‘Combat Touch’ reaches communicators in the field

2nd Lt. Vanessa Li
1st Combat Communications Squadron

***image1***Members of the 1st Combat Communications Squadron received spiritual rejuvenation during a two-week training deployment when they were visited by Chaplain (Maj.) Mark Sahady of the 435th Air Base Wing Chaplain Office.
Chaplain Sahady made the trip from Ramstein to visit with the troops deployed during the squadron’s Healthy Star evaluation exercise in Bitburg, Germany.
Chaplain Sahady spent a few hours meeting with the airmen, providing counseling and emotional support where necessary.
“When troops deploy away from the normal support system,” he said, “it is important for us to be there to exhibit compassion and lend spiritual and ethical advice and counseling they could not get otherwise.”
The airmen found his visit a welcome break from their busy exercise schedule establishing tactical command and control communications while dealing with ability to survive and operate scenarios.
“It was cold, there were only meals ready to eat, they were shooting opposition forces and being shot at; they were exhausted,” he said.
Airmen were also able to attend an ecumenical service given by Chaplain Sahady.
“It’s nice to have Chaplain Sahady come out and spend some time with his troops,” said Lt. Tommy Marshall, deployed site systems controller, 1st CBCS. “It speaks volumes that he would make the journey and rough it with us a few hours, even enjoying a nice MRE lunch.
“His short visit and service reminds us to keep our focus on God, especially while we’re away from home and those we love, said Lieutenant Marshall.”
Chaplain Sahady emphasized that the service he provides is non-denominational and available to all faiths.
“We’re here not to push a particular faith or denomination, but to provide moral support every day and during the toughest of times, he said.”
The chaplain’s visit was part of the Ramstein Combat Touch program, which brings the chaplain corps out to the places airmen need them most.
“The stresses of deployment, being away from family and having to deal with unfamiliar, even difficult conditions, test our strength,” said Col. Robert Kane, 86th Airlift Wing commander. “That is where the spiritual and the emotional support our chaplains can provide becomes invaluable.”
You can look for help from your chaplain both at your home station and at your deployed location.
“Wherever you are deployed to,” said Chaplain Sahady, “there should be a chaplain deployed with you. We want to be there when you need us most.”