'Duty Day with God' program offers relief to CAB Soldiers
Chaplain (Capt.) Tony Cech, battalion chaplain, 209th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB), "Lobos," 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), leads a prayer at the summit of Mount Mauna Kea, which at 13,796 feet is the highest point in the Pacific Basin, during a 'Duty Day with God' trip to the Twin Keck Observatories during a rotation at the Pohakuloa Training Area on the Big Island of Hawaii, Feb. 9. (Photo by: Sgt. Daniel Schroeder 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs)

POHAKULOA TRAINING AREA, Hawaii - "I am physically and mentally tough, trained and proficient in my warrior tasks and drills. I will always maintain my arms, my equipment, and myself," is part of the Soldier's Creed. Part of a Soldier's training is to be physically fit to complete their job to standard. The second part, being mentally tough, is being able to withstand the hardships and sacrifices of being a Soldier in the U.S. Army.

The Army has developed innovative ways to help improve and maintain a Soldier's mental health throughout the years. One way is to help strengthen the spiritual health of a Soldier with the help of Army Chaplains.

"Lobos" Soldiers, assigned to 209th Aviation Support Battalion (ASB), 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB), took the opportunity to go on a Duty Day with God led by Chaplain (Capt.) Tony Cech, battalion chaplain, 209th ASB, 25th CAB, to the Twin W.M. Keck Observatories on Mount Mauna Kea as a way to relax from training and provide a chance to talk with the chaplain.

This 'Duty Day with God' helps reduce stress and serves another purpose for Cech.

"I wanted to be able to take Soldiers on a trip to help them relax and for me to try and build a relationship with them," said Cech. "I wanted the Soldiers to see an approachable chaplain for anything that is bothering them. I also wanted them to see that the chaplain goes everywhere the Soldiers are."

While on this Pohakuloa Training Area rotation, the chaplain flew out to the training site and traveled to all the ranges and training events the Soldiers were conducting. Visiting the Soldiers while conducting training gives the Soldiers a chance to relax and reduce stress.

"After going on this trip with him, I found Chaplain Cech to be approachable and I would be comfortable going to him with any issues," said Spc. Francisco Asuncion, a motor transport operator, A Company, 209th ASB, 25th CAB.

The trips hosted by the chaplain are educational as well as a relaxing.

"For younger Soldiers who come and train, the most they see is just the training environment. I get a chance to take them to see something else, to see the world. I wanted to take them up to the Keck Observatories on Mount Mauna Kea because it is a great spot to see and also give the Soldiers a chance to see what educational opportunities are around the island," said Cech.

The Keck Observatories allow visitors on a daily basis and are near the summit of Mt. Mauna Kea, the highest point in the Pacific Basin at 13,796 feet.

"I thought that the trip to the observatory was amazing. The scenery was breathtaking, it was a great spot to see and visit," said Asuncion.

"I think that I [have developed] a closer relationship with [many of] the Soldiers. I feel like they can come to me with any issue that they may have and look forward to helping them," said Cech.

Page last updated Fri February 25th, 2011 at 16:28