Chaplain gives 'sermon on mount'
September 12, 2013
FORT SILL, Okla. -- Normally, Soldiers associate a terrain run with concepts of a unit running on an off-road trail with a mixture of dirt, grass and loose gravel.
Sometimes small hills are thrown into the equation to make the intensity of the journey more challenging.
100th Brigade Support Battalion Soldiers went several steps further -- participating in a three-mile spiritual fitness run up the winding paved and steep roads on Mount Scott at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge near Lawton.
At the completion of the run, the "Century" battalion held a prayer breakfast on the summit.
The event culminated with a nontraditional sermon on the mountain which featured Fort Sill's new Installation Command Chaplain (Col.) Matthew "Father Matt" Pawlikowski as the keynote speaker.
"The fifth pillar of master resiliency training is spiritual fitness so we combined two elements: the physical conditioning and replenishment by nourishment for the body through food, and the spiritual element, which was given by devotion by Chaplain Pawlikowski," said Chaplain (Capt.) Nathan Whitham, 100th BSB chaplain.
Pawlikowski read the "Century" battalion Soldiers a story about Father (Capt.) Emil Kapaun, a Korean War era chaplain, who died during the war as a prisoner of war. His family recently received his Medal of Honor, which was awarded for his actions in Korea.
Kapaun was a well respected man who took many risks to save Soldiers' lives. These risks ranged from acquiring extra rations to feed malnourished Soldiers to running through enemy fire to recover his wounded brothers in arms.
"One of the main things I took from Chaplain Captain Kapaun was his bravery and courage," said Spc. Kadeame Houston, 15th Transportation Company.
The New Orleans-native said Kapaun's willingness to steal food, including an attempt to kill a hog, pray regardless of how his captors threatened him for performing the religious act and many other courageous acts helped inspire him to continue to help others even if it's the unpopular thing to do.
"Men find it easy to follow one who has endeared himself to them," is one of Kapaun's enduring quotes.