Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: A Seeming Impossible Situation

By Chaplain John Hatfield, Rhode Island Army National Guard

Last quarter, I had a special need during our Annual Briefings that was met by a gracious God. I was asked at the last minute to give the suicide prevention brief for the Battalion. In addition to this tasking, I had to perform a wedding that afternoon.

In order to accommodate my schedule, the unit rescheduled all of the briefings for that day. In addition to these details, it was my last drill with this particular unit and I happened to be joined by the incoming Chaplain. Just as I was stepping up to the podium to give the brief, I was notified that there was a soldier in crisis down the hall.

For a moment I froze – what was I going to do? There were about 200 soldiers waiting to hear the brief, the unit had rescheduled the day on my account, I had a wedding to perform … but I had to minister to the soldier. I had a special need at this moment that I had not planned for.

Just then, I realized my need was already met by the LORD. His caring hand moved everything into place. Remarkably, not only was it providential that the incoming Chaplain was with us that day, but in addition, he informed me that he had just finished training on the brief and would be happy to give it.

My need had been supplied and by God’s grace, I was able to minister to the soldier in crisis. In this also the LORD supplied. He gave me just the right words to turn him from suicidal thoughts to taking control of his life and taking positive steps to change. While the soldier was not a Christian, I was able to point him to the One who was there for those in need – both small and great. He did not know that I was experiencing this reality at that very moment!

Chaplain Hatfield asks for prayer:

  • That the Lord would bless my labors at home with my children, as well as with my new unit – the 43rd Military Police Brigade, Rhode Island Army National Guard.

For more stories about CBAmerica chaplains, go to  To learn more about what it takes to be endorsed as a reserve military chaplain, contact Director of Chaplaincy, Andy Meverden, at

Honoring the Fallen

Honoring the Fallen: Processing Death on Deployment

By Chaplain Sean Callahan, USAR Deployed to Kuwait


On 14 NOV we lost one of our Senior NCOs from the 306th Engineer Company. The death was non-combat related, but the effect of his passing was felt widely throughout the ranks. He was a full-time Soldier (AGR*) in the unit for almost 6 years, and had a huge hand in preparing them for deployment.

The death of a Soldier launched us into a flurry of battle drills, and as the Chaplain, I found myself running point on many of the actions. For those in the military, the Memorial Ceremony is a sacred event. It is essential to properly honoring the Fallen, and allowing the unit to grieve and move forward. As a result, the demands of the Command are extremely high, and all eyes are on the Chaplain because it falls within his realm of expertise. This was no exception, especially because this Soldier was the first (and only) loss we experienced during our deployment.

During the process, God was incredibly gracious. He brought a lot of key staff members together who could handle the tasks that I assigned them with ease, and often went above and beyond in order to solve the many issues that inevitably crop up. Thankfully, Andy** had connected me with a fellow CBA Chaplain prior to the deployment who sent me a Memorial SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) that I was able to use in developing our own unit SOP. With that, the Theater SOP, and lots of prayer, I felt as prepared as I could be while in a position of leadership when the rest of the unit was reeling with disbelief and pain.

Soldiers and leaders alike were open to prayer and conversations during this time. Emotions were raw, questions abounded, and I was able to continually go back to Scripture in an effort to make sense of circumstances and provide true hope and peace to those involved. Memorials may be unwanted duties – because no one wants to experience a loss – but they are truly an honor to be a part of. God opened the doors to some gospel conversations with Soldiers who had never been open to those discussions before. Without a doubt, seeds were planted and I am trusting God to continue watering until they bear fruit.


Please join Chaplain Callahan in prayer for:

  • The Soldiers of the 854th Engineer Battalion as they reintegrate at home
  • Opportunities to share the Gospel
  • The Lord’s wisdom and discernment


For more stories of ministry by CBAmerica chaplains, military and civilian, go to To receive information on endorsement, contact Andy Meverden at



*AGR – “Active Guard and Reserve” (active duty Soldiers assigned to support Reserve and National Guard units)

**Andy – Part of my role as endorser is to support chaplains by providing ministry resources and networking them with other chaplains. In this case, I connected Chaplain Sean Callahan with senior Chaplain Dan Rice who provided current documents and guidance in Theater, prior to this sad event.