Garrison Chaplain Lt. Col. Charles Lahmon is a busy man even when he’s not working.
While on leave last week, he worked on his dissertation for a doctorate in history. “Hopefully I’ll defend it this month,” he said.
On Aug. 21, Lahmon was succeeded by incoming Garrison Chaplain Lt. Col. Matthew Madison, from the Army Contracting Command. Lahmon will continue to pastor the Protestant service at Bicentennial Chapel until Nov. 19 when Madison assumes that responsibility. A changing of the stole ceremony will be held at that time.
But Lahmon, 52, will still be around; his retirement ceremony is Dec. 8.
“I have really enjoyed the people I have worked with and served,” he said.
He became the Garrison chaplain in June 2021 after serving for three years as the Aviation and Missile Command chaplain. Though he has been serving as an Army chaplain since 2002, Army service wasn’t always his ultimate goal.
A native of Mount Vernon, Ohio, Lahmon initially joined the Army out of high school in 1988 with the intention of joining an Army band. Not only would the Army help him pay for college, but it would give him the opportunity to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional musician.
After completing his Army service, Lahmon went a different route: For seven years, he served as a pastor. But, sometime around 2000, he felt that God was calling him into a different form of ministry.
Lahmon’s wife, Lisa, felt that calling too.
“My wife was totally on board,” Lahmon said. “She was thinking the same thing without us talking.”
Since that day, Lahmon has traveled all over the world serving various Army units, including assignments at Fort Hood, Texas, and overseas in Germany and South Korea.
Traveling is a favorite pastime of the Lahmon family. The Madison resident and his wife of 29 years, Lisa, have four children: daughter Anna, 26, daughter Bethany Martin, 24, daughter Chloe, 22, and son Daniel, 19. His hobbies include caring for the family dogs, Scarlett and Lucy, both Yorkies; and studying history. Lahmon said he roots for The Ohio State University.
“He’s an outstanding chaplain and has unlimited compassion and care for Soldiers, families, civilians and retirees,” Linda Moseley, director of human resources for the Garrison, said. “He will be greatly missed both professionally and personally.”
Lahmon endured a personal challenge March 16 when he was the victim of a dog attack in his Madison neighborhood. His right shoulder was dislocated in the process; and he had to go to the emergency room so it could be put back in place. The chaplain, who is right-handed, had his right arm in a sling for several weeks.
“That experience taught me you really have got to look to others for support,” Lahmon said. “You can’t do everything on your own.”
He said this support applies not just physically but also emotionally and spiritually. He mentioned the four domains of the Commander’s Ready and Resilient Council, or CR2C: Physical Health, Behavioral Health, Spiritual Resiliency, and Family and Social Resiliency.
“Through that experience I realized how important it was to find support from others across those domains,” Lahmon said. “They’re all important and they’re all connected.”