264th CSSB Takes Alternative Approach To Feed Its Flock
December 9, 2009
CONTINGENCY OPERATING BASE SPEICHER, Iraq - The 264th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 15th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), unit ministry team at Contingency Operating Base Speicher offers constructive ways for troops to cope with life issues and remain resilient during adversity.
The team created spiritual feeding stations, which are bookshelves built by Sanford, N.C., native Sgt. Douglas Carroll and filled with spiritual materials, placed in a common area inside each unit, said Lt. Col. Steven Debusk, the 264th CSSB commander.
The material serves as an opportunity to reach the diverse needs of Soldiers, said Capt. Myron Johnson, the battalion's chaplain. Johnson supports the spiritual fitness throughout the 264th CSSB by making these resources available to help Soldiers through both professional and personal issues.
Staff Sgt. Silkia E. Ramos, a native of Clinton, Mich., and a human resource specialist with the 724th Transportation Company, refers to the station located near the entrance of her company headquarters as the "spiritual bookcase."
The bookcase offers a number of different Christian books and handouts, including Bibles and audio players loaded with sermons, Ramos said.
Johnson feels that the spiritual feeding stations serve as an additional method to reach Soldiers.
"These bookshelves in the company areas make the inspirational material more accessible to the Soldiers," he said. "When the materials are placed in an area where Soldiers frequent, they are more likely to use them."
Ramos echoed Johnson's sentiments.
"Considering the environment we are in and the stress that comes along with it, the spiritual guidance from our battalion chaplain and assistant, including the literature and audio players, mean a great deal to Soldiers who often practice their faith and seek spiritual growth," she said.
These spiritual feeding stations provide an additional method to minister and actively impact the Soldiers of the 264th CSSB while on mission or on the COB.
"There are many Soldiers who do not have easy access to spiritual feeding material due to the current operational tempo and frequency of missions," said Sgt. Jannette Calderon, a human resources specialist and member of the 2025th Transportation Company. "Soldiers appreciate good reading material to use during down time and during missions.
"Some Soldiers will not go to a chapel but if the material is there, they will pick it up and read it. Having a spiritual feeding table in our [tactical operations center] gives Soldiers an opportunity to get resources at any time," Calderon said.
"Having the spiritual feeding table has greatly benefited the personnel of the 2025th Transportation Company," she added. "Many Soldiers have thanked me for having materials available to them at all times."