Monday, October 27, 2008

A Warrior and an Artist

One of the DS (Directing Staff) on my Chaplain's course is Master Corporal Roger Chabot, one of the most amazing soldiers I've had the privilege to meet. MCpl Chabot isn't a big man, but his authority on the parade square is gigantic. He's an ex Airborne and PPCLI paratrooper, a veteran of Kosovo and Somalia. After six weeks we discovered that he is also a talented artist.

This is MCpl. Chabot in the field with us last week, explaining basic infantry tactics to us clueless padres (click image for a larger view:

Here's an example of his work:

Please visit Roger Chabot's website and consider purchasing some of his work. A portion of each sale goes to a charity that supports families of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Life in Borden Cont.

Today my section mates from the mighty Three Section and I are relaxing at a Williams Coffee Pub after completing the Green (military) phase of our Chaplain's BOTC course. Here are some more pictures of our green phase field exercise. As always, you can see a larger picture by clicking on each image: Myself (middle) with Capt. Gordon Mintz (an Anglican priest and fellow Wycliffe alumni) and Lt. (Navy) Rob Parker, a fellow Anglican priest and fellow escapee from the Diocese of Huron. Both standup guys:

Another shot of myself and Rob Parker - Rob is wearing the cast that he earned after breaking his wrist on the confidence (obstacle) course a day before we returned to the field. Rob has so far refused to let us write dirty things on his cast:

Captain Gerald VanSmeerdyk poses in the woods, trying hard not to be seen. Gerry is a Christian Reformed Church minister and a runner up with yours truly for the title of most flatulent in the section:

The handsome, erudite, and strikingly Teutonic Captain Howard Rittenhouse plots to take over the Canadian Forces. Howard is a Baptist pastor and a font of knowledge about arcane facts. He also emits wondrous belches.

Minus 10 Celsius in our unheated tent and Rob Parker and I try to stay warm. Hopefully this photo will not tip the balance one way or another in the Anglican Church's same sex debate:

While new to the army, Gord Mintz shows that he has mastered the soldier's art of sleeping whenever possible:

All of the aforementioned gentlemen and others make up Three Section, the oldest, fightingest, wisest, orneriest and stinkiest section in our BOTC platoon. Here we are on the final day of our field exercise. Left to right, front row: Fr. Lester Mendonsa (RC); Fr. Rob Parker (ACC); The Mad Padre Himself; Rev Howard Rittenhouse ((Baptist). Randall Read (Baptist); Fr. Gordon Mintz (ACC); Rev. Gerry Vansmeerdyk (Christian Reformed Church); Rev. Kevin Olive (Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada).

Today was the final challenge in our military training, the rappel tower at CFB Borden. We couldn't believe that we got paid to have this much fun. Here's the rappel tower looming large in the early morning mist:

Three section's Captain Kevin Olive, a Pentecostal pastor, looks dubious at the thought of entrusting his life to a small rope:

Chaplain candidates rappelling on the thirty foot wall.

Video taken by coursemate Ian Easter of our buddy John (High Def) Hounsell Drover, the pride of Newfoundland and the Anglican church, rappelling off the skid. The skid simulates the skid of a helicopter, and the ONLY way this would have been MORE fun would have been if we had an actual helicopter.

Time and failing energy prevent much more for tonight, but I am with some awesome friends and Christian leaders, we're embarked on an awesome calling, and God is good. Starting next week we embark on six weeks of death by powerpoint as we enter on the purple chaplain phase of our training. Bash on padres!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Life in Borden

The blog has been quiet lately because I've been offline in CFB Borden taking my Basic Officer Training Course at the CF Chaplain's School and Centre. Today it's turkey day and I am finishing my leave at home. Enough time to upload a few silly pictures. You can see a larger picture by clicking on any of the images below.

With my boss, Major Art Crawley, and my fellow candidate, Gordon Poley, at CFB Greenwood before setting off on Sept. 9.

Me shortly after arrival, sporting the course standard hair cut - in military terms, a "3 and 1":

Course mates taking First Aid training seriously.

Puppy pile, taking advantage of a rest period in the field. I'm in here somewhere:

Looking dubiously at our new surroundings:

Me with my shelter half tent, or "hootchie", showing the artistic design dubbed "The Luge" by my section mates:

My section after winning a stalking and concealment exercise in our first field portion. The objective was to cam ourselves up and try to get a power bar placed on a hilltop without the Directing Staff seeing us. Since the DS are all commando and sniper qualified, the chances of us surprising them were slim, but they were good sports and gave us a chance. I'm the happy guy holding the power bar.

That's all that time permits. I'll try to add more as time permits, hopefully before my course ends in December. Pray for me. Blessings, all!


Mad Padre

Mad Padre
Opinions expressed within are in no way the responsibility of anyone's employers or facilitating agencies and should by rights be taken as nothing more than one person's notional musings, attempted witticisms, and prayerful posturings.


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