Skip to comments.Army chaplain thankful for ‘blessed life’
Posted on 06/30/2014 3:54:55 AM PDT by markomalley
Capt. James D. Murray IV told the congregation of Grace Church of Aiken on Sunday evening that he leads a blessed life helping people with so many needs as an Army chaplain.
Murray is based at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
He and his wife, Ashley, and their two children, 5-year-old Margo and infant JD, live in a house on the base.
We can hear cannons and machine gunfire from our home, Murray said.
Murray is assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, whose members are known as the Iron Rakkasans.
He previously was in an aviation unit, and he served in Afghanistan in 2012 and 2013.
The 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment is the most deployed battalion in the Army, Murray said. They are viewed, at least from my commanders perspective, as the most elite killers in the regular Army. They are the ones that the Army looks toward to really do the bad business.
Murray described the soldiers he works with as tough, strong and disciplined. But, he added, they also experience a lot of anxiety and stress, and they are hurting.
Alcoholism, divorce, infidelity and post-traumatic stress disorder are among their problems, he said.
Ive had guys tell me that they had the gun in their mouth and that they took it out and didnt know why, Murray said. Ive had guys who have cut their wrists.
Murray tries to assist and comfort soldiers facing difficulties in a variety of ways.
He does little things like give them candy and cookies. On a more serious level, Murray teaches couples how to strengthen their bonds and leads classes about suicide prevention.
Ive had guys being accused of spousal abuse come into my office and by the end of the counseling session, Ive led them to the lord, he said.
Murray also conducts funerals and does death notifications.
Its really hard and really challenging, but its a great honor, he said of the latter.
Murray has a boots-on-the ground approach to his job.
It means that as a chaplain, I am there with the soldiers, he said. When they go out on the range, go out on a road march or whatever theyre doing, I try to place myself with them. I dont sit in my office and wait for them to come to me. Im there with them trying to connect with them.
Murrays wife is involved in his ministry, and she spoke briefly about her role providing support to soldiers spouses and other family members during Murrays presentation at Grace Church of Aiken. Margo also contributes her time and effort.
Ashley and I tell Margo that she is a military minister of the gospel and that she is a part of the chaplaincy as much as we are, Murray said. She doesnt do the preaching, and she doesnt go out in the field environment. But she is telling people about Christ. She is reaching out to encourage people.
Great article. Thanks for posting.
A good chaplain is a great think.
I thought christian chaplins, as opposed to non denominational chaplins were not wanted any longer, I hope I’m wrong about that.
Any chaplain brought on active duty must first be endorsed by a religious endorsing agency, normally a denomination. In the case of independent churches, they also have independent endorsing agencies to which such prospective chaplain can apply.
The military chaplain's responsibility is then to be a fully ordained representative of their denomination while serving as a chaplain. Additionally, a chaplain will have some non-religious duties that touch on religion: (1) advice to a commander on morale as affected by religion, and (2) counseling, observing, and at rare times, administrative control (not command control ever).
This chaplain sounds like a very capable representative of whatever endorsing agency that has approved him for active duty.
thank you for this post
God bless this man and all chaplains who serve our military
Thanks for the ping. May God continue to bless him and his ministry.