Charlie Purinton, is the chaplain for Task Force Saber.
In an e-mail from Camp Ar Ramadi he
role is to "preach, teach, counsel, pray, and in as many ways as possible bring the presence of God to the soldier on the battlefield."
"Now that Caitlin's home, I feel a few years younger, that's lifted because she's
here safe, but at the same time it intensifies my feelings missing Charlie
.Now that's not split in two."For "Chaplain Charlie" in Iraq, Christmas is already in full swing.He
started Tuesday, offering one service each day through Christmas Day at different times to be sure that every soldier, with their varied shifts and rotations, has a chance to attend.
"I offer the opportunity to set aside some time for creative and positive reflection about the love of God and family, and the bonds of comrades in combat," he
said that he
plays a role in a larger effort of the leadership in the task force in caring for the soldiers, which he
credits with high morale overall in the unit.
"Of course it matters what day it is or what happens, but time passes, grieving tempers joy, healing brings relief, challenges are met, and God gives us another dawn," he
As Charlie Purinton
fellow soldiers, his
separation from his
family at Christmas is difficult, but he
copes through his
faith."Personally, since I represent and symbolize the spiritual inspiration of the group, I am always praying in one form or another," he
Caitlin and Charlie
were able to keep in touch and even visited frequently when Task Force Saber
was passing through Kuwait on its way to Ramadi.
..."Knowing that at least Charlie was closer to Caitlin than I was tempered by how hard it is to have a child away."