While at school I had a friend whose father was an army chaplain. During our school holidays we visited his family home in Berlin where he was stationed. These were memorable visits because members of the British forces and their families had a special status which allowed them to travel across the Berlin Wall boundary, getting a glimpse of the bleakness of cold-war soviet occupied East Germany. Later in his army career he was chaplain to the Welsh Guards, who took heavy losses in the Falklands war. 32 Welsh guardsmen were killed in a single strike on the landing ship RFA Sir Galahad a few days before the end of that campaign. He spent the rest of his army career driving around Wales and Northern England visiting the families of those who had been killed. It was on one of these drives that he himself was killed in a road traffic accident. British armed forces are even now stationed all around the world, keeping the peace and also putting themselves in harm’s way, several hundreds of them are currently stationed in wintry & snowy Estonia as part of the NATO defence against an unstable Russia with expansionist fantasies. Today our grateful thoughts and prayers are with these men and women:
we commend to your gracious care and keeping
all the men and women in our Armed Forces at home and abroad.
Defend them day by day with your heavenly grace;
strengthen them in their trials and temptations;
and give them courage to face the perils that beset them;
and help them to know that nothing can separate them from your love;
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.