Just as the military has safeguarded a time honored tradition of accepting a wide variety of our nation's finest, so also does the Catholic Church boast of a global population of people from every walk of life. Devout men and women of faith have flocked to the Catholic Church in droves, all while making it one of the world's largest religions. As rich and poor, alike, have found a place in the military, so also have the influential and destitute found meaning and peace within the confines of catholic tradition.

While the tangible walls of a church may offer security and protection on Sundays, and during religious holidays and festivities, there is no doubt that the influence of the Catholic Church has gone way beyond the brick and mortar man-made foundations that have served as meeting grounds for their congregations. Even with the most firm of supporting elements, it is truly the people themselves that make any one institution, or organization resonate with unyielding greatness. From every culture, both the military and the Catholic Church have accepted all types of willing individuals into their respective folds. In fact, the cross involvement of many is extremely noticeable and accepted in the form of much needed, and desired, religious tolerance.

With religious affiliation easily identifiable on any one individual's personally issued dog tags, the United States' Military is proud to have had many devout Catholics join its ranks over the years. Amongst an incredible amount of United States' soldiers, marines, sailors, and airmen, it is no surprise that religion would be at the forefront of the service of many of them. Church services, and mass, are made readily available for all our United States' Military Personnel throughout their initial indoctrination into their branch of choice, and, this freedom to worship in the way they best see fit is extended to every active duty post, as well as to those serving their country bravely overseas.

From basic training on into service in an overseas post, or in a combat zone, the need for a higher meaning and purpose is ever present. The Catholic Church, and their faith, provides a much needed outlet that helps set the new recruits, or conditioned combat veterans, mind at ease, with focus on eternal and everlasting things. Elements of near unbearable earthly pressures, and desires, may come down on occasion, but, any member of the United States' Military can testify to the incredible safe haven that they find when allowed the opportunity to engage in practicing in their Catholic religion, or in whichever way they deem most fit for them personally.

Fortunately, the military nowadays has even incorporated the recognition of various religions into their own career progressions. Amongst the hundreds of military occupational specialties (MOS) that span the service branches, military chaplains, bishops, priests, and other religious figures, play an invaluable role in the continual strength of any given military unit. They are trained specifically to address the religious needs of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines, and, because of this, incredible responsibility is placed on their shoulders to help safeguard unit cohesion, and promote morale, that may otherwise be lacking. Whether you are a member of the Catholic church, or of some other religion, there is no doubt that you will find a welcoming, and accepting, invitation into your service branch of choice.

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God and Country: Reflections for Catholics in the Military
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