Thursday, May 24, 2007
Over the past two weeks my commander, LTC Silverman, has taken me with him to visit one of the primary political leaders in this district: Sheikh Heiss. LTC Silverman believes an invitation to religious leaders to be a part of the rebuilding process is long overdue. He hopes Sheikh Heiss will be helpful in brokering a relationship with religious leaders, and wants me (his chaplain) involved as well. Anyone aware of my professional work prior to becoming a chaplain knows this is right up my alley. And yet I see such interaction as very extracurricular compared to my responsibilities to Soldiers and their family members. I am looking forward to meeting the religious leaders (imams) in the area, and discovering in what ways we can work together to further our mission of stabilizing the Jazeera province. I include a few pictures here as an illustration of our visits, the food we eat as the Skeikh's guests, and one picture of Sheikh Heiss' son, Adam, amazed at the tattoos on SGT Tremain's arm. Also included is a picture of young girls reaching out for candy thrown by the gunner on our truck.