BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan - “It all begins with faith in God and a desire to serve. I am blessed on so many different levels. I love my family and the ministry I've been given with all my heart,” said Lt. Col. Ronald Bonomo, a native of Pittsburgh, and currently assigned as the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) for the 401st Army Field Support Brigade (AFSB) in Bagram, Afghanistan.
Lt. Col. Ronald Bonomo, the public affairs officer for the 401st Army Field Support Brigade, preaches at the pulpit at the 401st Army Materiel Command Chapel at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, Feb. 9, 2014. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jarred Woods, 1st Theater Sustainment Command)
A 24-year Army veteran, he is no stranger to leading and mentoring others. Bonomo has deployed in support of Desert Storm, mentored Army ROTC Cadets for several years at various colleges around Pittsburgh and is presently providing support to the nation for Operation Enduring Freedom.
“My first impression of Lt. Col Bonomo is his dedication to God's will in his life,” said Staff Sgt. Veronica Johnson, a native of Flint Michigan and the 401st AFSB Chaplain Assistant.
“He knows what God has called him to do and when it comes to the word of God he is very passionate, obedient and always willing to help in the betterment of God's people in any way possible. Bonomo has his hand to the plow and is definitely a true servant of the Lord. He also volunteered to teach Sunday evening services and Bible studies when the unit chaplain was away on mission.”
Bonomo is currently assisting with the 401st AFSB Christian contemporary services and teaching bible study for the 401st AFSB Chaplain. When asked to assist in the betterment of God's people Bonomo did not hesitate and filled in to support immediately.
“When I received the call to deploy in the summer of 2013, I sensed the Lord had both a military and spiritual assignment for me,” said Bonomo. “Even in the midst of a combat zone, I believe God opened a door for me to serve and minster.”
Bonomo is not your ordinary soldier; he is also an ordained Christian minister. Modest and humble, Bonomo doesn't boast about his success in Afghanistan. Instead, he attributes it all to his Soldiers, officers and to the Lord. He states “we are simply stewards of the gifts, talents and abilities given to us.”
“When I first met Minister Ron he was very out spoken about his mission for the Lord here in Afghanistan,” said Patricia Hicks, an Elevated Sensors Operator for the 401st AFSB, here.
“Honestly I thought he was a chaplain, I kept looking at his uniform for a cross. I was like he is a Lt. Col. In the U.S. Army and so humble; he has to be a chaplain as passionate as he is about the Lord. When I found out he wasn't a chaplain I was in Awe. He is so true to his calling and he has been a blessing to us all here in the 401st,” she said.
In 2006, Bonomo made the decision to step out of Active Duty with over 15 years of service and entered the Army Reserves.
Bonomo explains, “The Lord led me to step out of full-time military service and even though many people did not agree with my decision, I had to follow the Lord's leading.”
During this time, Bonomo entered Bible school in Pittsburgh and graduated in two years taking classes both day and night. He began teaching Bible School upon graduation and has taught for the past six years. Clearly, Bonomo's passion is teaching the Word of God and he likes to use personal testimonies to convey Biblical truths.
When asked what the most important ingredients in his life were, Bonomo didn't hesitate to respond.
“Faith, family and serving others,” said Bonomo. “I was raised in the church but I became serious about the Lord in high school. Since then, I have an eternal perspective on the earthly life I live and I am determined to seek Christ more and more.”
Bonomo is a soft spoken family man who believes he's called to enter the full-time ministry.
“There are seasons to our lives,” said Bonomo. “Currently, I'm a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, I am mobilized in Bagram, Afghanistan, and I teach Army ROTC and Bible school in Pittsburgh. As these seasons come to an end, I believe God will open a door for me to enter the full-time ministry.”
Bonomo acknowledges military service is difficult on families but believes their faith allows them to endure these difficult times. “Susan and I have been married for 17 year and God has called both of us to serve,” added Bonomo. “While I'm in Afghanistan, Susan serves back home taking care of our family and this represents the sacrifices of so many military families.”
Bonomo is unquestionably a true professional and his passion and love for God challenges Soldiers, leaders and professionals to uphold wholesome values and seek professional brilliance. Bonomo reiterated he's on assignment in Bagram, Afghanistan, serving not only his country but living out his faith as well.
He lives by strong values, cares for soldiers and does what it takes to be the personification of the “Servant Leadership” to those around him... “It is an honor to represent my country as a soldier, my family as a father and husband, my state as an educator and most importantly my God as a Christian,” Bonomo concluded.
By U.S. Army Sgt. Jarred Woods
Provided through DVIDS
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