Army

January 25, 2013

National Prayer Breakfast recognizes nation’s rich religious heritage

Chaplain (Lt. Col. [P]) Ken Godfrey

Our nation has a rich religious heritage. A large number of the early settlers of North America fled religious persecution in Europe to seek religious freedom. Many Founding Fathers had strong religious beliefs, primarily from a Judeo-Christian background, and founded our nation on religious principles.
Their religious beliefs were inclusive of the person’s right to worship according to his or her beliefs. Under the ideal that there should be no state-sponsored religion, they were determined to establish a nation in which all people could freely express their faith.

The Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights for a religious and moral people. James Madison said, “We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government — far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the 10 Commandments of God.”

Come celebrate America’s Religious Heritage by attending Fort Huachuca’s National Prayer Breakfast, Feb. 12, 6:30 – 7:30 a.m., at the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre. The theme is “The Healing Power of God.” Tickets are available for a donation of $5 for sergeant E-5 and Department of Defense civilians G-S5 and below, and $7 for those above the aforementioned rank and grade. Tickets can be obtained from unit command sergeants major, first sergeants and at the Main Post Chapel.

The speaker will be The Honorable Allen Clark, wounded on June 17, 1967, at an isolated jungle camp in Vietnam. Mortar shrapnel wounds necessitated the amputation of both his legs. During a 15-month stay at Brooke Army Medical Center, he encountered severe post traumatic stress that required a 14-week residence in a closed psychiatric ward and six years of anti-depressants and psychotherapy. At the time he was an Army military intelligence captain attached to a special forces unit. He was decorated with a Silver Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

His journey of recovery was long and arduous, marked with periods of deep despair. This was due to 20 leg surgeries and ongoing issues which were diagnosed and defined years later as PTSD.

However, he did not let his physical wounds and disability detract from his intent to care for others and serve his nation. He served in the federal government as an assistant secretary in the Department of Veterans Affairs and later as director of the National Cemetery System. Both these presidential nominations required U.S. Senate confirmation.

With his additional service for nine years at the Dallas VA Medical Center, he has had extensive experiences and personal contact with hundreds of combat veterans. His life-long journey of physical, emotional and spiritual healing led him to his calling of service to other wounded and troubled veterans through his Combat Faith Lay Ministry. His story is an inspiration to all Soldiers who are injured during deployment, particularly for those injured by mortars and IEDs.

For more information, contact the Garrison Religious Support Office, 533.4748.




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