Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Padres on the frontlines in the GWOT

From War on Terror News:

Padre reflects on Paras' Afghan experiences

A People In Defence news article

18 Feb 11 The Reverend Robin Richardson, currently deployed to Afghanistan with 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, here reflects on some of the experiences his soldiers face on the battlefield and the benefits of talking.

The Reverend Robin Richardson

The Reverend Robin Richardson,

Chaplain to 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment,

currently deployed to Helmand province, southern Afghanistan
[Picture: Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

At one of our patrol bases last week many of the lads were involved in an operation in an area in which we are still facing a high level of resistance.

They had been out on the ground for nine hours when they were contacted by heavy machine gun fire from a tree line just a couple of hundred metres away. Forty kilogrammes of kit per man, and tired after hours on the ground, yet their reactions were as sharp as they always are.

They returned fire, got themselves into cover and fought the battle. It was afterwards when everyone was back at the patrol base and brews had been drunk that I sat and chatted with Dave - or 'Shanky' as he is known - and Phil.

Dave joined the Army 17 years ago and is full to the brim with banter and self-confidence. But a couple of months back I saw, in a time of rare transparency, the man that has made Dave such a fine medic and such great company...

I have a special place in my heart for our Padres/Chaplains, who take service to a whole new level in the GWOT. Go read the rest here.

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