Family Forum / By Judy Konitzer and and Chaplain COL(Ret.) Alvin M. “Sonny” Moore III:
Have you ever had a moment when happy memories flooded your psyche? It happened on a sunny Friday afternoon when our daughter-in-law Laura McCabe Konitzer and son Tom Jr. called to say hi while enroute to Laura’s good friend Tracy Moore Ray and husband COL Mark Ray’s retirement ceremony at Fort Bragg, NC. After 25 years of illustrious service to our nation, the Rays were entering a new chapter in their lives, and our children were there to help them celebrate.
Photo by Rene V. Bidez: Chaplain COL (Ret.) Alvin M. “Sonny” Moore III opening prayer of the 2019 Army Aviation Mission Solutions Summit
I vividly remembered Tracy occasionally watching our children when we were stationed at Fort Campbell in 1992-93, however we didn’t have any connection to the girls’ friendship at that time. Years later, Laura sang in Tracy and Mark’s wedding, and Tracy was a bridesmaid for Laura and Tom. When our oldest daughter Carrie and her husband COL (Ret.) J. Laurence Hutto were stationed at Ft. Bragg, she and Tracy lived in the same neighborhood and struck up a warm friendship. It was amazing for me to realize how much of a coincidence it was for these relationships to flourish, and how much joy it brought me. I have always loved being an Army wife and appreciate the camaraderie and connectivity we share with each other, and it truly reminded me at that moment how special is our bond as an Army Family.
However, while enjoying these special memories, I was also struggling trying to understand events unfolding today, i.e., Covid, the 20-year anniversary of 9-11, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, our nation so politically divided. When thinking about Tracy, I also remembered her father, COL(R) “Sonny” Moore, a familiar figure to our Aviation Soldiers and their families. When my husband Tom was President of AAAA (2005-2007), he encouraged Sonny to begin many major events with a prayer which Sonny continues to do to this day, and he has since been awarded the title Honorary Chaplain of U.S. Army Aviation Branch.
I reached out to Sonny and asked him to share his thoughts about how we can embrace the pride we feel for our Military Soldiers and their families, as well as accept and understand the uncertainty of the future.
“World events seem more troubling and confusing than ever before – probably in our lifetimes. We certainly have numerous issues and needs to pray about. Three big needs that I daily pray about are: (1) That our National Leadership will hold true to our National Values. (2) That our Nation and the world can achieve immunity from COVID-19 so that we can more freely live our lives. (3) That all those affected by recent hurricanes, fires, and floods can rebuild their lives and homes.
Considering all we face as a nation, no group is more important or more respected than our military. The military has provided security and stability like no other institution. I am proud to have served 34 years in the United States Army.
Most all the people that I have served with believe like I believe, stood for what I stand for, they are God-fearing servants of our nation. In the middle of all we face today, I try to remember that we have OUR ARMY FAMILY. We are connected in a way that most civilians will never understand. It’s really like “money in the bank.” I know this because I have experienced this over and over since I first raised my right hand as a 17-year-old boy “to support and defend the constitution of the United States.” My Army family stood with me in the loss of my wife of 40 years, through my battle with cancer, and through several deployments. It feels good to have a place to stand with people who stand with you.
Two prominent words in the New Testament are “One Another.” We are instructed to love one another-receive one another-care for one another. ONE ANOTHER are two good Army words- that’s what we are all about. We have ONE ANOTHER.
Another good word of instruction to all of us during these turbulent times is found in Galatians 6:9 “Be not weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not.” So, Keep Going-Keep Praying for our Nation – and Keep Smiling.
Chaplain COL (Ret.) Alvin M. “Sonny” Moore III is the Honorary Army Aviation Branch Chaplain.