Community gathers for prayer breakfast Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 June 2017
Soldiers pray during the event.
Story and photos by Derek Gean
Assistant editor
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More than 100 community  members gathered to pray for the nation and its leaders, Tuesday during the U.S. Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and Fort Leonard Wood Military Community 2017 National Prayer Breakfast, at Pershing Community Center.

“We have a three-fold purpose here this morning, we are going to pray together as a community of faith, secondly we are going to celebrate our God-given gift of religious freedom in this country and finally we are going  to listen to an amazing story of spiritual resilience,” said Chaplain (Lt. Col.)  John Manuel as he opened the  ceremony.

Manuel introduced the keynote speaker, Danny White, a retired Marine with roots going back 19 years at Fort Leonard Wood. A published author, leadership coach and consultant, White shared his story, which complemented the breakfast’s theme “Finding Spiritual Resilience and Meaning.”
Chaplain (Capt.) James Steelman leads a prayer for national leaders at the prayer breakfast.

On a move to Fort Leonard Wood in 1997, White lost his wife, Jenny, and 5-year-old son, Danny, in a single vehicle accident.

He opened his presentation by showing a jar of marbles. He said each marble represented the potential days one has left in life, but said no one is promised anything but the present.

“Time is one of the most precious things we have,” White said. “We can find out how we spend it looking at our day planners. It is one of those things, I wish, I could hit rewind, and play, and redo some days.”

Soon after facing his Family tragedy, White moved to Fort Leonard Wood, met his current wife, Nora, and is now a father of eight children.

Dealing with his past, and facing the future, the retired lieutenant colonel, said he became consumed with work and defined his identity with the “stuff on his collar.”

“I nearly threw the story away because of pride, insecurity, being a workaholic and being, basically, a human doing instead of a human being,” White said.

Through his faith, he decided to change and focus on redeeming the time or “marbles” he had left.

“I can lament about what is gone, or Lord, with your help, I can use strategically what’s left. I worry about the future, but today is all I have,” White said.

White encouraged the audience to focus on their priorities and redeem their time with the “things that matter.”

“What would you do differently tomorrow with your marble?” he asked.

The program featured a  time of prayer led by various  installation chaplains, vocal music presentations and instrumental music provided by  the 399th Army Band  Woodwind Quintet.

What is observed as the National Prayer Breakfast, began during World War II, as a group of congressmen met to pray for spiritual guidance.

According to Chaplain (Maj.) George Tyger, 3rd Chemical Brigade, the event grew to welcome other faith traditions and has become a tradition throughout the nation.

“(It’s an) event to improve spiritual fitness and invoke divine favor for our nation and for our national security. Today, we have the opportunity to celebrate both service and faith and our profession of arms. Today, we gather to request God’s strength, help and guidance for our nation, for our government leaders for our military and our community,” Tyger said.

The event, normally held each May, was postponed due to the flooding that impacted the installation in early May.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 28 June 2017 )