MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- With the holiday season right around the corner, the chaplains of 2nd Marine Division took an ordinary training event, hiking, and turned it into a prayer walk to pray for those servicemembers who are away from their families this year.
The six-mile hike is a Fleet Marine Force (FMF) qualification for all naval officers to receive the FMF war-fighting device worn on their uniforms.
But this year, the 2nd Marine Division Chaplain, Cmdr. Gary Carr, turned the training into a way for the chaplains of the division and all other willing participants to use what some believe to be the best war-fighting weapon: prayer.
“It is important for us to do this, because it is a difficult time of the year for deployed servicemembers with the holidays coming up and the Iraqi elections a few days away,” Carr explained.
The hike took place in the morning of Dec. 13, and the chaplains marched from the II Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters building to French Creek and back, stopping at each regimental headquarters along the way to form a prayer group.
“We used the medium of regular FMF training to take this opportunity at Christmas time to pray for those people who could use it more; the Marines, sailors and soldiers deployed fighting the Global War on Terrorism,” Carr said.
According to Carr, chaplains usually accompany the unit they are assigned to on field marches, but this is the first time they got the chance to have their own chaplains’ field march.
After finishing the hike, Carr expressed his enthusiasm to possibly continue these marches in the future.
“I think that this was a successful event,” he said. “Anytime you can get a group of people together using the power of prayer it’s a great thing. We may have another prayer walk around Easter time as well.”