Tuesday, July 13, 2010

So I Called the Chaplain. . .

If I told another soldier the stuff I wrote in yesterday's blog post, he would say, "Call the Chaplain."

So I did.

I called Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Kevin Cramm, one of the senior chaplains at Fort Sill.  He loaned me a Cannondale road bike to ride during my two-month train-up at Fort Sill.  He is an avid cyclist himself, currently riding about 100 miles per week.  

We talked for about half an hour this morning.  He is going to Afghanistan or Iraq soon and asked me how I was adjusting to civilian life.  I told him life seems a whole lot more complicated now that I am back than it did when I left.  

Chaplain Cramm is Regular Army and a few years from retirement.  He said he was reserve at the beginning of his service but had 100 days of active duty as a reservist and decided he might as well go full time.  

I told him him how clear priorities seemed in Iraq compared to here.  He laughed a lot when I told him about the day I had five different things to do, but the battalion commander wanted me on a flight to Al Kut and Baghdad.  I asked the BC if I had to go given the other stuff I had to get done.  He said, "Suck it up Gussman, this is a war."  So I went.

Chaplain Cramm said he likes the military for that reason--people are direct about what they need and he can be direct.  

It was fun to talk to him.  Now I can be thankful that I had a year of the clarity of focus on the mission and keep trying to sort out all the conflicting priorities in the complicated world back home.

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