Chaplain (Ret) Edward F. Lundwall, Jr.
Vietnam. Why would anyone leave a comfortable pulpit to participate in the Army Chaplaincy in those troubling times? Why put one’s self in harm’s way facing death and the difficulties of combat conditions in a steamy, booby-trapped jungle of Southeastern Asia?
A social worker in the Medical Service Corps felt he could be more effective as a Chaplain. Others wanted to provide for preferred religious needs. Many sought to further ecumenicity in American religious life. Indeed, one supervisory Chaplain claimed that the Armed Forces Chaplaincy was “the Mother of American Ecumenicity.” I was overwhelmed with compassion for the soldiers who were or would soon be facing death to stop the spread of atheistic Communism which threatened both our country, and the Christian faith.
Many people possess a generalized, cultural faith which lacks both the biblical content and heartfelt commitment necessary for a certain salvation. Jesus said, "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does (lifestyle practice) the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter" (Matt 7:21 NASU); and again, "Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8:31, 32 KJV). My heart’s desire to proclaim God’s Word in such a way to our troops that they if they should die, they would face the Lord as their Savior, and not as their Judge. I wanted them to have the peace available to all who sought forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Christ.