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A Chaplain's Journey To Divinity and Dialoguing Through Disaster
by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Megan Hoffmann - July 30, 2014

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The year was 1980. The group was remedial reading. Wade Jensen never imagined at that point in his young life that he would grow up to serve in both the Air Force and Air Force, let alone as a linguist and chaplain, nor would he write a book. But he has done all that.

He started the book, “The Pathological Grieving of America: Overcoming Grief on a Personal, Corporate and National Scale,” and he said he knew in his heart that this venture was a part of his destiny.

Air Force Maj. Wade Jensen reunites with Army Lt. Col. Brian Strider in Al Udied, Qatar, in August 2013 during their deployments. Jensen and Strider also served on the same four-man team during the 1st Gulf War in 1991. (Courtesy Photo)
Air Force Maj. Wade Jensen (left) reunites with Army Lt. Col. Brian Strider in Al Udied, Qatar, in August 2013 during their deployments. Jensen and Strider also served on the same four-man team during the 1st Gulf War in 1991. (Courtesy Photo)

In 2006, shortly after obtaining his master's degree in divinity at Denver Seminary and being a newly direct-commissioned officer to the active duty Air Force, was when Jensen said he felt called to write the book. At that time he said didn't know what the premise of the book would be, or who the book would be intended for, but through his time as a child, serving in the military and earning his degree in divinity, he had seen the extreme brokenness, sorrow, hurt and confusion that daily living and a military lifestyle can bring.

“I wanted the audience of my book to always remember that their best days are ahead of them. There is always the breaking of a new dawn and your attitude is everything. Everyone in life has a ‘sticking point,' and I want them to be able to understand and deal with that sticking point, and then move on and pursue life to the fullest,” he said.

His book's premise, he added, became a simple word: “Live.”

Those “sticking points” Jensen said can be the loss of a friend or family member, loss of a job, traumatic life experience, or a debilitating health issue. Whatever it is, Jensen said he wanted the readers of his book to understand that it's OK to grieve, but grieve and then move on so that you may positively affect the lives of those around you.

“I don't believe in coincidences,” said Jensen about his life journey up to this point. “I think everything happens for a reason, and I would like to call it a ‘God wink.'”

He said there is no doubt that life experiences have shaped the past, are shaping the present, and will shape the future. Good or bad, Jensen said he encourages everyone to embrace those experiences, read his book, and apply the principles in order to overcome grief and live life to the fullest.

“Everyone has great potential in life. If you aim to climb Mount Everest and make it to the base camp, why would you stop there? Believe that you can always achieve something greater and know that your best days are ahead of you.”

By U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Megan Hoffmann
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2014

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