By Mrs. Jennifer Bacchus (AMC)March 7, 2019
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- The depot's annual Chaplain Care Team Prayer Breakfast is a time for members of the workforce to come together in shared faith and fellowship.
"We are blessed not only to celebrate our faith here, but all the faiths represented across the country and their diversity," Col. Joel Warhurst, ANAD's commander, told the group during his remarks.
This year's event, held Feb. 22 at the Berman Varner House, featured Chaplain (LTC) Scott Koeman from the Tank-automotive and Armaments Command, the depot's higher headquarters.
The theme of the day was Faith and it was shared in each message - from songs to scripture and Koeman's message to the crowd.
"At the end of the day, what true faith is for each and every one of us is a deep knowledge and conviction of what it is we have placed our faith in," said Koeman. "You can't make it up."
He spoke about one of his overseas deployments, in Kuwait in 2003 as the Army was preparing to enter Iraq.
During that deployment, he had the opportunity and privilege to minister to several members of the 507th Maintenance Company.
He named several of them, saying how concerned the young Soldiers were about facing conflict for the first time. Since they were in a maintenance unit, he soothed them by reminding them they would be far behind the main battle lines.
Koeman shared with the crowd, as he had for those Soldiers, how important faith, belief and trust in God were.
He reminded everyone that God does grant wishes and he may not always answer a prayer in the way his follower wants.
Though they were several hours to the rear of the main battle forces going into Iraq, and even a few hours behind the chaplain, the 507th saw combat during the entry into Iraq.
Last in a column of 600 vehicles from the 3rd Infantry Division, the group made a wrong turn and went into Nasiriyah, where they were ambushed.
One of young Soldiers who had spoken to Koeman in the months leading up to the invasion was killed in action.
Koeman knew he had been saved prior to the battle. He had performed the Soldier's baptism himself.
Another specialist he ministered to was taken prisoner by the Iraqis and held from March 23 to April 13, 2003.
Months after her release, when she next saw Koeman, she thanked him for the numerous conversations and for the worship services during which they sang "Amazing Grace." She had used that song to comfort her in captivity.
"I can't answer for you all the intricacies of why God does this or that, but I can say this - God is real," said Koeman. "He doesn't promise us a long life, but he does promise us eternal life."