Training for IED’s

A good deal of our training here is designed to prepare us for one of the primary threats: the improvised explosive device, or IED. When we go anywhere outside the FOB (forward operating base), we have to move in a tactical convoy of at least two vehicles. Each vehicle has a driver, a person in the front passenger seat who is on the radio, and a gunner who stands up in the center hatch. I’m generally the person on the radio, occasionally the driver, but never the gunner, since chaplains are forbidden to carry weapons. Before we leave, we have to turn in a convoy request that includes the departure time, return time, and route. That gives the trainers plenty of time to prepare surprises for us along the way.

Today, our lead vehicle spotted an IED in the road. They stopped, then signaled to my vehicle to back up. As they started back, the trainers detonated an simulated IED on the other side. They then announced that the gunner was dead and the driver had been blinded. Of course, once the training exercise was complete, the gunner was resurrected and the driver miraculously regained his sight.

The beauty about training is that we can try new things, see what works and what doesn’t, and not not worry about costly mistakes. Unfortunately, most of life is not like that. It would be nice to be able to say whatever we feel, and not have to worry about the effect on those who hear. Real IED’s harm physically, and many of our words harm psychologically and emotionally.

Matthew 12:36 – “I tell you, on the day of judgement you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter….”

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