• Pfc. Josiah Williams, chaplain's assistant of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, reads along during a religious service offered by Lt. Col. John Meyer, chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade, during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 11, 2014.  (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Pfc. Haley E. Haile/Released)

    Chaplain works alongside troops in Guatemala

    Pfc. Josiah Williams, chaplain's assistant of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, reads along during a religious service offered by Lt. Col. John Meyer, chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade, during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 11...

  • Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, works alongside the soldiers of the 1430th Engineer Company of Michigan to construct a two-room school building at Conevisa during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 7, 2014. "It's a big deal for the chaplain to spend time with the soldiers on their work site," stated Col. John Findley, Task Force Oso commander. "He gains their trust so that they will feel comfortable talking to him."

    Chaplain works alongside troops in Guatemala

    Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, works alongside the soldiers of the 1430th Engineer Company of Michigan to construct a two-room school building at Conevisa during Beyond the Horizon 2014 ...

  • Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade in Minnesota, assists troops of 1430th Engineer Company 1st platoon from Michigan with constructing a new medical facility at Las Carretas during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 6, 2014. "When you are with troops you don't know its better to jump out there and work with them," Meyer explained. "It can make it easier for them to talk to me." (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Pfc. Haley E. Haile/Released)

    Chaplain works alongside troops in Guatemala

    Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade in Minnesota, assists troops of 1430th Engineer Company 1st platoon from Michigan with constructing a new medical facility at Las Carretas during Beyond the Horizon 2014 ...

  • Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade in Minnesota, discusses the construction of a two-room school building with Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Vitale, the site noncommissioned officer in charge at Conevisa from the 35th Engineer Brigade of Missouri, during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 7, 2014.  Beyond the Horizon is a joint partnership between the United States and Central and South America and the Caribbean to bring medical, dental, and engineering programs to the local communities. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Pfc. Haley E. Haile/Released)

    Chaplain works alongside troops in Guatemala

    Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade in Minnesota, discusses the construction of a two-room school building with Sgt. 1st Class Matthew Vitale, the site noncommissioned officer in charge at Conevisa from the...

  • Chaplain Lt. Col. John Meyer, chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, plays with one of the local children at the Conevisa site during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 7, 2014. Beyond the Horizon is a joint partnership between the United States and Central and South America and the Caribbean to bring medical, dental, and engineering programs to the local communities. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Pfc. Haley E. Haile/Released)

    Chaplain works alongside troops in Guatemala

    Chaplain Lt. Col. John Meyer, chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, plays with one of the local children at the Conevisa site during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 7, 2014. Beyond the Horizon is a joint partnership between the...

  • Chaplain Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, stands back with a soldier and watches soldiers of the 1430th Engineer Company out of Michigan work on the roof of a new two-room school building at Conevisa during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 7, 2014.  "He's going out and working and joking with the soldiers which allows him to get on their level," stated Pfc. Josiah Williams, the chaplain's assistant of the 372nd Engineer Brigade. "It makes him approachable, not seen as just another officer, and that provides an opportunity for them to just talk to him." (U.S. Army Photo by Pfc. Haile E. Haile/Released)

    Chaplain works alongside troops in Guatemala

    Chaplain Lt. Col. John Meyer (yellow hard hat), chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, stands back with a soldier and watches soldiers of the 1430th Engineer Company out of Michigan work on the roof of a new two-room school building at...

  • Chaplain Lt. Col. John Meyer, chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, spends some time playing with the children of the community of Conevisa while helping with the construction of a new two-room school building during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala, May 7, 2014. (U.S. Army National Guard Photo by Pfc. Haley E. Haile/Released)

    Chaplain works alongside troops in Guatemala

    Chaplain Lt. Col. John Meyer, chaplain of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, spends some time playing with the children of the community of Conevisa while helping with the construction of a new two-room school building during Beyond the Horizon...

ZACAPA, Guatemala - Lt. Col. John Meyer, chaplain and his assistant Pfc. Josiah Williams, both of the 372nd Engineer Brigade of Minnesota, joined a rotation of soldiers from all over the world during Beyond the Horizon 2014 - Guatemala. Beyond the Horizon is a joint partnership between the United States and Central and South America and the Caribbean to bring medical, dental, and engineering programs to the local communities.

Meyer held services for the soldiers who were interested, as well as hosted bible study groups throughout the rotation. Meyer and Williams both joined the troops at each site to provide a helping hand with the construction of the buildings and get to know the soldiers.

"It's a big deal for the chaplain to spend time with the soldiers on their work site," stated Col. John Findley, Task Force Oso commander. "He gains their trust so that they will feel comfortable talking to him."

Meyer has deployed twice, Kuwait in 2004 and Afghanistan in 2009; however, this is his first Beyond the Horizon mission. He provides multiple services to the troops including religious services, advisement of morals, ethics, and morale for the soldiers, and counseling of any issue.

"When you are with troops you don't know, it's better to jump out there and work with them," Meyer explained. "It can make it easier for them to talk to me."

"He's going out and working and joking with the soldiers which allows him to get on their level," stated Williams. "It makes him approachable, not seen as just another officer, and that provides an opportunity for them to just talk to him."

Page last updated Tue May 20th, 2014 at 00:00