I returned to the Anthrax Chapel this morning for Church. The last time I was in it, I was part of a gas mask training exercise that ended with a test of how fast we could put on our mask. This morning there were no gas masks, but many of us had weapons.
Church looks different when 40 or so men and women in camouflage with weapons are singing hymns. The sermon was about the difficulty of hearing God's voice. The chaplain is a man who readily tells jokes and had one on himself on this topic. He opened the sermon by saying that if we traveled back in time a hundred years or more the thing we would notice most was the silence. (Since I was seated in the Amen corner, I shouted Amen at this point. I was alone.) Then he pointed to his shirt pockets saying he had two cell phones, and when he is home he lives alone, leaves the TV on and listens to the radio/CD the whole time he is in the car. His advice was to hear God's voice by seeing needs and meeting them.
But for many soldiers, they can have more silence in a barracks than in many places back in the real world. Soldiers are serious about sleep and lights out rules mean the metal music and slasher movie fans have to put on headphones at lights out.
We don't have formation today until 1300 (1pm) and the whole barracks is quiet because most everybody is sleeping in. Many of these soldiers live in homes with TVs and other media on constantly.
Going to war may be the best chance they have for a few months of real quiet.