was particularly difficult for me to watch. A passing convoy was hit by an IED. An M113 armored personnel carrier was flipped over on its back from the force of the explosion. This vehicle weighs over 12 tons and was flipped onto its back like it was a toy. The convoy came to a stop and soldiers rushed in to assist their fallen comrades. Normally, the insurgents will stop recording video shortly after an explosion and get out of Dodge. They don’t want to be around when the cavalry arrives. My stomach started to sink as the video drug on and the insurgent continued to film. I knew what was coming, but was praying that I was wrong. I wasn’t. While soldiers continued to pull their buddies out of the wrecked APC and aid the wounded, a second IED went off, catching well over a dozen soldiers in the open. The Sergeant Major teaching the class today did not know the casualty count as a result of that attack, but I’m sure it was significant.

Watching the video was hard and reminded me how incredibly daunting the calling to the Chaplaincy can be sometimes. I pray that I am never in a unit that faces a day like the soldiers in the video faced, and if I ever am, I pray that God would grant me wisdom and strength in helping others cope with the tragedy and in coping with it myself.

Sorry so somber, it’s just been weighing on my heart all day.

Psalm 3:1-3

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