Tim was born in Canada, but don't hold that against him. His mom was American, so he had dual citizenship. His parents were also Christian missionaries, so as a yoot he spent a lot of time running around Nigeria and otherd parts of Africa as his parents built and worked a church. Or churches. Tim recalled riding around on the top of a Land Rover because there was no air conditioning and it was more comfortable to sit up top in the breeze. He attended schools with kids from all over the world who's parents were working in those countries. It gave him a very continental view on life. He never drank coffee, only tea. I blame his time amongst the Brits for that.
In time, Tim came back to North America, and became a pastor like his dad. But Tim also had a powerful urge to serve in other capacities as well. And thanks to his dual citizenship, he was able to become a US Army Chaplain. He had to give up his Canadian citizenship to do it, or at least his Canadian passport. He wanted to go Active Duty, but his wife forbade it. There's another story that I won't get into. Safe to say that Tim and his now-ex-wife are not on speaking terms.
But Tim did join the USAR, and the war being what it was, the 82nd Airborne Division saw him as "available" and snatched him up. So he didn't "join" the Active Army, but by god he was part of the Active Army. Two deployments worth, plus a bunch of other time spent on Fort Bragg where Tim had the absolute time of his life.
Eventually Tim got promoted, and with the promotion came the move out of the 82nd. Tim was still USAR, so he took ever higher level of Chaplain positions throughout the Reserves. He lived in Canada because his now-ex-wife refused to move to the USA, so Tim would literally fly into the USA for drill weekend and fly back home afterwards. Honestly that's not much different than the Chaplains who live on the West Coast and then fly to their units on the East Coast. In fact, for his last two commands, Tim's home was rather close. One he could drive to, and the other was a short flight.
Tim ended up at a unit in Utah, where he worked with a wild-eyed, foul-mouthed crazy son of a bitch who had no regard for anyone's rank or position. That would be me. Just in case you missed the reference. We two somehow got along like peas and carrots, bonding over our love of BBQ and classic rock music. Tim always said that I gave him absolute fits when I was in the HQ building, but if we ever deployed I was the only troop he wanted next to him. There were multiple times I let fly with my thoughts at that current moment, and Tim would walk away with a shocked look on his face muttering "I'm not sure what I just heard and I don't want to know!" Tim's wife divorced him sometime in 2020, because she's a stupid cow. I saw Tim struggle, but I never saw him falter. My wife and I would fortify him with smoked meats and plenty of desserts when he was at Drill. And despite the Covidiacy and the travel restrictions, Tim and I worked our asses off to take care of our Soldiers.,
Tim would retire in November of 2022. At that point he had remarried to a wonderful, beautiful woman who made him deliriously happy. He had two step kids that he adored, and who loved him back. Apparently his step son was as much of a BBQ addict as Tim was. He was going back to school. He had the second part of his life ahead of him.
Five months later he was dead. The Canadian government will tell you he died of the flu. I say they forced him to take two fucking clot-shots, and I damn them to hell for it. Nobody who's healthy and relatively young just "dies of the flu" without something else causing the problems.
Tim is getting buried at 1300. I managed to force my way onto the Chief of Staff's calendar to simply say that if anybody from the command was going to go to the funeral, it had damn well better be the guy who worked with Tim for three years and more. There was a Colonel and a Light Colonel who were on the list to represent the unit. They looked at me, looked at the CoS and said they would take a pass this time, why don't you send Dave? Apparently I had a look that said I would not accept NO as an answer.
So yeah. That's where I'm going to be at. And pardon me if I don't post much the rest of the weekend.
As a Christian who also was attending Bible College with the intention of becoming a pastor, but who was derailed by my ex wife, I understand just how difficult Pastor Tim's lot in life was. That he was able to minister to so many still, shows just how strong and faithful he was. I want to extend my sorrow at his loss, to you and to his family, both in his home and in his unit that he served with, because whether or not they know it, the men and women that he ministered to will miss him more than they can know.
They will miss his words of encouragement, and his example of how to deal with adversity, and how to love your wife and your God, when things are going well, and when they, in fact, suck wind. Because to be honest, there are times when things in the life of a Christian totally suck and look to be unfair, and make us want to yell, scream and kick the dog or the wife. But it is because of our relationship with the living God of the universe that we can able to work through it.
I hope that you are able to get over this loss, and understand that you will take as much time to heal as it takes, and nobody can force you to take more or less than it just takes. May the God of the universe who created everything and everyone touch your heart and help you to heal, and to understand why He allowed this to occur. We likely will never know. But we can only accept that, and move forward, when we can.
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