Former chaplain shares stories of war - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Former chaplain shares stories of war

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LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- Nolan Howington was one of several veterans who shared their stories during the appearance of the Kiss statue.  He was a chaplain with the 69th Infantry Division and served in England, France, and Germany during the war.

"My job was to minister to the troops on the front lines," he says.  One of his responsibilities was to write their families when a soldier would be killed.  "Many years later, when I was back from service, I went to Mississippi and met one of the mothers of one of the families.  I had written her and of course knew all about her son, what went on and all that, things that they didn't get through the mail.  I had a delightful experience with her."

He also had to minister to the men before they would enter combat.  "The men would always have communion, a communion service…and as I stood there, I thought, well what an unusual situation this is – it wouldn't happen back in the states.  We've got Catholics, we've got Episcopalians, we've got every known denomination, including Southern Baptist... this probably would not be possible back in the states, a gathering of people of all kinds of faiths.  But the thing that bound us together was not only our sense of danger, but our sense of God…He had brought us together…The next day many of them went into combat and never returned. 

"I saw a lot of changes in the lives of young men who were 18, 19, 20 years of age – many of them were brought up against reality…they'd never seen death, never seen dying.  Now they'd been confronted with all of that, and it was a great experience to be a part of trying to help them understand the nature of life and the nature of God."

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