Fort Hood Sentinel
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Prayer breakfast joins Soldiers, civilians

Email   Print   Share By Joy Pariante, Sentinel Staff
March 25, 2010 | News
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Specialist Dean Dasilva, 69th ADA Bde., leads the group in the prayer “For Our Leaders and Commanders” during Fort Hood’s 2010 National Prayer Breakfast at Club Hood March 17. Joy Pariante, Sentinel Staff
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Soldiers bow their heads in prayer at the end of the 2010 National Prayer Breakfast on Fort Hood March 17. The event was meant to help servicemembers and civilians in the community find the time to gather in fellowship despite their busy schedules. Joy Pariante, Sentinel Staff
Leadership, junior Soldiers and civilian members of the Fort Hood community joined together at Club Hood March 17 for National Prayer Breakfast 2010.

Annual National Prayer Breakfasts at military installations are modeled off the breakfast held in Washington D.C. each year where thousands of people, including U.S. presidents and international heads of state, gather together in faith and fellowship.

The event at Fort Hood gives military and civilian community members the chance to take an hour out of their hectic schedules to reflect on their service to the nation, their commitment to each other and their role in serving a higher purpose, said Rod Chisholm, deputy garrison commander. “Spiritual fitness programs, like the National Prayer Breakfast, offer a unique and comforting strength to our team here.”

Attendees were treated not only to breakfast, but to original prayers written by Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Joel Lytle, community pastor, Installation Chaplains Office, and music by a small group from the 1st Cavalry Division Band. Lytle’s prayers were written to help focus the event on the faith of the large Soldier contingent on Fort Hood and included “For Our Leaders and Commanders,” “For Our Fallen Warriors,” and “For Our Enemies,” and were read to the crowd by Fort Hood Soldiers.

The breakfast’s focus was intended to bring more junior Soldiers to the event and get them involved in the faith community, said Chaplain (Maj.) Alva Ray Bennett, Spiritual Fitness Center coordinator. “We all experience things where the only source of help is beyond ourselves,” Bennett explained. “It’s times like this that the help comes from God.

“Our faith has a number of benefits,” Bennett continued. “It gives us purpose outside of our own little world. It helps us be in touch with the big picture; something that’s bigger than us and individuals and it helps us to put our experiences in the proper perspective.”

All of these faith-based qualities are important to Soldiers whether they’re training, deploying or redeploying. Having faith can give troops an added capability towards mission accomplishment.

“Faith is what gives us the strength to fight,” explained Spc. Matthew J. Kaiser, 4th Brigade, 1st Cav. Div. “If it wasn’t for God, we wouldn’t have the country we do and our faith is what makes us stand out from everyone else.”

The National Prayer Breakfast guest speaker was J.C. Watts Jr., a former congressman and active participant in a number of ethics and legal groups. Watts credits his faith for giving him the drive to spend his life in service of his country and its citizens.

Watts focused his comments on the concept that a person’s standing in heaven is dictated by how much of their childhood awe and wonder they can maintain throughout their lives. Through anecdotes about his children, Watts told the crowd how they can find their inner child and how valuable it can be.

“We get so grown up, so sophisticated, so educated, so well groomed that we can’t see what God sees,” Watts explained. Watts talked about the little things like admiring the world around us and putting complete faith and confidence in God.

He said God wants us to balance growing up and becoming successful without losing the relationship with Him. “Man’s love is often conditional, but God’s love is unconditional.”
 
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