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Stephen A. Peterson
It was a busy morning for United States Army Captain Felicia Merriman. As the newly assigned Company Commander of an Engineer Detachment, Captain Merriman was anxious about commanding a unit of more than 300 military personnel, satisfying her Battalion Commander’s combat mission requirements and making certain her missions would be completed in a timely manner.
As Captain Merriman prepared for the most important field training exercise in her military career, her mind was tied up as she attempted to consider every possible battle scenario. There was also an important meeting with the First Sergeant and key members of the company. Her mind raced through the Battalion Operation Order as she sat at her desk. Just before the company meeting began, the Supply Sergeant stood up to give an opening prayer.
“Thank you, Almighty Father, for bring the brightest and best members of this company to plan for this necessary training we are about begin. I also pray for the safety of all participants…”
The prayer continued but the most meaningful parts kept repeating themselves in Captain Merriman’s mind. Since becoming an Army officer, Captain Merriman asked herself: “How many days have I gotten up to pray for help to do my best job? How often did I pray for the well-being of company members? How many days have I begun the day stressed? How many days would I cave in to pressure before I knew what the task was to be? Did I ask God for strength to deal with tasks? No, I never did these things. Perhaps this is why my days are stressful and I’m a wreck.”
Captain Merriman decided to begin the day over with a prayer. “Thank You, Father, for placing me in this position of responsibility. Yes, Master, I have difficulties but thank You for the staff You have given me, the soldiers You’ve given me to lead and the abilities You’ve given me. Thank You for this opportunity to serve You. These things I pray. Amen.”
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