Capt. Dale Goetz of the 4th Infantry Division stationed at Colorado's Fort Carson has become the first U.S. military chaplain killed in action since the Vietnam War.
Goetz and four others were killed in Afghanistan on Monday. They were traveling in a convoy that was attacked by insurgents, who used an improvised explosive device.
Goetz left the First Baptist Church in White, S.D. in 2003 to begin training for his work as a chaplain. Church trustee David Lucas said he was concerned about a shortage of chaplains in the military.
"I know for sure he was there asking them, 'Where are you at with the Lord' and do you know the Lord is your personal Savior?'" Lucas said. "'And if not, I can help you get there.'"
Goetz joined the U.S. Army in 2000 and was previously deployed to Iraq in 2004. He leaves behind a wife and three sons.
The Army's chief of chaplains, Maj. Gen. Douglas Carver, said in a statement, "Dale was a selfless servant of God, a devoted husband and father, a strong American patriot, and a compassionate spiritual leader whose love for soldiers was only surpassed by his firm commitment to living his calling as a United States Army Chaplain."
More than 400 Army chaplains are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
**Originally published September 3, 2010.