September 9 – Sgt. Brad Staggs 

What happens when military policemen and their support units get together and have some down time or are waiting on their next mission?  Some members of the 229th Military Police Company and the 192nd Security Forces Squadron spend the time bonding in the most fascinating ways… 

…rock climbing inside a church recreation center and football in the church’s parking lot. 

After five days on the road, the Soldiers and Airmen with whom we’re traveling have finally received a mission in Lake Charles, Louisiana, which raised their morale tremendously, because all they have wanted to do since being called to duty is help. 

Of course, we faced a challenge after we arrived here:  we needed a place to house 115 Soldiers and Airmen, not to mention all the vehicles and equipment accompanying such a force.  For one night, our prayers were answered, so to speak…  by the Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles

This was no regular church!  My partner Spc. Nicki Fellenzer and I were amazed when we saw it.  This church allowed us all to rack out in their “Concert Room,” which was situated next to their fully equipped gymnasium and Internet café!  The pool tables, video games, ping pong table and air hockey tables were a nice touch as well. 

But by far, the best touch was a 27 foot indoor climbing wall…  inside the church!  Pastor Steve James told us he saw how much kids loved climbing, and he had asked the church to install one for the youth.  The Soldiers were hooked. 

However, my favorite display of camaraderie came in the parking lot of the church, when, while waiting for our convoy to move to our new home at McNeese State University, the Soldiers and Airmen began an impromptu game of touch football.  There was no screaming about rule violations, no animosity between the players, just good, clean fun.  Both sides cheered and “high-fived” when a good play was made.  No one cared about the non-existent score.  They were just having fun. 

However, when formation was called, their professionalism came back in a moment.  It was immediately back to work.