By SSG Andrew PorchFebruary 28, 2013
PINON CANYON MANEUVER SITE, Colo. -- The sounds of laughter, song and prayer filled a tent from Troop D, 1st Squadron, 10th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during a religious service at a Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, Feb. 26.
Major Douglas Ball, brigade chaplain, 2nd BCT, and Capt. Rodney Gilliam, chaplain, 2nd Special Troops Battalion, 2nd BCT, took the opportunity to visit multiple training sites and hold a religious service at the "Darkhorse" maintenance area.
The chaplains wanted Soldiers to show Soldiers they care about them and are there if they need to talk.
"For many of them, I provide a different avenue," said Ball. "One of the advantages of the chaplains is our confidentiality. The Soldier can talk to me about an issue and it necessarily wont go back to the command. It doesn't get reported up, so it gives them a safe person to talk to who is outside of their normal realm."
Soldiers appreciated the chaplain coming out to visit them.
"It is a really good feeling to have the chaplain conduct a service for us," said Staff Sgt. Devon Thomas, track vehicle repair, Troop D. "It's a morale booster to have him come out here; a real pleasure."
Ball thinks of visiting and counseling Soldiers as more than just a job. "it reminds me why I joined the Army and what I'm really in for," said Ball. "I am always amazed at getting to know new Soldiers and finding out their life stories, why they joined the Army and what their goals and dreams are. It reminds me that there are a lot of faces behind what we do."
Ball also engaged the leadership.
"I think they are pleased,' said Ball. "I think they want avenues for their Soldiers to talk to somebody. They know what they can provide, and they know what the chaplain can provide. It sends a message that we are concerned about more than just accomplishing the mission; we want to take care of them and their Soldiers."
Soldiers, even though out of their normal surroundings, used the service to come together.
The feeling of being away from home is put aside and the feeling of coming together as one and knowing the chaplain is here for everyone helps, said Thomas.
Ball, along with the chaplains from the battalions, plan to visit the training sites often and engage Soldiers as much as possible.
"We are working to push all chaplains out to other battalions to make sure Soldiers and battalions without chaplains get an opportunity to see someone."