JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL -- 1st Battalion, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) hosted their quarterly Spiritual Fitness Luncheon at the Spates Community Center on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Nov. 23, 2020. The event featured the theme “Building a Spirit of Thankfulness.”
A string quartet from The United States Army Band played background music as Chaplain (Capt.) Al Castillo, 1st Battalion Chaplain, opened the event with a word of prayer. Castillo explained the importance of faith. He referenced the life of Winston Churchill and how Churchill turned away from the faith of his childhood, but returned to his faith when taken as a Prisoner of War.
“In a dark cell, when everything was lost, his family, everything he knew and his strength stripped away, all of it seemed to be leaving him,” said Castillo. “What held him together was prayer.”
Chaplain (Col.) Michael T. Shellman, Command Chaplain for Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region and U.S. Army Military District of Washington (JFHQ-NCR /USAMDW), joined the luncheon virtually with a message of “How to Build a Thankful Spirit.” He referenced 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to define what it means to have a thankful spirit and included a personal story of leading a marriage conference. He described an exercise where spouses shared what they were thankful for with each other. Shellman indicated that the couples were initially nervous, but by the end of the conference most had embraced and moved closer to one another.
"I could see the power of a thankful spirit at work," Shellman said.
Lt. Col. Richard Towner, 1st Battalion Commander, stated about the importance of teams - personally and professionally. Towner encouraged Soldiers to reach out to those who may not have family present this holiday season and to stay strong in their individual lives as well.
"This is the time to hold strong to your faith,” said Towner. “Stay strong for one another.”
The Spiritual Fitness Luncheon offers an opportunity for members of the different organizations and directorates within the JFHQ-NCR/USAMDW to gather and reflect on thankfulness and gratitude before the Thanksgiving holiday.