Sgt. Cashmere C. Jefferson & Sgt. 1st Class Stephen Chinen
FORT SHAFTER — Soldiers, families and civilians participated in the National Resiliency Prayer Breakfast hosted by U.S. Army-Pacific, March 10, at the Hale Ikena Club, here.
With the tsunami warning still in effect early March 11, only about 200 people were able to attend the National Resiliency Prayer Breakfast held at the Nehelani, at Schofield Barracks, hosted by Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii.
All attendees, including clergy and education officials from the surrounding civilian community, were blessed with an inspirational boost to their spirits after attending the events.
The Fort Shafter event began with melodies from the 25th Infantry Division Brass Quintet and featured the inspirational voices of the Aliamanu Military Reservation and Helemano Military Reservation combined praise team.
With full stomachs, attendees at Schofield Barrack’s prayer breakfast were treated to a hula halau performance from “Hula no ke Akua,” Hawaiian for “We dance for God.”
Chaplain (Brig. Gen.) Eugene Woolridge, Army assistant chief of chaplains, Mobilization and Readiness, Army Chief of Chaplains Office at the Pentagon, was the guest speaker for both events and spoke on being “Fit to Live.”
He said spiritual fitness is no less important than any of the other four components — physical, emotional, social and family — of the Army’s Comprehensive Soldier Fitness initiative.
“There’s a greater calling than being just a Soldier; the ultimate fitness to live comes from something higher than what we can see,“ Woolridge said. “Are you fit to live?”
Woolridge asked this question while teaching about the life of Paul the apostle in the Bible’s New Testament and Paul’s ability to “finish the race,” despite the situations that were going on around him.
“If you want to be fit to live like Paul was, you have to commit yourself to the task,” Woolridge said.
He asked how Soldiers will adapt to being out of the Army. If they have been growing their spiritual fitness as well as their physical fitness, they will be fine, he said.
Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander, USARPAC, told the Fort Shafter attendees that physical fitness is the cornerstone of combat readiness.
“If you don’t have the spiritual strength, something that you can fall back on in those difficult times, you will not survive,” Mixon said. “Thanks to the chaplains and senior leadership at the Pentagon, we have a spiritual element in the CSF program because we understand that man needs something other than himself.”
(Editor’s Note: Jefferson is with U.S. Army-Pacific Public Affairs, and Chinen is a chaplain’s assistant with 3302nd Mission Support Battalion.)