November 18, 2019
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One Forward Operating Base in Afghanistan is relatively new and doesn’t have a lot of amenities like an MWR, a PX, or a gym. An Army chaplain picked up a hammer and nails and set to work constructing a chapel instead of waiting for one to be built. Producer Lance Corporal Mark Morgenstern has his story. The chapel is made up of basically two people, functionally. We have myself and a chaplain assistant. There’s a lot of things going on in Aviation that doesn’t require the chapel to be a priority. So we took it upon ourselves to make it a priority and make it our mission as we arrived at Shindand. [saw whirring] Growing up in the South–I’m from Raleigh, North Carolina– every young man in my hometown had a trade. It was either HVAC, carpentry–they did something– made furniture–they did something. I picked up carpentry at about the age of 19, started building homes and did some renovations before I joined the Army. I had a small business myself, and when I came into the Army, opportunities like this just presented themselves, and it seems kind of natural; sort of the apostle Paul and his tent building project, if you will. Chapel, the chaplaincy, the UMT is that place where soldiers can get away from the mission, the command climate. One of the greatest liberties we have as Americans is to be able to worship in spirit and in truth the god which they choose, and our military and our Army provides that. So far we’ve built the decking system, which is massive. We’ve built a deck on the front, the porch with the overhang, of course, as you can see in the background. We have cabinets that we’ve made in the inside. All of the tent, all of the structure that you see regarding the chapel is basically our project. We’ve helped put up some Alaska tents, we’ve helped put some furnishings together for the TOC and for some of the other soldiers, just for their living quarters. We have a post office, we have a gymnasium, we have an MWR off on the horizon, and we’re looking forward to being part of that as well. It’s an honor to be here.

Tony wyaad