Why I Want to Be an Army Chaplain
By David Dodson
GNot everyone has the opportunity to grow up in the home of a hero, but I did. Not every child has a model of what it means to live with loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage, but I did. I saw these characteristics every day, embodied in my hero, my dad. To be nurtured by such a man—the man who has influenced me beyond all others—was a privilege.
My father, Kenneth Dodson, is a true American hero. He was awarded the bronze star during the Vietnam War for courage under fire. I remember listening to his war stories as a kid and thinking he was ten feet tall. Since my childhood, I have had an affinity for the army and have pictured myself within its ranks, just like my dad, on many occasions. This is how my dad has influenced me.
But this is only one way my dad influenced me. Greater yet, my dad influenced my life by showing daily courage and compassion for the people to whom he ministered as a local church pastor. At age 19, I also answered this call of God upon my life and have sought to emulate my dad, my hero, in serving God and His people. This is how my dad has influenced me.
However, the greatest way my dad influenced me is by developing in me an attitude to be willing to go wherever God would send me, and minister to whomever He would have me minister. I have an absolute peace God is calling me to blend my dad’s two worlds that so greatly influenced my life—army and ministry—to faithfully serve our men and women who serve us so valiantly. I desire to glorify God as a pastor to soldiers, an army chaplain. I want to live out an example to my own children, so one day they can say, “Not everyone has the opportunity to grow up in the home of a hero, but I did.”
About the Writer: CH (CPT) David Dodson is the newest Free Will Baptist military chaplain. He is currently at the Army Chaplain School in Fort Jackson, South Carolina. After graduation, his initial assignment will be at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, with the 82nd Airborne Division. Learn more about Free Will Baptist chaplain ministry: www.fwbnam.com