Back In The Saddle Again:
By Staff Sgt. K.L. Kimbrell, 931st ARG Public Affairs
/ Published January 19, 2007
MCCONNELL AFB, Kan. -- The 931st Air Refueling Group Chaplain recently returned home to Kansas after completing a deployment to Iraq.
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Dave Fulton spent six months serving with the 557th Expeditionary Red Horse Squadron in Iraq and traveling to other countries within the Area of Responsibility leading worship services and observances, providing pastoral care and offering assistance to deployed Airmen.
Chap. Fulton registered quite a few miles in the process of completing his pastoral duties while deployed.
"My primary function was to provide support to our deployed members in all of our deployed locations, for this reason I did a lot of traveling, over 11,000 miles," said Chap. Fulton.
The miles racked up netted the Chaplain some military air frequent flyer miles as well as some on the ground.
"I traveled by convoy, Blackhawk helicopter, Chinook Helicopter, C-130 (Hercules) and C-17 (Globemaster)," said the Chaplain.
The chaplain's deployment had some positive moments.
"The high point of my deployment was a visit I made to the Women's Center in Mosul (Iraq) early in my deployment," said the Chaplain. "I met the director and shared a meal with them. It helped me to put a face on the operations we are accomplishing in Iraq."
And a disappointing one too.
"My greatest disappointment in the deployment was when I realized I would not be able pursue an agenda outside the wire," said Lt. Col. Fulton. "My commander made it clear that unless there was a Red Horse mission outside the wire we were not allowed to go out(off the base). I had hoped to make contact with some folk so I could follow on when I got home."
Lt. Col. Fulton made it a point to keep in regular contact with his congregation and family.
"One of my key ways of staying in touch with folks was through my blog (www.pastordavesjourney.blogspot.com)," said Lt. Col. Fulton. "I also emailed my wife daily and called her once a week. All of these were a challenge since I traveled so much.
They also made a point of staying in contact with the Chaplain.
"I had an outstanding pastor fill in for me while I was gone," said the Chaplain. "The congregation did well while I was gone, they were very supportive of my involvement, sending many care packages and so on."