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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Combat stress

Two soldiers rediscover peace

He’s changed since he got back from Iraq,” the girlfriend cried when the sheriff had the car towed and impounded until after Memorial Day for a host of violations.

My cousin, the tow-truck operator, called me and said: “You’re an Army Reserve chaplain. You’ve been there. Could you help him?”

They found me, the cousin and soldier, folding the flags lining our little church’s cemetery. I inherited this job from my father, a combat veteran of two wars who had died a few weeks earlier. My wounded emotions were barely under control—how could I help anyone else?


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November issue

NOVEMBER issue:

The ELCA's aging clergy wave

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