I am a retired Army Chaplain with 21-years of service. I served 5-years in the Army Reserves from 1992-1997 as a combat engineer and as a Chaplain Candidate; I also served over 16-years on active duty from 1997-2013 as a Chaplain. I was medically retired from the Army in August of 2013 due to symptoms of severe PTSD. My journey of dealing with PTSD began in August of 2007 while deployed to Taji, Iraq with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. The journey from Iraq in 2007 to where I am today was a slow, agonizing, desperate, painful journey that was filled with hopelessness, a sense of helplessness, and a sense of loss. This journey led me down the road of suicidal ideations and behaviors, deep depression, withdrawal from family, friends, society and even God Himself. a Journey that found me hospitalized three times due to suicidal behaviors. I also entered into a three-month stay at the Waco, Tx PTSD treatment program and a three-week Intensive Out Patient treatment program at the Road Home Program for veterans with PTSD. Over the years God has used many people in my life to help move me from the depths of spiritual struggle and deep despair to experiencing the healing of God’s power as he is healing my storm of PTSD.
I have always focused on ministry and sought to meet the spiritual and emotional need of people throughout my life. Starting at Age 16 I taught Jr. High Boys Sunday school classes and I served as the class chaplain from my sophomore to senior year in High School. During college, I preached weekly at the Baptist Rescue Mission downtown Los Angeles, served two internship in Albuquerque, NM and Riverside, Ca. During Seminary, I was the acting Chaplain at Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa and served a year internship in Brownsburg, IN. After seminary, I pastored a church in Portage, IN, until I was called to Active Duty in 1997. After I retired from the Army I volunteered with Teen and Adult Challenge in San Antonio, Tx. I am currently developing the Healing The Storm ministry, an outreach for veterans, those struggling with the symptoms of PTSD and those simply caught in their own storms.
While serving on active duty my duty station and assignments included
FT. Hood, Tx assigned to the 3-82nd Field Artillery Battalion, 1st Calvary Division
Helemano, Hi, assigned to the 125th Signal Battalion, 25th Infantry Division (L)
Schofield Barracks, Hi assigned to the 3-7th Field Artillery Battalion (L) 25th Infantry Division (L)
Ft Jackson, SC assigned to 2-39th Infantry and 2-28th Infantry Battalion, Basic Training Units.
Ft. Hood, Texas, assigned to the 49th Movement Control Battalion, 13th Corps Support Command.
Ft. Hood, Tx Assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Calvary Division.
Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, assigned to the Garrison Headquarters as the installation Chaplain.
Sam Houston, Texas, assigned to the Garrison Headquarters as the Deputy Installation Chaplain.
My deployments include:
Camp Tuzla, Bosnia 1999
LSA Anaconda, Iraq 2004
Hurricane Katrina Relief 2005
FOB Taji, Iraq 2006-2008
My other interests include:
Model railroading and building my Southern Pacific railway layout as time and money permits. Mostly as money permits, I always have the time but not the money. Creating your own world is an expensive endeavor.
I buy and sell railroad themed memorabilia and ephemera mainly from the 1950’s at local train shows and on eBay. Hopefully I make enough to fund the creation of my own railroad world.
I also buy and sell items at the local flea market, which is a challenge because I never know what types of items will sell from week to week. I mainly do this once a month just for the fun of it. Although, I am waiting to sell that one item for a couple of hundred million dollars so I can buy my own Caribbean island or maybe my own cruise ship.
My wife Beth and I enjoy traveling with our 41 foot Fifth Wheel as much as we can. We have grand adventures planned each year, but are usually hindered by time, the cost of diesel and the outstanding towing mileage of 9 MPG of my Ford F-350. This has the unfortunate side effect of limiting how far we can go.
When we are not spending hundred of thousands of dollars on diesel to fill my 110 gallon tank, we love to cruise. We mainly cruise out of Galveston as it’s about a 4-hour drive from San Antonio. The only problem with going out of Galveston is there are only 3 itineraries to explore and they all include Cozumel. We have been to Cozumel so many times that we have set up our own P.O box there. When we get bored with the three itineraries or want to explore deeper into the Caribbean we usually cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale or Cape Carnival.
I am attempting to learn to play the Banjo and doing a fairly good job at it, in fact in 2016 my daughter and I made a trip to the Grand Ole Opry! Of course we just sat and enjoyed the show, although I was a bit disappointed that no one asked me to come up and pluck “Do Lord” on the banjo. But that is alright, I still have time.