By Mrs. Beth Clemons (ACC )January 23, 2014
When planning began for the Operational Contract Support Joint Exercise 2014, spiritual fitness was integrated into the exercise.
According to Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Wiesalaw A. Dynek, U.S. Army Contacting Command, bringing the church to exercise participants was vital.
"It is important that our Soldiers don't have to leave their duty stations to receive spiritual guidance. By being a part of OCSJX-14 we ensure the church comes to them," said Dynek, a native of Poland. "My priority is to be with the Soldiers, wherever that may be."
Also providing spiritual services during OCSJX-14 is Air Force Chaplain (Capt.) Curt Jetton, 96th Test Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.
"As we role-play this natural disaster scenario, it is vital we include spiritual services because in a real-world event, we would be on the ground to provide guidance and counseling to first responders and those affected," said Jetton.
"When there is suffering, people may find themselves hanging on by a thread. Practicing their faith allows them to stay focused on the mission," said Dynek, one of less than 100 Catholic priests in the U.S. Army.
Jetton, a Protestant, explained that not only is he providing worship times, but counseling to all participants.
"We also act as liaisons to the local religious community. It's my job to provide spiritual wellness but if a specific religious leader is needed, I will seek them out from the community and ensure all religious needs are met," said Jetton.
Protestant and Catholic services are being offered both Sundays during OCSJX-14. See the exercise website, http://ocsjx14.tumblr.com, for full details.