|AL ASAD, Iraq, Sept. 5, 2006 — In the midst of a combat zone it may be hard for one to find beauty, but with the help of one Naval petty officer, servicemembers deployed here will get a little taste of heaven when visiting the base chapel.
Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Donald J. Hodory, builder, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 25, 9th Naval Construction Regiment, saw a need and took the necessary steps to make the newly constructed chapel more like a religious sanctuary in the states.
"The idea for stained-glass windows came more as a dream than anything else," said Hodory. "When I heard that the new chapel was being built, it just made perfect sense to fabricate stained-glass windows for it."
The native of Woodstock, Ill., has been in the stained-glass industry for roughly 12 years, and he now owns an architectural stained-glass studio.
"The planning phase of this required us to get the supplies donated from stateside companies," said Hodory. "A friend of mine owns (a stained-glass manufacturing company) in Wisconsin, where they coordinated all the donations and shipped the supplies to the Army's 67th (Air Support Group) headquarters in Nebraska."
"When Hodory first approached me about making the stained glass, I was a little skeptical," said Army Capt. Brian Kane, chaplain, 67th ASG. "The way this entire project fell into place still amazes me. So many people had a part in making this happen. I wasn't even sure that the chapel would be finished by the time our year was over, let alone that it would have stained glass."
With the help of the soldiers with the 67th ASG, Hodory was able to receive the supplies and complete the windows well before his departure from Iraq.