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Army Reserve Annual Training Report
Robin Robinson
May 19 - June16, 2007


     I am a United States Army Reserve Chaplain.  I am assigned to the 7th Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, an Apache Attack Helicopter Unit based in Conroe, Texas.  My responsibility is to provide spiritual support for the Troops through managing the Commander's Religious Support Program.  Each year the pilots must qualify on Gunnery for the Unit to maintain its deployment ready status.  This year, Annual Training took place at McGregor Camp, located just across the Texas border into New Mexico.  Camp McGregor is part of Ft. Bliss and located approximately 25 miles Northeast of El Paso, Texas.                            

                                                                                                             Appache Attack Helicopter                          

     The heat was great, but certainly bearable while maintaining hydration.  The sand was immense and at times extreme when combined with excess winds.  While there, we experienced three or four sandstorms; only two were severe.  During one of the severe sandstorms, I was walking from the DFAC (Dining Facility) to the ALOC (Administrative Logistic Operation Command) when the sandstorm hit.  I was carrying a cup of Dr. Pepper (the drink of choice for all REAL Texans).  By the time I reached the ALOC, about 100 yards away, my cup of Dr. Pepper had magically transformed into a cup of mud.
Sunset     The nights and mornings were beautiful with a nice cool breeze, a welcome relief from the heat of the day.  The sunsets were gorgeous, something like you see in postcards and paintings.  I wonder if Atheists have ever witnessed the beauty of the Lord's canvas spread out over the Desert Southwest?  Surely, one could not believe that kind of beauty happened by chance.  I got to see creatures of the desert, including jackrabbits, horn toads, rattlesnakes, roadrunners, and even a desert owl and her babies.  
         Chaplain Robinson loading a rocket

Annual Training 2007 ws a tremendous experience for me.  First of all, it was an educational experience as I was able to see all the working components of our Squadron in action.  To see all our troops work together for the support of our mission was like viewing the cogs on gear wheels come together like a well-oiled machine.  I've seen each of the puzzle pieces separately at our Battle Assembly weekends, but at AT, I was able to see the entire puzzle come together to form a beautiful picture.  Secondly, I enjoyed getting to know many Soldiers on a more personal level.  Living with the Soldiers 24/7 for 29 days allows one to see different sides of a person that are not often seen in a short weekend filled with many tasks.  To see everyone working together as a team despite the heat, sand, issues at home, and the everyday difficulties we encountered, made me proud to be in the 7/6 Cavalry, in the Army, and to be an American.                                                                                          

    Soldiers of Delta Troop maintaining helicopter status
          Chaplain Robinson visiting with Soldiers before chapel One of the greatest things about being a Chaplain in the United States Army Reserve is the opportunity to touch lives for Christ on a daily basis.  I had the joy of performing 11 chapel services, counseling 26 Soldiers, follow-up counseling with 37 Soldiers, providing scripture reading and prayer for 313 Soldiers, providing spiritual literature and Bibles to 68 Soldiers.
             Chaplain Robinson preaching Chaplain Robinson with a Flight Line Soldier                
       God used these ministries to open doors for sharing the gospel.  I had the privilege of sharing the plan of salvation with three different gorups of Soldiers and with another four or five Soldiers in one-on-one encounters.  In one instance, a female Soldier from and MP unit was sitting at the covered picnic table where we were to be holding a chapel service in the next 15 to 20 minutes.  I explained to this Soldier what we were about to do and invited her to join us for the service.  She agreed that it would be good to attend church for a change.  She explained that she had been there for several weeks getting trained before being deployed to Iraq.  As we conversed, I led the conversation through the FIRM outline.  FIRM is the acronym we teach in People Sharing Jesus, the personal witnessing seminar of Total Church Life.  FIRM stands for Family, Interest, Religion, and Message.  I simply asked her questions concerning each of these topics and listened attentively.  When we got to the M for Message, I asked her a transitional question designed to bridge the conversation from talking about religion to talking about her spiritual condition.  I asked, "Have you come to know Jesus in a personal way, or would you say you are still in the process?"  She said that she guessed she was still in the process.  I asked her if I could share with her how she could come to know Jesus personally.  She agreed that I could show her through the "Life-line" illustration (an illustration spelled out in the People Sharing Jesus material).  After sharing, I asked her if she would be willing to receive Jesus personally.  She explained that she had done that at one time.  I asked her to share more about that experience and had the opportunity to instruct her on some of the basics of the Christian faith.  She stayed for the chapel service and commented afterward that God had her there at the time when we came up to prepare for the service.  She said it was just what she needed and thanked me and my chaplain assistants for all that we had shared.
                    Chaplain Robinson providing ministry to a Soldier    Chaplain Robinson leading in prayer
    Please pray for President Bush, all our military leaders, and especially for our Soldiers and their families.  Soldiers and their families have tremendous needs and continue to need our support.  I am amazed at the opportunities God provides for one on one ministry and witness to Soldiers.  I encourage all young ministers to be open to the possibility of becoming a military chaplain.  The needs and opportunities are numerous.  If I had my life to do over again, I would become a military chaplain straight out of Seminary.  It is a great way to fulfill God's call, serve our Country, and provide for your family at the same time.
    Chaplain Robinson with two Appache maintenance Soldiers     Chaplain Robinson with Soldiers of the 3/5 Platoon
           COL Shackleford and MAJ Odom during chapel service
In service to God and Country,
Robin Robinson

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For questions or comments, please contact
Dr. Darrell Robinson .
Conroe, Texas USA
Date last changed: September 6, 2007 11:51 AM