Iraqi Freedom

JRF’s # 36 – A Quiet Reality By Emilio Marrero

November 13, 2011 // 1 Comment

In this memoir, Chaplain Emilio Marrero recounts his experiences with the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force at the onset of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  Following the invasion his unit set up operations at Sadaam’s former palace at Babylon.   Marrero soon found himself leading efforts to keep the Babylon Museum and the ruins of the ancient city from getting completely looted in the post-invasion chaos.  Eventually he was dubbed the unofficial “Mayor of Babylon” by the locals because of his influence, compassionate advocacy for the locals, and wise negotiating between the mission of the U.S. Military, the needs and desires of the local Iraqis, the demands of politicians, and the needs of a frail but immensely important archaeological site. As a fairly new Chaplain myself, this account was both encouraging and instructive.  Marrero’s ministry in Iraq is a great example of immense potential for influence – politically and spiritually – that a creative, motivated, and Christ-led chaplain has.  At many times I found myself stoping and jotting down ideas for my own ministry that were inspired by Marrero’s initiatives.   Other times I felt my heart convicted by the determination and passion with which he pursued people and initiated ministries from the ground […]