Cpl. Joseph Maciel’s death in southern Afghanistan on July 7 was not a result of a pitched firefight with insurgents or a car packed with explosives, but of an Afghan security force member who belonged to the very group Maciel was sent to fight alongside. The 20-year-old soldier from South Gate, Calif., is the 153rd member of the American-led coalition to die in a green-on-blue, or insider, attack. Last year, four insider attacks targeted the American-led coalition, leaving three American soldiers dead in a single episode. To stem the killings, which became a pressing concern for both the White House and the Pentagon by the summer of 2012, the American military instituted the Guardian Angel program, in which select troops would train to protect their comrades and be prepared to kill supposed allies.
In Train Advise Assist Command, South – a command that spans most of southern Afghanistan – some personnel are only required to take a two-hour class. For Maciel’s Army unit attached to the advisory brigade, known as the First Security Force Assistance Brigade, in Tarin Kowt, they most likely went through a five-day course, known as Advanced Situational Awareness, atop their regular infantry training. Once certified, Guardian Angels support American trainers, who sometimes sit and talk with their Afghan counterparts through an interpreter, without a weapon or body armor. The 1,000-strong force is spread across the country in small teams that train the Afghan security forces down to the battalion level, something conventional American troops haven’t done since 2014. If attacks like the one on July 7 continue to happen, the Pentagon will undoubtedly have to re-examine this level of training for Afghan troops, experts say.
What happened in the attack at the small base in Tarin Kowt, a town in Uruzgan Province, is unclear. According to an American military officer with knowledge of the episode, a member of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces fired at Maciel, killing him and wounding three others, two American soldiers and their Afghan interpreter. In the weeks leading up to the episode, the officer said, a small base outside Kandahar Airfield was warned of a potential insider attack; it’s unclear if the outpost in Tarin Kowt received a similar threat.
Guardian Angels Catholic Parish
Our new Parish Center building with church is even better than this website, so we hope to meet you in person. When you come to the office, you can receive a booklet explaining all the spirituality and symbols of our new building. Since the first Mass of Christmas Eve, we’ve moved into our new Parish Center, and on January 1, 2018 we blessed the building and dedicated our new worship space led by Archbishop Aquila. One hundred and seven years since the parish founding, we gathered on the exact date of our anniversary to celebrate our history and take a giant step into our future. Nearly four months later and in the Easter season, we’ve completed the major liturgies of the Church year.
We’ve been surprised and happy about the size of the crowds and growth of the parish. If you’re from Berthoud or Mead, then this is your parish. We’ve also become a young parish; I’m completely wowed by the number of children who make their offertory and participate in our faith formation programs. Our parish is not just taking care of ourselves but reaches out with open arms to serve and participate in the local communities of Berthoud and Mead. Annually, our parish returns well over 10% of our Sunday offertory to the needs of the people regardless of faith choices, and beyond our parish.
Your pastoral staff, parish leadership, and service organizations are here for you. We’ve come a long way since 1911 with our little old white church a landmark in town, and a treasure house of deep spiritual memories. All the good things that happen here come about because of the parish leadership and volunteers.
Are Guardian Angels Real? 5 Things to Know from the Bible
It’s not wise to think about the reality of guardian angels without considering who angels are biblically. Angels are invisible unless God chooses to make them visible. The angelic host is too numerous to count; and while they are not all-powerful like God, angels do excel in strength. They can exercise their own will, and in times past, some angels did choose to pridefully rebel against God and pursue their own agenda-later becoming mankind’s greatest enemy, however; an innumerable number of angels stayed faithful and obedient to God, worshiping Him and ministering to the saints. Although angels can be present with us and hear us, they are not God.
Contrary to popular thinking, the Bible never says angels guard everyone. Angels are curious about the salvation God offers humans and how He chooses to work through His people. Throughout history, considerable controversy arose about individual Christians having specific guardian angels. Angels are continually at God’s command as overseers and guardians. We see this in scripture when angels surrounded Elisha and his servant, when Lazarus was carried by angels after death, and even when Jesus noted He could have called 12 legions of angels-around 72,000-to help him at His arrest.
That’s not all they do! Angels also can deliver, guide, enlighten or reveal information, provide for believers, serve as instruments of God’s judgments, carry out some of God’s answers to our prayers, encourage, strengthen, serve, and help God’s children at their time of death, carrying them to heaven. Though misunderstood and underestimated, guardian angels are real.