Black Hawk Down Ranger
Says Conflict Solidified Faith

Army chaplain Jeff Struecker told Samford students his religious faith gave him strength during a two-day conflict in Somalia that is portrayed in the movie, Black Hawk Down.

"My faith made all the difference," the real-life hero said during the March 5 convocation.

Struecker was an Army ranger who helped recover and rescue injured soldiers during an October 1993 firefight that left 18 American soldiers dead during the peacekeeping mission. He has since become a chaplain who ministers to 500 soldiers and their families at Fort Bragg, N.C.

The release of the movie, Black Hawk Down, in January has opened doors for Struecker to share his faith, and he is doing so at periodic speaking engagements.

"It is amazing that the interest from the American public is so great," he said. "I don't want to neglect my men, but I realize that these opportunities won't be here in a few months when the interest wears off."

Jeff Struecker, now an Army chaplain, speaks at Samford.

Struecker has been a Christian since he was a teenager in Iowa. During the Battle of Mogadishu, Oct. 3-4, 1993, "God solidified my faith," he said. He tried to share that feeling with other soldiers who had been wounded or had lost friends.

The experience prompted him to turn to chaplaincy, and he completed his undergraduate degree and earned a master's at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Seven soldiers were killed and 40 wounded in Afghanistan the day before he spoke. He asked students to pray for national leaders and men and women in uniform.

"Pray every day until this operation is over," he urged.

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Maintained by University Relations. Last updated: June 18, 2002

Spring 2002
Vol. 19, No. 1

Seasons Staff

William Nunnelley
Mary Wimberley
Associate Editor
Jack Brymer
Contributing Writer
Sean Flynt
Contributing Writer
Scott Camp
Multimedia Graphic Designer
Donna Fitch
Web Designer & Editor
Janica York
Editorial Assistant
Caroline Baird Summers

Samford University Alumni Association Officers 2002-03

Bennie Bumpers '63
Sonya Bumpers '63

Tom Armstrong '73
Vice President

Brooke Dill Stewart '95

Seasons is published quarterly by Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35229, and is distributed free to all alumni of the University, as well as to other friends. Samford University is an Equal Opportunity Institution and welcomes applications for employment and educational programs from all individuals regardless of race, color, age, sex, disability or national or ethnic origin.