Fort Lee hosts prayer breakfast
May 12, 2011
By Amy Perry
FORT LEE, Va. (May 12, 2011) -- In observance of the 60th annual National Day of Prayer, Fort Lee held its annual breakfast at the Regimental Club May 5.
The guest speaker was Chaplain (Col.) James R. White Jr., the new Fort Lee garrison senior chaplain,
As he introduced White, Col. Michael G. Morrow, U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Lee commander, asked the audience to keep their leaders in their thoughts.
"This great nation that we all love so greatly has had some tough times, but through those tough times - things like famines, disasters, drought, tough economic times, depressions, periods of conflict and war - we've always endured," he said. "We've endured because of great men and women, like the ones sitting in this room who have come together and volunteered their service to this great nation. A lot of years and a lot of tough times, but we've always come out on high ground and done well as a nation.
"As we get together for our 60th National Day of Prayer, I ask you to hold a special place in your thoughts and prayers for our leaders at the national level and at the local level for all they do to help run this great nation and keep us strong," Morrow continued.
White has served in the Chaplain Corps since 1983 and has been stationed in or deployed to the U.S., Germany, Honduras, Saudi Arabia, Haiti, Africa, Iraq and the South Pacific.
His wife, Leta, and he have been married for nearly 40 years and he said they are happy to be here in Virginia.
"We love the Army - we love our armed forces," said White. "It's a joy to be here at the place where the generating force puts together the support for our Army. It's a joy for my wife and me to be here."
White spoke about spiritual resiliency and introduced the crowd to the work of Dr. Julius Segal, a psychologist and author. In Segal's book "Winning Life's Toughest Battles: Roots of Human Resilience," He discusses his life's work of providing therapy and assistance to thousands of prisoners of war and victims of hostage situations.
"One of the most devastating experiences that one can suffer in life is being humiliated by being a prisoner of war and trying to get over it," said White. "Segal worked with mostly Army folk and people who had survived traumatic trials in life - tremendous losses."
One of the concepts Segal discussed as an important part of resiliency was communication - being connected with meaningful relationships and communicating their issues with those relationships. White said relationships and communication are absolutely vital for spiritual resiliency, and the way to get a "GLO" in a life. GLO, or God, Loved ones and Others, is what makes each person have a glow about them.
"First, I want to talk about the 'O' in the GLO," he said. "Everyone here is the 'O" in the GLO for somebody in your workplace - someone in your environment. The 'O' is the others in our life - the significant other people. We probably spend two-thirds not with our families, but with the people we work with.
"It's the people around us who help put the smile back on our faces and help us through life," he continued.
White told stories about how his co-workers were the "O" for him, and in one story he spoke about a deployment where one day, he was unable to talk to anyone in his family and was upset, but a fellow Soldier spent time with him to cheer him up.
"When I left him that day, the smile was back on my face," he said "He was the 'O' in my life that day - he cared enough to listen, cared enough to hear my problems and my concerns."
The "L," or loved ones, is the family nucleus that surrounds us, said White.
"Don't kid yourself - no matter how busy we are, we must have time for family - it is critical for our spiritual resiliency and our relationships," he said. "The Army will come and go. Family is important. It is absolutely vital.
"Today, you're the 'L' in the GLO for someone," he continued. "It doesn't do us any good to hold grudges and to be angry. If we carry those grudges, it hurts us, not them. We do more destruction to ourselves. It's time to forgive, forget and love our families. Be the loving person you need to be for somebody in your family today."
As for the "G," White said that referred to God, something no one can be. White told the audience about a Soldier who was severely injured and through prayer, found comfort and the will to go on.
"The 'O' didn't work, the 'L' didn't work, nothing worked, but God was able to touch his soul," said White. "Our challenge is to let the GLO shine in our lives for others to see, so others will see and know that we'll worry about the significant others that we work with and see every day, our loved ones, and to draw that strength from God in a way that only God can give us."