By Butch Wehry
Academy Spirit staff
Staff Sgt. Christopher Thompson’s assignment to Bagram Air Field hospital as chapel operations NCOIC could crush or strengthen his faith.
“I talk to family members of wounded warriors back at home,” said the deployed chaplain assistant from the Academy’s Cadet Chapel. “I talked to the mother of a Marine whose son had just lost both his legs and was currently asleep. She asked me to pray for him out loud while I had my hand on his head and she was on the phone. She said I was a great blessing, I just said what I think Christ put in my heart to say.”
The pace and ambience at Bagram is distinctly different than at the cadet chapel.
Back at the Academy he is normally stuck behind his desk in the chapel.
“We only have three chaplain assistants,” said the NCO from Nashville, Tenn. “As the NCOIC I don’t get a lot of time to do visitation. There is paperwork and additional duties that take up the greater about of my time.
“I try to get my Airmen out to do visitation but even then there is still a lot to do at the office. Something always suffers and suspense’s have to be met,” he said. “Here, there is not so much paperwork and I can devote my time to the hospital staff and the patients. It calls for some long hours but it is all worth it.
“I work here with U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Egyptian, Polish, French, British and Swedish militaries,” said the 10-year Air Force veteran. “It’s all for the helping of people. It is remarkable. The only challenge is language. We all have the same goals, so that makes it easy to work with them. We all want to save lives.”
Deployments are not new to this NCO who was at Manas Air Base, Kyrgyzstan; November 2003 to March 2004; Balad Air Base, Iraq, January 2006 to May 2006; and, Camp Victory Baghdad, Iraq, October 2007 to January 2008.