Monday, August 30, 2010

Army Capt. Dale A Goetz

Remember Our Heroes

Army Capt. Dale A Goetz, 43, of White, S.D.

Capt. Goetz was assigned to 1st Battalion, 66th Armor Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died Aug. 30, 2010 in the Arghandab River Valley, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. Also killed in the attack were Army Pfc. Chad D. Clements, Army Staff Sgt. Jesse Infante, Army Staff Sgt. Kevin J. Kessler and Army Staff Sgt. Matthew J. West.

Captain Dale Goetz cared about the soldiers he served as an Army chaplain—both their physical and spiritual needs.

“He had a great burden for the soldiers,” said Jason Parker, pastor of High Country Baptist Church of Colorado Springs. “His specific prayer request was to see 300 soldiers come to Christ. He was also praying for God to call 10 of those soldiers into the ministry. That was one of his specific prayer requests.

“God was using him. He was very actively witnessing. He didn’t want to be just a social worker. He wanted to see soldiers hear the Gospel and trust Christ.”

Goetz, a 1995 Maranatha graduate, died Monday morning, Aug. 30, in Afghanistan while serving as an Army chaplain. Parker said Goetz was one of four men killed by a roadside bomb while traveling in a convoy near Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan. His death was also confirmed in an Internet posting by Ralph Colas, Executive Secretary of the American Council of Christian Churches. Goetz was one of the group’s approved chaplains.

An Army spokesman at Fort Carson said he had no details. A phone call to one of the base chaplains was not immediately returned. Parker said funeral arrangements were pending, based on the Army’s timetable for the return of Goetz’s body.

Long-time Maranatha faculty and staff members said they could not recall any alumnus having been killed in action since the Vietnam War.

Parker said the Goetz family had been transferred to Colorado in January after three years in Okinawa, Japan. They were interviewed for membership at High Country Baptist Church on Aug. 1, the day he was deployed. Goetz had been in Afghanistan less than a month when he died. “We officially voted them into the membership Sunday,” Parker said.

Goetz had expressed a desire for less rigid enforcement of apparel guidelines and other lower-priority rules for soldiers in combat in this Washington Post article. He also articulated the differences between Muslim and Christian approaches to salvation in this editorial for The Independent of Elizabeth, Colo.

He officiated at the 2006 funeral of Gerard Rugers Jr. The World War II U.S. Army Air Corps radio operator died in 1944, but his remains were not discovered until the fall of 2005 in the Himalayas.

Dale Allen Goetz came to Maranatha from Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Bible. He played one year of football and two years of baseball for the Crusaders and was president of the missions prayer band as a senior. He was also named the Outstanding Greek Student as a senior.

“I do remember him as a very outgoing person, very friendly,” said Maranatha mathematics professor Phil Price, who played football and baseball with Goetz and also graduated in 1995. “I think he may have been older when he came, somewhere in his mid-20s. He and his wife were a very nice couple.

“Dale was a great guy. You could tell he was serious about wanting to serve God in whatever he was going to be called into.”

Goetz completed his Master of Divinity degree at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis in 2000. He was pastor of a church in White, S.D., until beginning his work toward chaplaincy. Goetz was commissioned in January of 2004.

Army Capt. Dale A Goetz was killed in action on 8/30/10.

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