In the past few days I have received numerous e-mails from a wide variety of people all over the world. These e-mails have been from people in every walk of life who have some connection with the 1/125. Their questions have had a common theme. They have asked the question, “How are you (us) doing?” Internally, here at Scania I have been asked a similar question only it is often phrased a little different. Here I am asked, “Chaplain, how are you doing?” I have come to recognize this question for what it is. First, it is a legitimate inquiry into my well-being and I appreciate it. Secondly, people are saying, “Chaplain, how are we doing?” As chaplain I am a barometer of sorts. So, here is how we are doing.
Kyle Miller was a beloved member of this team. His death will mark time for the soldiers of the 1/125 not just in this deployment but across the horizons of our life. I can not quantify the sorrow of the men and women of this Forward Operating Base to even begin to tell you the depths of our grief. It cannot be measured in human terms. I can, however, tell you what we have done and then you can decide how we are doing.
We have stood shoulder to shoulder, braced against the pain of loss. When one of us could bear it no longer, we passed it to the next. We held each other up, we comforted each other and our families at home. And, Wednesday at 0900 outside of our dining facility in the warm morning air of Iraq we roared against the loss and we declared a greater truth than the pain we felt. We declared God’s victory over death and in our hearts and minds laid Kyle Miller safely to rest in the safe and guarded hands of Jesus the Christ.
In the days to come we will rise when we fall, and each time we will rise bigger, better, stronger and wiser. We will support one another as long as is necessary, we will laugh with those who laugh and we will weep with those who weep.
We could have cursed the darkness. Each of us has had the urge to do so. Instead, we have lighted the lamp of compassion, faith and hope.