Photo by: Jessica Castro via Unsplash
For the past two years, I’ve been blessed with facilitating training for the Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants at the US Army Chaplain Center and School in Fort Jackson, SC.
The first year I was assigned this on-site program, I was so excited and knew immediately who I had to call—my father. Afterall, he literally has Fort Jackson in his personal email address. What I didn’t know until that day, was that my father wanted to be a Chaplain Assistant. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to pursue that dream. He was so excited I was going to Fort Jackson and wanted me to be prepared with everything there was to know about my destination. He provided papers on its history and on someone from our hometown who is famous to Fort Jackson. He even prepared a joke for me to tell the participants about how I knew of two famous people from Fort Jackson—the man from Uniontown (my hometown) and my dad!
When I arrived at Fort Jackson, I was taken under the wings of some of the greatest people I have ever met. While I was training them on Advanced Instructional Techniques, I learned so much from them as well. This was my first time on a base and my first time hearing what Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants do—I was in awe. When not deployed, they spend their time training others. These people are truly inspiring. I can understand why my father wanted to serve as a Chaplain Assistant. At the end of my three days, the participants thanked me for my time and honored me with a small token of their appreciation. I left with such a happy heart.
When I received an email that I was returning to Fort Jackson, I was so grateful. Especially as I had been on medical leave for six months and this would be my first week back to work. I knew there was no better group for my first workshop back. I won’t lie; I was nervous. It was like getting back on a horse after a fall, but after arriving and seeing the familiar faces, and receiving such warm greetings, I knew it would be a great week. It was!
On the last day, it all hit home for me and I was reminded of why I love what I do. At the end of the on-site training session, the Director of the US Army Chaplain Center and School came in and shared with me the impact I’ve made, not only on his team but on the hundreds of people they train as Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants and on the hundreds of people they counsel and train. He then presented me with a US Army Leadership Coin. I teared up right in front of everyone! It was so touching. It meant the world to me to hear the impact I’ve had on him and his team.
Being a Master Trainer with Langevin has given me many amazing opportunities to work with wonderful people, both through our on-site workshops and through our in-person workshops.