Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Chaplain

Chaplain Dan Knight conducted the ceremony at my marriage and gave one of the best prayers I have ever heard. We were about to go on a "cordon and search" in Fallujah in '03 and he was asked to give a prayer before we rolled out........

"Lord, there are bad people out there tonight. Help us kill 'em. Amen"

Of course there was a Time magazine reporter in the crowd and that quote made it into the magazine. His superiors (chaplain - wise) did not find the prayer too...........whatever.

Anyway, here is a little article about him.

I have known some really great Chaplains in my day in the military. Chaplains in the Airborne and Special Operations always seemed to be more into their jobs than others...I once had a Green Beret Chaplain who always motivated the troops and put smiles on their faces, called cadence in unit runs, and was the most proud member of the unit. I wasn't very religious and didn't see the Chaplain for religious support, but it was very comforting to know that he was there, ready to listen, ready to be a medic for my heart and soul.

Here is someone you should know about - Captain Dan Knight - a former Green Beret A-Team Commander, Gulf War vet, HALO and Scuba qualified...Chaplain. I don't know Captain Knight personally, but I think he was an 18E in the 5th SF Group in the early 1990's. Some of you might have known him.

This via the Detroit News/Washington Post:

VOLTURNO BASE, Iraq — By day, this military camp is a self-contained American bubble in a bizarre setting. Off-duty soldiers listen to country music, watch big-screen basketball, eat grilled steaks, read e-mail from home and jog around an artificial lake, built on a landscaped former resort for Saddam Hussein’s cronies.

By night, the base becomes a launching pad for forays into another world that is equally surreal but far more dangerous. Lightless convoys rumble into the nearby city of Fallujah, where troops hop out and creep through deserted streets, searching houses for enemies and weapons. Then they rapidly withdraw, listening for the crack of gunfire and praying they will make it back to the base without a bomb exploding in their path.

On most missions, the raiders of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment are accompanied by Dan Knight, a strapping captain with a shaved head, an aw-shucks drawl and an awesome resume: 12-year Green Beret, Persian Gulf War combat veteran, Special Forces company commander, demolitions expert, high-altitude jumper and deep-sea scuba diver.

Knight carries no weapon, though he mightily wishes he could. Instead, tucked in his rucksack is a book covered in camouflage canvas that says “Army of the Lord.”

...Out in the field, though, the soldiers’ appreciation for his presence is clear. When the commando chaplain jumps into an armored Humvee bound for Fallujah, the nervous jokes stop and a sense of calm seems to pervade the soldiers gripping their rifles in the back of the vulnerable, open vehicle.

By the way, another interesting fact about him. He and his wife are high school friends with Faith Hill. After we got back from Iraq he invited her to come and do a free concert at Fort Bragg. And she did.

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