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Serving God and Country: United States…

Serving God and Country: United States Military Chaplains in World War II

by Lyle W. Dorsett

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Recently someone petulantly asked me why the military even bothers to have chaplains? After all, pretty much all of our bases have plenty of churches around them and why couldn't the local churches take care of the spiritual needs of anyone that wanted to attend?

To give a short answer, military folks have to be ready to deploy to the other side of the world (if need be) and the military stands ready to send spiritual encouragers with them that know the military and get what serving is like. This book gives an overview of the different theaters of war and tells the stories of many of the chaplains deployed along with the US forces. Many of them did more than preach sermons. They wrote notification letters to the families of all member's who died in combat. They crawled along the front lines rescuing wounded and taking them to the medical help. Many of them were wounded and even killed. One Naval chaplain was awarded the Medal of Honor. Several were given Silver Stars or distinguished service crosses.

This book is an overview of what serving as a chaplain was like, the challenges it entailed, and shares a trove of anecdotes from servicemen who experienced the ministrations of a chaplain or were chaplains. ( )
  Chris_El | Mar 19, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425247864, Hardcover)

In World War II, over 12,000 Protestant ministers, Catholic priests, and Jewish rabbis left the safety of home to join the Chaplain Corps, following the armed forces into battle across Europe, Asia, North Africa, and the high seas.

They were officers who displayed uncommon courage and sacrifice. They were men of faith under fire.

And they would charge straight into Hell to save the soul of a single soldier…

Representing America’s three major religious traditions, thousands of volunteers from across the country enlisted as non-combatant commissioned officers to provide spiritual strength and guidance for those fighting men who never knew if they were going to survive to see another day.

Armed only with Bibles, Torahs, and the tools of their holy trade, these men of God went wherever the troops went—from the bloody beaches of the Normandy Invasion to the hellish jungles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa in the Pacific. They prayed over men about to march into combat on land, sailors facing Kamikaze attacks at sea, and bomber crews who could neither retreat nor surrender in the air. And, most important and difficult of all, they guided fallen fighting men of every faith as they breathed their last, and gave up their lives in the fight against tyranny.

These are the personal stories of some of the bravest and most selfless men who served with the armed forces. Many lost their lives or suffered debilitating wounds while serving as pastors to the troops. All of them battled the pain of separation from their own loved ones as they gave some of the best years of their lives to keep the military personnel spiritually awake, morally fit—and prepared to make the journey from this world to the next without fear or despair, and with the trust of the Almighty in their hearts.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:20 -0400)

Describes the personal histories of some of the ministers, priests, and rabbis who were part of the Chaplain Corps during World War II, seeing to the spiritual needs of military personnel as they followed them into battle.

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