My soldiers may have other names for me, but I am a Padre, a member of AWESOME and I am 1 of only 5 female Padres. I became a Christian at Uni and had no idea I would become Ordained let alone join the Army in my 30′s, but I love it. Everyday I get paid to be with soldiers, being there for them through the good and the bad.
Do I miss the Parish? Not at all. Everything is still here; Services, Schools, Visiting, listening, Bible Study…the only things absent are; PCC’s and Fund raising, neither of which I miss.
I knew of AWESOME before I joined the Army, lost touch when I was in Iraq but met up again recently. While I love the Army and being with mainly men doesn’t bother me, it was nice to be with like minded Ordained women for a few days, thinking of our ministry over the Bible in Prayer.
I’m often asked: Is being a female padre any different? Not really, occasionally it can even be an advantage. I am able to answer the many questions wives have of exercises and deployments and I have also been able to come alongside and support some women who have been hurt by men.
Since joining the Army (Sept 2007) I have already travelled a fair bit, spending time in Batus (Canada), Ypres, Kuwait, Iraq, Bavaria and elsewhere. I am sure my time will come when I am deployed to Afghanistan. I have already served with five units, have visited more hospitals than I wish to remember, sat in more Airports than I thought possible and have drunk more brews than is probably healthy, although I have tried to go de- caf. Every unit and soldier is different and although it can be long hours and hard work, it is a privilege to come alongside them in their work. If you are interested in knowing more, why not look at the Blog…www.armychaplains.wordpress.com