Fort McCoy News November 22, 2013

Nov. 7 McCoy Prayer Luncheon honors veterans

Even with a last-minute substitute guest speaker, the Fort McCoy Veterans Day Prayer Luncheon Nov. 7 didn't miss a beat and honored current and past veterans.

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Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Robert Brady (standing), the deputy command chaplain of the 88th Regional Support Command, speaks to guests at Fort McCoy's Veterans Day Prayer Luncheon. Photo by Rob Schuette

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Robert Brady, the deputy command chaplain of the 88th Regional Support Command, served as the guest speaker and noted his Family had a long tradition of military service that he has helped continue. A brother was a judge advocate general officer, his uncles and cousins served in Vietnam and Korea, his father was a gunner's mate in the U.S. Navy during World War II and his grandfather was a "Doughboy," a member of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I.

Brady also recognized current service members and veterans from all the services and their service eras.

Fort McCoy Garrison Commander Col. Steven W. Nott noted there is a uniqueness to be found in being a service member as no other federal profession has a day set aside (Veterans Day Nov. 11) to celebrate them.

Lisa Giertych, whose father was a career service member, provided the music/special music for the ceremony, which included the National Anthem, "Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)," and "Here I am to Worship."

Brady listed the major goals for service members and members of the Fort McCoy community to serve, volunteer and listen to other veterans. He also encouraged veterans to get resiliency/mental help when they needed it.

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Lisa Giertych provides special music during the Veterans Day Prayer Luncheon. Photo by Rob Schuette

Brady spoke about a Roman Centurion, a military officer mentioned in the Bible, who was well known for his service to the community, even though he was part of an occupying army.

In a separate interview after the event, Brady said Soldiers serving in Iraq or Afghanistan are more like the Roman Centurion than they are like Soldiers from previous conflicts the U.S. was involved in.

"We know they've gone through hard circumstances with the deployments (to Iraq and Afghanistan)," Brady said. "They've made positive contributions to the communities there and will continue to do so at home."

Unlike in previous U.S. wars, there was no rebuilding the countries fought in, such as there was in World War II with the Marshall Plan. Also unlike their grandfathers, they didn't marry the daughters of the people of the lands they served and fought in.

The Soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts will be measured by the manner they served and the good deeds they did, which included rebuilding the infrastructure.

The veterans who return to U.S. society today need to continue the goodness they exhibited in Iraq and Afghanistan in their communities, he said.

"They need to show goodness to each other and get help when they need to," Brady said.

The event was coordinated and sponsored by the installation's Religious Support Office (RSO). For more information about the RSO, call 608-388-3528.