Recently I was invited to conduct a Buddhist service at the Kandahar air base for a small group of Buddhists there. This was a reminder of the diversity of the traditions of Buddhism represented in our armed forces. Among our small group meeting for the first time, we had Jodo Shinshu, SGI-USA (one Navy Corpsman was a 27-year member!), Shinnyo'en, Zen, and also those still exploring different schools of Buddhist thought and practice. We discussed the life of the Buddha, and the challenges of being an openly professing Buddhist in the military. There was also discussion about the future of Buddhist Chaplaincy in the armed forces. A very positive discussion!
Hopefully this service will serve as the nucleus of future Buddhist fellowship at Kandahar, which is a major installation in southern Afghanistan. If anyone stationed at Kandahar would like to be participate in Buddhist meetings there, please contact the CMC there, at DSN 841-7594.