Around 400 people filled Thunder Mountain Activity Centre Tuesday to observe the installation’s National Prayer Breakfast.
Attendees were greeted with prelude music by the Military Intelligence Corps Band Brass Quintet, a welcome introduction from Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Ken Godfrey, and a breakfast buffet. After the meal, the Soldiers and Civilians listened to readings from the Prophet Isaiah, the Apostle Paul and the Prophet Jeremiah. Then they participated in prayers for the nation, Soldiers and their Families.
This year’s prayer breakfast theme focused on the spiritual component of readiness and resilience in the Army. Retired Army Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Douglas Carver, guest speaker, threaded the theme of spiritual resilience into his presentation.
Instead of making an entrance by walking to the podium, Carver seated himself at a piano to open with two worship songs, dedicating the performance to his mother who recently passed away.
“There’s something about music that touches the soul,” he said. “If you hear nothing else from what I’m going to share this morning at the resilience breakfast, this will bless you.”
Carver reflected on the rugged landscape on the installation, stating that the Fort Huachuca community had the opportunity to see the “glory of God” in the mountains. While noting Fort Huachuca’s natural beauty, he shared that often in the Bible, mountains represent problems, obstacles, troubles or threats. Carver said that observing these mountains is a reminder that life has many of them.
He elaborated on how the military faces its own set of mountains. His examples of “mountains” the Army faces include increase in suicide, sexual assault, sexual harassment, bullying, hazing, substance abuse, depression and domestic violence.
“In many respects those ‘mountains’ cannot be solved by the knowledge and the intellect of humanity,” Carver explained. “We must look beyond ourselves to almighty God and cry out for help in our time of need. I have found that to be very comforting and very true.
“That’s why the military has proposed this Readiness and Resilience Campaign. We have to stay ready and resilient even though these mountains of difficulties have weakened us and stressed us out,” he added, and stated that the last 13 years of war have also affected troops.
Throughout his speech, Carver shared his own and others’ spiritual anecdotes with the audience. He concluded with the following advice to help audience members become resilient — live for a noble purpose, live life with courage, love those you serve, and look for ways to do what you can on behalf of others.
For Sgt. 1st Class Beverlee Burton, senior chaplain assistant, Network Enterprise Technology Command, having Carver in the room as guest speaker was very emotional as she explained she served under his leadership when he was chief of chaplains.
“He has always been an inspiring, true pastor not only to Soldiers but especially to his chaplains and chaplain assistants, and so today was just a reflection of that continuing in retirement,” Burton said. “It’s always wonderful to see his ministry.”
Pfc. Tyler Carrin, Select Honor Guard, said he found the guest speaker to be both informative and motivational. He said how he liked hearing about Carver’s experiences with spiritual crisis and motives.
The National Prayer Breakfast is a tradition dating back to 1953 and the Eisenhower Administration. The Fort Huachuca National Prayer Breakfast was hosted by the Religious Support Office with the assistance of the Thunder Mountain Activity Centre, garrison directorates, partner units, the MI Corps Band, chaplains, chaplain assistants, Civilians and chapel volunteers.