In January, Lt. Col. Khallid Shabazz received the call every Army chaplain dreams of, the call that validates years of intense study and hard work toward keeping the U.S. military in good spiritual health.
He was offered the job of chaplain for an entire division, an honor for anyone in his field but a milestone in his case. After a ceremony this summer, Shabazz will become the first Muslim division-level chaplain in the history of the U.S. military ‚Äď a Muslim spiritual leader for more than 14,000 mostly Christian soldiers.
Shabazz, who‚Äôs dedicated his life to working across religious lines, found it hard to keep calm as he received the news at his desk on Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Washington.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm on the phone saying, ‚ÄėThank you, I appreciate it. I‚Äôll serve honorably,‚Äô and then I hang up the phone and I‚Äôm jumping all around like a little kid,‚ÄĚ Shabazz, 48, recalled in interviews ...