I’m back from my two weeks in Idaho (as my Facebook friends already know). It was annual training for my National Guard unit. I’m with an aviation battalion, and our Apaches spent the better part of two weeks practicing gunnery at Gowen Field and the Orchard Training Area. I spent my days wandering around between the base, the FARP (Forward Arming and Refueling Point), and the tower.
The first few days were quiet, and I was able to engage in “ministry of presence” while watching the operations. Then things got busy–lots of counseling and crisis intervention. At the tail end things quieted down again, and I was able to take a drive up into the mountains with some folks–saw lots of elk, mule deer, pronghorns, and a coyote. I went over to Mountain Home AFB to see a member of my last church, and then called her parents to let them know their baby girl was doing fine.
I got to know the full-time chaplains at Gowen, and one of them told me of a couple of Adventists who are full-timers, and I visited with them, too. One of the chaplains took me out to lunch one day–I was a little surprised when he (a Lieutenant Colonel) pulled up on his motorcycle and said to hop on board. I did, and off we went.