As an Army medic in Iraq and Afghanistan, I discovered the spirit of healing even in a world at war.
By Specialist Brian Antczak
During my time serving as a combat medic with the US Army in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, I’ve repeatedly relied on faith and spirituality to help me accomplish my mission of providing quality medical assistance to those in need. Reciprocally, I found that the lessons of healing I learned from my patients, friends, and fellow soldiers helped me to understand my own faith, and to develop a better perspective of it in a world of strife and conflict.
I’m not an expert, and I’m not a hero. I speak as an average citizen, soldier, and layperson who has been a few places and seen a few things. But I have benefited from the wisdom and teaching of other medical providers and spiritual leaders, and it is from these combined experiences that I draw the following insights.
Those of us in more peaceful settings often find ourselves struggling with obstacles that seem insurmountable. We may find ourselves or our loved ones battling disease, or we might be simply trying to recover from the trials of life. I hope that these lessons I learned in my military service might relate to our own practice of improving our quality of life and nourishing the spiritual needs our communities and ourselves.
Please click here to read the first lesson.
SPC Brian Antczak is a combat medic with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), deployed to Afghanistan in 2008. He is a native of Durham, NC.