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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Chaplain is conduit of war horrors

Glenn Palmer, an ELCA Army chaplain in Iraq, was featured in a Chicago Tribune story (April 19) about the stress of war. The article, picked up by the Associated Press, indicated that Palmer had left his battalion and was at the Baghdad airport trying to be relieved of his duty and return home to Fort Riley, Kan.

Those quoted in the article speculated that Palmer had seen and heard too much. His assistant, Thomas Abney, was the last to speak to him before he left and had been at his side when the chaplain prayed over the body of a 20-year-old soldier who had been shot in the chest, the Tribune reported.

Correspondence between Palmer and the New England Synod reveals a more complex story—one that apparently has taken its toll on Palmer and soldiers of the Army’s 2nd Battalion.


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