By Mr. Robert Timmons (IMCOM)July 20, 2018
The air was electric, charged with the anticipation of Soldiers not really sure what was going to happen next.
"They are going to be surprised," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Rodie Lamb, Deputy Garrison Chaplain. "They are going to be shocked because we haven't given them any heads up about" what to expect.
Trainees were told they could go to a worship service if they would like, but never told it was going to be something outside the norm for Basic Combat Training.
When the pounding base rippled through the Solomon Center the trainees realized they were in for a special treat at the Combined Protestant Worship Service July 15. They would be listening to contemporary Christian musicians and to a service from the Billy Graham Ministries.
Sgt. 1st Class Tiffany Stephens, non-commissioned officer for the Garrison Chaplain's office, almost let the cat out of the bag when she briefed the trainees that they would be able to leave their seats and told them they "would have a good time."
It didn't take long for the celebration to be on. Seconds into the first song by hip-hop artist Daelee, trainees crowded the stage jumping and waving their hands in joy.
"It's really fun and exciting," said Pvt. Isai Viae, a trainee from 3rd Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment and Edinburgh, Pennsylvania native. "It really gets me motivated."
Motivation was one goal of the service, Lamb said, but also to expose them to a different kind of religious service altogether and to create a celebration.
The celebration kicked into high gear when Kutless, a hard rocking Christian band from Portland, Oregon, hit the first notes of their cover of the Collective Soul classic "Shine."
"I was never really expecting this at all," Viae said.