By Sgt. Daniel D. Haun, 300th Mobile Public Affairs DetachmentDecember 6, 2012
RICHMOND, Ky. (July 20, 2012) -- Pastor Dan Bottrell and the Faith Baptist Church in Richmond, Ky., reached out to members of Task Force Wildcat participating in Operation Golden Cargo July 15 in a burgeoning program called "Patriot R&R."
The church provided home-cooked meals and chapel services to Soldiers participating in the annual training operation sponsored by Joint Munitions Command and executed by Reserve Component units.
"We have at our church a desire to minister to the military," said Bottrell. "Across the street from our church is the Blue Grass Army Depot, where there are a group of men that come through every two or three weeks and they perform a great responsibility to our nation … we want to, as a church, befriend them, to love them, because of their sacrifice and service to our country," he said.
During many Army training exercises, home-cooked meals can be a precious commodity, as field rations and Meals, Ready-to-Eat are the norm. Bottrell said his church wanted to provide the Soldiers with a home away from home.
"Every week, we prepare a home-cooked meal following the morning service. We pick up a group in our bus, bring them over, and feed them a meal," said Bottrell. "We want them to feel at home: they sacrifice, they have given so much of themselves to our country in the way of service and sacrifice."
"We're desiring to be a blessing, and all that we ask in return is that they come," explained Bottrell.
Chaplain Candidate Lt. Blake Law, with the South Carolina National Guard's 1050th Transportation Battalion and Task Force Wildcat, coordinated with Faith Baptist Church to ensure his Soldiers were fed and taken care of.
"I take care of soldiers," said Law. "My job here is to be the church, wherever the Soldiers are. I represent my church, I represent my faith, I represent my beliefs, and my job is to be with the Soldiers, to care for them and provide and help them with whatever they're going through spiritually," he said.
"Right here at this church we've been invited by the pastor to have a worship service and they've offered to feed us all a good meal," said Law. Their heart and their vision is to serve the Soldiers, just to say thank you, just to be a blessing to us," he said.