By Norman Shifflett | Garrison Public Affairs Office
FORT CARSON, Colo. — The National Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for people from various faiths and backgrounds to come together and unite for a prayer for the nation.
About 500 Soldiers, Family members and guests from the local community attended the annual Fort Carson National Prayer Breakfast Feb. 6, 2020, at the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center.
“The most important part of this breakfast is that it shows the people of America we can come together as different races, colors and creeds and pray for the safety of our nation and hope for the greatness to continue,” said Col. Robert Glazener, senior mission command chaplain, 4th Infantry Division.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower started the tradition of the breakfast in 1953. At the first breakfast, Eisenhower addressed 400 political, religious and business leaders and said, “all free government is firmly founded in a deeply felt religious faith.”
The nation has continued to honor the first Thursday of February with the National Prayer Breakfast and past keynote speakers have included Bono, the front man for the band U2 and humanitarian; Tony Blair, former prime minister of the U.K.; and Darrell Waltrip, sports broadcaster and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee.
This year Fort Carson invited Oscar Roan, former NFL player for the Cleveland Browns and founder of Oscar Roan Ministries.
Roan’s story is one of joy and sorrow. While in college, Roan received many accolades for his athletic ability on the field and basketball court. Even with all his success, he said his life still felt empty. He developed a drinking problem during this time and started to question the meaning and purpose of life. He met an evangelist who helped him find answers. With his new found faith he was able to overcome his drinking, save his marriage and find a sense of direction and a purpose in life.
“The greatest lesson I ever learned was that you have to be very careful who you listen to because bad information will cost you your life,” he said.
Roan was referring to a time he played football against one of his childhood heroes, Carl Eller. He asked a veteran player about Eller and was told he was old and slow, and Roan had nothing to worry about.
He lined up against Eller and was going to take it easy on him. When he quickly realized his hero was not going to do the same, Roan decided he was going to hit Eller as hard as he possibly could. The ball was snapped and when Roan woke up, he realized he received bad information.
Roan informed the attendees he was there to pass on some good information to the warriors.
His message was a simple one: even warriors can be afraid, tired and disillusioned, and they should not be afraid to ask for help.
“What I took away was that we are never alone when we are at our darkest,” said Spc. Alexis Garwood, 2nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div, who was attending her first prayer breakfast.
Garwood said the breakfast gave her insight to take each day one at a time.
“I think he was spot on to remind us as Soldiers that we need to reach out to God and to friends to remember where we came from, so we can have that strength to continue through all the struggles we have in life,” said Glazener.