Sunday, November 8, 2009

Flags at Half Staff

All the flags on Camp Adder are at half staff to honor the dead at Fort Hood. One of the national guard brigades where a friend of mine works flies the Texas State Flag next to Old Glory. Last night at dinner she was saying everyone in her shop mobilized out of Hood and went through the facility where the shooting occurred. Many of the national guard soldiers are full time and work at Hood. They know people, civilians and military, who work at that facility and were frantic for a while wondering of someone they knew was a victim. No one was. It seems the victims soldiers getting ready to deploy. How horrible for their families to lose their soldier before he or she even gets on the plane.

Earlier this year when an American soldier was captured in Afghanistan, most soldiers turned and watched the news when there was something about that soldier, then turned back when that segment was over. It has been that way since the shooting. If there is a report from Hood, people watch, if not they turn back to their conversation. The darkest comments are of the WTF variety "What the F#$k were they thinking when this scum bag was admiring suicide bombers on blogs and trying to get out of deploying."

I was talking to another friend before this tragedy about chance and Providence. CS Lewis, following Boethius (The Consolation of Philosophy), says we live in a created world in which chance and randomness rule the lives of every creature except those who are following God's will for their lives. This may seem like abstract theology, but at times like this and 9/11 and other tragedies, if you believe the created universe is determined down to the movement of particles, then an event like this can only be God's will. A field-grade officer murdering his fellow soldiers is not God's will. The Lord gave us free will and at times like this I wish it were otherwise. But we are free to love, or not. So right now to this random act of violence we are all free to do the Lord's work in caring for the victims and their families.