The war at home: 10 years later, the legacy of 9/11 (reporting from Camp Lejeune, N.C.). Currents.

Finalist (part of three-story portfolio), Magazine News Religion Reporting, Religion News Association

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – On a Sunday afternoon, the high-pitched chatter of boys and girls playing fills the home of Marine Staff Sgt. Ahmal Coles and his wife, Whitney.

In the living room, the children’s parents and other grownups share Christian fellowship and sing hymns such as “Worthy is the Lamb” and “I Will Call Upon the Lord.”

This weekly small-group meeting brings together military families from the Roosevelt Drive Church of Christ, a 200-member congregation in nearby Jacksonville, N.C., just outside the main gates of this massive Marine Corps base.

The casual gathering — with homemade cookies and iced tea — takes a serious turn when the time comes for prayer requests.

“I would say I’m probably wound up a little tight right now,” said Marine Staff Sgt. Tim Harrison, a Roosevelt Drive member since 2008. “I’ve got a lot of stress because I’m about to leave.”

In about a month, the baby-faced Harrison will kiss the pretty young woman in the breezy red dress — his wife, Lindsay — goodbye and fly off to war.

Again.

Faith sustains battalion commander (reporting from Camp Lejeune, N.C.). Currents.

Even after shooting, Tennessee family counts its blessings. Inside Story.

At some small churches, part-time youth ministers fulfill a calling (reporting from Cheyenne, Wyo.).

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