In the summer of 1977, I was a newly minted twenty-five-year-old U.S. Army Chaplain assigned to the 1st Battalion, 153rd Infantry, 39th Infantry Brigade of the Arkansas Army National Guard. It was my first time for Annual Training, a time when many National Guard units gather for training.

It was during this time that I met Master Sergeant Clark(not his real name), a kind, older soldier, probably in his mid 50’s who welcomed me and…