Former Army Chaplain speaks at Stewart's Easter Sunrise Service
April 8, 2010
<b>FORT STEWART, Ga. </b>- Marne Garden ushered in Easter morning with a message from Chaplain (Col.) Scott McChrystal (Ret.), that God is alive.
"His resurrection affects the past, the present, and the future," began McChrystal. "The past because our sins can be forgiven, the future because of the promise of eternal life, and the present because the Holy Spirit can come inside us."
The brother of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, relayed his Easter message to an overflow crowd in the garden adjacent to what was once Trent Field.
Though he informed the crowd at the start of the message that he was going to get down and dirty with the present, there were several points in McChrystal's speech that were personal and evoked emotions from persons in the crowd. One was of the life-saving drug that brought his father back from the brink of death, even after all hope had been lost.
McChrystal went on to tell the crowd how his young son Rob fell from a 10-foot diving board onto solid concrete, directly in front of him, in 1986.
"I have seen death and more in my career, but this was my son," he said. "The temperature was over 90 degrees and though all my training had told us to not move an injury, I had to move him off the concrete and place him on the grass."
McChrystal continued, "His lips were turning purple, and so were his fingers. Judy, my wife, came over and began to pray. The hospital on Fort Bragg was only a mile away and normally I as the chaplain am allowed in to see patients. When they (hospital staff) realized the patient was my son, I was forced to wait for hours."
Many in the Easter crowd felt there could not be a good outcome to the story. There was stillness in the air as everyone waited for the rest of the story.
"After three hours, a doctor came to get me and take me where my son was," said McChrystal. "There he was on a gurney; his color had come back, but the doctor removed several binds from him. He (the doctor) then said, 'Son, you can get up and walk out of here with your Dad today.'"
McChrystal also shared another personal event about how doctors had given up on the unborn child that his daughter-in-law was carrying. "There were no positive outcomes for the birth of Jillian, but I stand here today to tell you that she is now 17 months old and living normal."
He told the crowd that he would not take for granted that everyone is a Christian, but did say that all need to connect with the resurrection.
"What people see of Jesus many times is what they see in you and me," McChrystal said.
This is not the first time that McChrystal has been to Fort Stewart, and he noted that as he walked along Warriors Walk, the reminder of what a sobering place it is overwhelmed him.