Camp Cropper dedicates Guardian Chapel on Easter Sunday
Apr 14, 2009 - 8:32:05 PM

Blackanthem Military News
Brig. Gen. Robert Kenyon and Chaplain (Col.) Robert Boidock cut a ceremonial ribbon held by Spc. Nathanael Putnam and Staff Sgt. Robert Munden at the Guardian Chapel dedication ceremony as Chaplain (Maj.) Thomas Vaughn looks on. DoD Photo Credit Army Staff Sgt. Carlos Vinson (RELEASED)
BAGHDAD, Iraq - As millions of people celebrated Easter around the world, members from the 11th Military Police Brigade joined together to officially open and dedicate a new chapel Sunday at Camp Cropper.

The chapel, named Guardian Chapel, is the first hardened facility dedicated solely for religious support activities at the camp.  Initially, the camp used a small tent and later a large multi-purpose structure for religious services, said Chaplain (Maj.) Thomas Vaughn of the 115th Combat Support Hospital. But the brigade commander made it a priority to have a dedicated chapel for service members.

"Clearly, a multi-purpose facility did not meet our needs, and having a chapel became one of my priority lines of effort to work during our tenure," said Brig. Gen. Robert Kenyon, commanding general of Task Force Military Police North and the 11th MP Bde.  "Thankfully, resources became available to us, and now we have this wonderful building thanks to everyone that helped complete this project for the benefit of all."
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, the chaplains baptized 10 service members outside the new chapel.  One of those baptized Sunday was Sgt. 1st Class Genaro Haywood of the 154th Quartermaster Company, 50th Brigade Combat Team, New Jersey Army National Guard.
"I've been close to the Lord for a long time, but never baptized," he said.  "So, to be baptized here in Iraq, the cradle of civilization, is a humbling experience.  I've been involved in the gospel choir and experienced getting closer to God on this deployment, and it is a blessing to have a safe location here at the chapel to be able to gather and worship.  It doesn't get better than this."

Chaplain (Col.) Robert Boidock agreed.  He said he was grateful to be part of the first baptisms at the chapel in this combat zone, and appreciated all the hard work and participation from everyone.

"What a blessing to be a part of the history of Camp Cropper and the United States Military in Iraq," said the chaplain.

The 11th MP Bde, deployed from Ashley, Pa., is the first brigade to be headquartered and co-located at Camp Cropper as command and control of Task Force Military Police North.


Sgt. 1st Class Genaro Haywood is baptized by Chaplain (Capt.) Zachary Combs outside the new Guardian Chapel after its dedication ceremony. DoD Photo Credit Army Staff Sgt. Carlos Vinson (RELEASED)