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Army chaplain first to die in combat since ’Nam
Julie Sullivan, The Oregonian/Religion News Service
September 02, 2010
2 MIN READ TIME

Army chaplain first to die in combat since ’Nam

Army chaplain first to die in combat since ’Nam
Julie Sullivan, The Oregonian/Religion News Service
September 02, 2010

A Baptist minister from

Oregon who was killed in Afghanistan Aug. 30 is the first Army chaplain to die

in combat since Vietnam, according to the Army.

Capt. Dale Allen Goetz, 43,

died in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan’s Arghandab River Valley. He had been

in Afghanistan less than a month. Four other Fort Carson, Colo., soldiers were

also killed in the attack.

Goetz is the 124th service

member with strong ties to Oregon to die in Afghanistan or Iraq. But as a

chaplain, he was a noncombatant and unarmed.

The more than 400 Army

chaplains in Iraq or Afghanistan are military officers. Their job is to reach

soldiers on the battlefield, to provide religious support and to perform

services or rites, said Lt. Col. Carleton Birch, a spokesman for the Army Chief

of Chaplains.

An armed chaplain’s

assistant travels with each. The first assistant to die in the wars was killed

in Afghanistan last month, Birch said.

Goetz attended Maranatha

Baptist Bible College in Watertown, Wis. He completed his master of divinity

degree at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the

American Baptist Churches USA. He was pastor of a church in White, S.D., until

he joined the Army and

began his work toward

chaplaincy in 2000.

He served with the infantry

at Fort Lewis, Wash., then three years in Okinawa, Japan, until he was

transferred to Colorado in January. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 66th

Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort

Carson. He served 11

months in Iraq in 2004-05.

Survivors include his wife

and three children ages 10, 8 and 1. Funeral services are planned in Colorado

Springs, Colo., with burial at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver.