By Chaplain (Capt.) Jose Rondon
Special to GUIDON
During Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we celebrate our Soldiers who come from all over our nation and the world.
I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. At the age of 21, Bill Cashion, a Southern Baptist missionary in Caracas, gave me a ride to the Houston Astros baseball field.
Bill recalls that, after passing me by on the highway, God told him to return to pick me up. In those days, I was trying out with the Astros to sign a contract as a pitcher. In January 1992, through Bill’s help, I came to South Carolina because college was a better option for me.
Amazingly enough, I came to the U.S. through a lottery ticket my mom won with the exact amount of money I needed to come to the States.
I came with $200. From 1993 to 2008, I received scholarships, allowing me to graduate from college and seminary. I became an American citizen in 2010, and joined the Army in 2011.
God, without a doubt, created me to be a Soldier and to be with Soldiers. I am both humbled and thrilled to be a chaplain, Soldier and leader of the most glorious and heroic military force in the world. Our warriors keep me focused and driven.
We cannot have Soldiers prepared to defeat the enemies from abroad without preparing them to defeat the enemies from within.
I am always excited to be part of a generation that contributes to keeping our Soldiers and their families resilient and ready 24/7.
Thanks so much to Martin Luther King Jr., for our Army is the representation of Soldiers from all races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds who have chosen our most glorious institution to become the strongest “one team, one fight” force in the world.
We are still building this dream he envisioned to preserve our freedoms in the greatest nation where “‘all men are created equal’” and where our Soldiers are “not judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
We will still keep his dream alive to welcome hundreds of thousands more Soldiers to our “team of one.”
(Editor’s note: Rondon is the 787th Military Police Battalion chaplain.)