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
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
"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
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.