Bringing Courage to the Courageous by Don Williamson

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MWSA Review

Bringing Courage to the Courageous offers a unique opportunity to view the battlefield of modern day Afghanistan through the eyes of one who experienced it firsthand.  Chaplain (Captain) Don Williamson’s active twenty-year military career spans the spectrum from Private to Captain to Chaplain.  Bringing Courage to the Courageouschronicles his first assignment as Chaplain during a fifteen-month deployment to war torn Afghanistan in May 2007 to July 2008.  
Armed only with his Bible, Captain Williamson served as battalion chaplain for the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Artillery Regiment for the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.  Determined to reach as many Soldiers as possible, the dedicated Chaplain endeavored to visit every single FOB at least once during his deployment—no matter how distant, remote, or dangerous.   
Not only is Chaplain Williamson an inspiration to those in uniform, but his heartfelt account of encounters with Soldiers in need of support, encouragement, spiritual guidance, advice, and camaraderie will encourage and enlighten the reader as well.  Very seldom is a reader privileged to such an intimate view into the life of a soldier in combat, and the ministers who strive to keep them bolstered for battle.  
The prose is intense and descriptive, transporting the reader into a pair of Army boots, and into the heart of a man of God.  The writing is flowing and connected, making it a pleasure to read.  The content is factual, informative, and interesting, but contains elements of honesty and sensitivity that penetrates the heart with its warmth.  
The author’s telling of various Soldiers’ stories is beautifully written, exposing America’s finest in a way that few of us will ever be privy to witness, allowing us to rejoice in their triumphs, weep in their tragedies, and mourn their losses.  
Although scorched many times by the heat of battle, not a solitary Soldier in Chaplain Williamson’s assigned unit was lost during their fifteen-month deployment.  Not a single casualty from the 4th Battalion was suffered under his prayerful watch.  What a remarkable statistic that was—so remarkable that they were dubbed the “Miracle Battalion.”  Was their immaculate good fortune a result of divine intervention in answer to the Chaplain’s unceasing prayers, or just simply blind luck?  The reader is free to make his or her own assumption.  
This appropriately titled body of work offers every American the chance to watch a devoted ministering Soldier do what he does best … Bringing Courage to the Courageous.  
This book will inspire all readers—military and civilian alike.  Supported by Biblical truths, it will fill the reader’s heart with pride and appreciation for God, country, and those brave, selfless souls who as Chaplain Williamson phrased it … “carry a weapon so I (we) don’t have to.

Reviewed by: Claudia Pemberton (2011)

Author's Synopsis

This book was primarily a collection of emails sent to hundreds of friends and family members during the author's time in Afghanistan.  Spanning fifteen months, it tells of a battalion chaplain's journey on the battlefields of Afghanistan, providing ministry to Soldiers of the 4th Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team from May 2007 to July 2008. The 4-319th would go on to be nicknamed "The Miracle Battalion" being the only battalion in the brigade to not suffer the loss of a Soldier to either wounded in action or killed in action. It tells the story of how God works in and through the lives of our brave men and women in uniform and what they sacrifice on a daily basis to keep our nation free. It is a story that proves miracles still happen on the battlefield today!