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Fort Campbell Rakkasans enjoy Easter services

 

Written by U.S. Army Capt. Erik Alfsen
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 187th Infantry Regiment Chaplain

RakkasanFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division

Khowst Province, Afghanistan – As the sun rose on a beautiful day in eastern Afghanistan, hundreds of Soldiers from 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), came together to celebrate Easter, March 31st.

Eight different Religious Support Teams at locations across Khowst and Paktya provinces led more than 15 services for more than 400 Soldiers, Sailors, Airman and civilians throughout the weekend.

U.S. Army Capt. Erik Alfsen, chaplain, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), delivers the benediction to parishioners praying during Easter Sunday at Chapel Next at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan, March, 31st, 2013. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Army Capt. Erik Alfsen, chaplain, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), delivers the benediction to parishioners praying during Easter Sunday at Chapel Next at Forward Operating Base Salerno, Afghanistan, March, 31st, 2013. (Courtesy photo)

From large Forward Operating Bases, to small and austere outposts, many gathered to worship.

At Combat Outpost Sabari, a small group of Soldiers gathered for a Sunrise Service.

“It was incredibly meaningful for me to be able to attend services here in Afghanistan,” said Capt. Jeff Works, commander of Company B, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment. “Being away from family and loved ones over days like this can be difficult for us. Having the chance to worship with others on Easter meant a lot, and I’ll never forget it.”

U.S. Army Capt. Scott Norman, chaplain, 1st Squadron, 33rd Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), baptizes a Soldier in water on Good Friday at Camp Clark, Afghanistan, March 31st, 2013. It is a very rare oppurtuity for Soldiers to be baptized while deployed. (Courtesy photo)Several other worship services in the Brigade’s area of operations drew large crowds. At the chapel on FOB Goode, in Paktya Province, parishioners packed in to the plywood pews.

“Today is a day of celebration and hope,” said Chaplain Pete Stone, of 1st Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment. “Despite the pressures of our mission and stresses of combat, Easter is a reminder of God’s power and presence in our lives.”

“Our mission as a Religious Support Team is to bring Soldiers to God and God to Soldiers,” said Spc. Martell Williams, chaplain’s assistant with 3rd Battalion, 187th infantry Regiment. “Earlier this week we had several Jewish Soldiers participate in a Passover celebration. Today I saw a lot of people take a break from their busy schedules and come out to worship. It’s great to be a part of a coordinated effort to provide outstanding religious support to our Soldiers. That’s why we’re here.”

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), gather for Easter sunrise service while at Combat Outpost Sabari, Afghanistan, March 31st, 2013. (Courtesy photo)

U.S. Army Soldiers assigned to Company B, 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team “Rakkasans,” 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), gather for Easter sunrise service while at Combat Outpost Sabari, Afghanistan, March 31st, 2013. (Courtesy photo)


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