Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Back on August 1st, I wrote about the 2,800 Iowa National Guard troops returning home from their deployment to Afghanistan.  The first of those companies began arriving around July 16th and the last in early August.  Three months ago in most cases.  So much has happened in 90 days.  Just ask the families if you think there hasn't been changes in their lives.  As we head into November and the Holiday Season there will be more change, for sure. 

Over the course of the next couple of blogs,  I will be reaching out to people to help offer some thoughts, direction and or realizations of what might be necessary to smooth waters for the soldier and their families. Many have suggested that 90 days seems to be a water mark to some extent and that it's then that you begin seeing issues come to the surface.  Is your soldier struggling.....does he or she seem disconnected....not really in tune?  Below you'll find the thoughts I had on August 1st.....and how they remain foremost on my mind today.  Let's go back three months ago.    

As the 2,800 Iowa National Guard soldiers and their families begin their post-deployment lives we need to become active in our thoughts and actions in ways our communities can come alongside and provide support.  Today, I'm not quite sure what that will look like, but I do know we need to now, more than ever, pray for the road we are about to embark on.

"Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.  The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all humankind.  From where he sits enthroned he watches all the inhabitants of the earth-- he who fashions the hearts of them all, and observes all their deeds.  A king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.  The war horse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.  Truly the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine".-Psalm 33:12-19

This past week has provided me an opportunity to see God at work.  I've seen people with little association with the National Guard wanting to come alongside and help.  If I haven't told you before, our church, Lutheran Church of Hope in West Des Moines is bringing a satellite church to the Johnston-Grimes, Iowa area.  The "start-up" missions team of the church feels a calling to support Camp Dodge and the soldiers which is right down the street.  Ironic, huh?  Now realize, the church is not even scheduled to open its doors until early Fall.....but God has placed the need of these soldiers and families at their feet and they are moving.  In the coming weeks, the Johnston-Grimes group is hopeful of sharing some pretty special things....stay tuned.   

If you have any ideas that you'd like to share on the subject of support feel free to connect with me at   Maybe you'd like to put something together for your community and you are inquisitive...that would be cool. I mentioned in the headline, "The Battle Lines Are Redrawn".  It's time to earnestly pray for the soldiers, their families and God's direction in providing HOPE.

A job????  Many don't have one to return to.

Three months ago, there were celebrations in the HOMECOMING, that is now a distant memory to most.  Real life issues have replaced many of those warm and fuzzies.  Returning to normal, finding employment and relationship issues are but a few of what is taking place in those 2,800 minds.  Being aware and being there to HELP, in any way, shape or form is what is needed next.  We'll hear from some of those people who have seen and walked and talked these experiences in the coming days.



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