Monday, December 18, 2006
Pogs for the Plate
Sunday in Hurricane Point Base, and in the final days of shooting it is church service morning. It is one of those events that is always nice to cover as you spend days covering the true horror of war to see spiritual reflection for an hour. A young Marine who you film with a gun turns out to have an angelic voice and can play Silent Night on an acoustic guitar.
The Chaplain here Jamie Stall-Ryan is the type of man who greets you warmly every time and insists on giving you food and coffee, he talks of Bible Study Classes and makes sure the Chapel is open so that the guys can watch NFL Football on Sunday Nights. And you also know that he is there when the worst will and does happen here.
His service today was plain simple and inspirational, the theme was “purpose not planned” To plan related have things pre determined, which here does not apply to greater sense, whilst everyone here in Iraq has a purpose.
The song Silent Night is one of my favorite, Christmas Songs that conjures up many images. To listen to 17 Marines sing it in a cold room in the back of one of Saddam’s son’s palaces, lit by two flickering fluorescent lights with a marine holding a M203 Grenade launcher by his side and a small manger scene on a table is very moving. No voice boomed or dominated just 17 men quietly singing together and reflecting.
The title for today’s entry “Pog’s for the Plate” is one of those lines that you think up as we were walking the 50 yd’s round the back from our hatch to the chapel. I mentioned if they pass the plate around for donation does anyone have some pog’s. Pog’s are the coin currency here, paper discs with monetary value so that the Military PX stores do not have to worry about coins. Just thought it was funny the thought of a plate being passed around and everyone putting paper discs into a plate. There was no collection, but then again I had no pog’s in my pocket.