Latter-day Saint Life

What a US Army Chaplain Learned After Missiles Breached His Unit's Defenses


MR says: Even in the darkest and most terrifying situations, the Lord still extends peace and has much to teach us.

A number of years ago I had an experience which taught me a lesson regarding the heeding of timely warnings.  The memory of it stays with me to this day.

Heeding Warning Signs During Combat

I was in a combat zone with my US Army unit in Saudi Arabia during the First Gulf War. Our Iraqi enemies were firing SCUD missiles at us.  These missiles were armed with explosive or chemical and biological warheads.

We had an excellent defense system in place.  Our combat aircraft were destroying launch sites inside the Iraqi border as a deterrent, and our Patriot Missile Air Defense systems were tracking and destroying the SCUDs mid-air.  Nevertheless, every time our detection systems indicated a launch was imminent, sirens alerted us and we left whatever tasks we were attending to — or our bunks at night — and rushed to the underground bunkers constructed for our protection.  Inside we all hurried to put on the protective clothing (MOPP Gear) each soldier kept at arm’s reach, 24/7.

Complete with a charcoal filter lining, the over-garments were heavy and awkward.  Rubber gloves, over-boots and a protective mask with hood made the wearing of the gear extremely uncomfortable in the 120 degree temperatures of the Arabian Desert.  The soldiers detested the gear and complained bitterly every time the warning system sent us scrambling — which could be as often as two or three times in a 24 hour period.

Lead image from LDS NET.
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