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Top chaplain assures units of their need

POSTED: October 4, 2007 5:04 a.m.

By Sgt. Natalie Rosek
Special to the Coastal Courier (Hinesville, GA)

FORWARD OPERATING BASE HAMMER, Iraq — Army chief of chaplains Chap. (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver visited chaplains and chaplain assistants of 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Sept. 15, during a trip here.
Before sitting down with religious leaders to discuss mentorship and soldier welfare, Carver took a tour of the brigade headquarters. During the tour he asked soldiers a question.
“‘How are you doing?’” is the most important question soldiers can ask each other,” Carver said. “Not just ‘How are you doing?’ but ‘How are you really doing?’ and really listen to their answer.”
After the tour Carver met with chaplains and chaplain assistants of 3rd BCT and the 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron residing at FOB Hammer.
“Soldiers need us,” he said. “They need us for encouragement, comfort, relieving their fears and encouraging their hope.”
Carver said when soldiers return to the U.S. from their current deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom they are going to need guidance from their religious leaders to return to normalcy from a stressful 15 months.
After emphasizing the need for chaplains and chaplain assistants in armed forces units, he warned the religious leaders of compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue is caused by the stresses of providing constant sympathy and empathy to Soldiers on a steady basis. Carver encouraged religious leaders to take time for themselves.

 Rosek is a journalist with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd ID Public Affairs

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