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Putting the Bible in the Hands of Soldiers

One ministry is encouraging America’s armed forces with God’s word using a unique tool called The Bible Stick. Read Transcript

ANGELA ZATOPEK: The weaponry, technology and threats

are much different than they were decades ago.

What hasn't changed is the physical and mental stress

of life in a combat zone.

Army chaplain major Matt Cassady served two tours

in Afghanistan.

So as a chaplain, you go everywhere

that your soldiers go.

When you're deployed, every sense that you have

is working at a 110% capacity because it

has to, because your life depends on it

and that person next to you's life depends on it.

ANGELA ZATOPEK: He received the Purple Heart for injuries

sustained when his Humvee was attacked by a group of Taliban.

And then when you start getting shot at,

it becomes a lot more real.

ANGELA ZATOPEK: Then there's the mind-numbing routine,

hours without sleep and thoughts about home.

According to one study, a third of troops

serving on the front lines develop post-traumatic stress


But one organization hopes to change

that statistic using a bit of ingenuity and the word of God.

Major Cassady says he used this technology to de-stress

while he was deployed in Afghanistan.

At night when he was off-duty, he

would listen to the New Testament

on a military Bible stick developed at Faith Comes

By Hearing.

The dramatized version allows you

to feel like you're there, like it submersed you into that day

and age, and you're more calm.

You're more comforted.

You're more relaxed.

You're less anxious.

You remember again your faith.

You remember your family and a lot

of recalling of those things that have grounded you.

ANGELA ZATOPEK: Troy Carl, the vice president

at Faith Comes By Hearing, says the military Bible stick

project was developed with today's soldier in mind.

The average age of a person serving today,

forward deployed, is about 24 years old.

They're an iPod generation.

So providing the word of God in an audio form

gives them a way to engage with the Bible that's

close to their generation.

It's the way they think.

It's how they're wired.

How many Bible states are currently issued

to troops on the ground today?

Truth is, we're barely keeping up with all new recruits that

are coming into the military.

So Praise God, 720,000 military Bible sticks

have been distributed.

ANGELA ZATOPEK: Engineer Mike Jane created the Bible stick.

A veteran himself, he understands the challenges

facing these troops.

They'll go out on a deployment or a patrol

and they'll be out for 16 hours, 18 hours.

And they come back exhausted, but they're all keyed up

from being out on patrol.

And they'll pop the ear buds into their head,

and turn it on and lay down on their cot.

And it allows them to pull away from everything

that happened through the day and listen

to scripture without exerting any extra effort,

because they're exhausted.

ANGELA ZATOPEK: By all reports, hearing the word of God

is helping put their minds at ease.

The testimonies that we do get back

that I've been able to read talks about people that

have been at the end of their rope emotionally,

spiritually, physically.

This is something that allows them to have something

to grab a hold of that sustains them in difficult times.

So I can tell you that the best testimony is directly

from a Master Sergeant that after being and deployed

in Iraq, he was hit by an IED.

And he said, you've got to understand

that this device is probably the most valuable tool for me.

I suffer from PTSD.

And he said, my body will naturally

repel the shrapnel that's in the flesh.

He said, but Troy, what do I do to repel the mental shrapnel

that I've suffered from?

He said, the word of God, when I listen to it,

it helps me get rid of the mental shrapnel

that I deal with.

ANGELA ZATOPEK: The team at Faith

Comes By Hearing says giving these soldiers access to God's

word not only helps relieve the stress of combat,

but also helps them answer the most important question of all.

Imagine being a young man or woman serving in harm's way,

and you're being faced with the very real circumstances

of your own mortality.

Don't you want to know more than just a sermon,

or maybe something you heard?

You want to know, what did Jesus really say?

And, is my eternal salvation secure?

ANGELA ZATOPEK: Major Cassady adds that our nation's warriors

and veterans deeply appreciate the profound yet simple gift

of respect.

MAJOR MATT CASSADY: About 3% of Americans are vets.

That means there's 97% of people out there

that can love on some vets, let them

know that they're cared for, that they're

loved, that they're honored, that their service was not

in vain, that their country loves them

and supports them in some real tangible ways.

Thank them.


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