By CourtesyNovember 1, 2013
By Julia LeDoux
Pentagram Staff Writer
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall Commander Col. Fern O. Sumpter recognized members of the Directorate of Resource Management at the quarterly directorate luncheon Oct. 30 at the Fort Myer Officers Club.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," she said to the civilians gathered together for the luncheon. "We've been through a lot. Every time, as a team, we've pulled it together."
That coming together in the face of adversity was also the theme of JBM-HH Installation Chaplain Lt. Col. Clyde Scott's address to attendees. He noted that many soldiers have experienced financial, marital and other personal problems due to serial deployments and spending significant amounts of time away from their families and loved ones.
"In its efforts to better enable returning soldiers to cope, the U.S. Army has launched a program called comprehensive soldier and family fitness," he continued.
The program has five dimensions - physical, social, emotional, family and spiritual, said Scott.
"A great amount of training time is devoted to physical health and conditioning, but total fitness also involves emotional and spiritual aspects," he noted.
Scott stressed that human beings are spiritual creatures.
"There's something inside of us that isn't controlled by the world around us, rather it guides our responses to the world around us," he said.
Scott shared that his father was an alcoholic who physically abused him when he was a child. That abuse, he said, left deep emotional and psychological scars.
"As I grew in my new found faith in the early '70s while serving in Germany as a 63 Hotel mechanic, I realized more and more the need to reconcile with my father," he said.
Before that reconciliation could happen and he could work on having a more functional relationship with his father, Scott said he first had to forgive him.
"The physical side of me was incapable of facilitating the healing necessary to develop the father-son relationship that I was so desperately looking for," said Scott, who had to engage his spiritual nature to begin the reconciliation process.
"It's this same external spirit that I encourage all of you to tap into more and more, especially when we are overwhelmed with life's challenges that constantly assail us," he said.
Scott said the military calls that resiliency and encouraged luncheon attendees to engage the external, the invisible, the eternal.
"My bet is when you intentionally engage your spirit, you will feel better equipped to deal with others, including your supervisor, your co-workers, your customers, more patiently, with empathy and compassion," he said.
Sumpter presented each awardee with a commander's coin.