Chief of Chaplains prays with Wolf Pack
KUNSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Like most years, the Kunsan chapel hosted the National Prayer Breakfast on Jan. 22, 2014. However, a special guest made this year's event different.
Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Howard Stendahl, U.S. Air Force chief of chaplains, headlined as the guest speaker during the breakfast and also toured the base. In previous years, chief of chaplains were given the opportunity to attend many National Prayer Breakfast events. But this year, with recent budget constraints, things have changed.
"I go to one (location), if I could pick one, this (Republic of Korea) is it," said Stendahl. "A place where people are forward deployed, in face of a real and proximate threat. Persons who are deployed in place, I believe deserve the finest spiritual care and advocacy for religious freedoms we can provide."
The National Prayer Breakfast is an event that dates back to 1953 when congressional members wanted to unite leadership and reflect on the nation's founders' moral and spiritual values.
"The NPB is an important event because it crosses barriers of religion and culture," said Chaplain (Capt.) Krista Ingram, 8th Fighter Wing chaplain, "Prayer is universally understood even when it is practiced differently. The NPB is a celebration of this bond of prayer among and across peoples, and is an opportunity for the chapel to highlight a faith practice that unites people when so many want to use faith as a tool for division."
Stendahl conveyed the 2014 National Prayer Breakfast theme of "Mindfulness, Faith and Resiliency" during his speech at the breakfast. He also spoke on living in the present.
"The resiliency of the soul, whether you are a warrior, pulling peoples tonsils, or you are flying or fixing jets, is to perceive the miracle of the ordinary that surrounds us every day and not just wait for it -- but to see it here, in Kunsan," said Stendahl.
Approximately 170 Airmen attended the breakfast, helping to develop resiliency, comradery and the Wolf Pack family as Kunsan is a remote assignment that separates Airmen from their families.
"The speech Chaplain Stendahl gave helped reinforce the mentality, that yes, it is good to look to the future, but sometimes we tend to forget that what we have right now is worthy of our time," said Staff Sgt. V. Viviana Hook, 8th Logistic Readiness Squadron installation deployment readiness cell. "It made me realize that I was focusing on the right things when it comes to my children, they are my present and when the time comes, the future will be molded for us."