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Brothers in arms say farewell at blessing service

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cpl. Matthew Klein and his brother, LCC chaplain Major Kevin Klein.

PEMBROKE, ONT. – Of the thousands of soldiers Major Kevin Klein has blessed during his career as a military chaplain, none perhaps has been as emotional as the blessing of his younger brother.

During a recent service at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Pembroke, Ont., Major Klein blessed Cpl. Matthew Klein, a Canadian military engineer who is now deployed to Afghanistan.

“It was a great honour for me as an LCC [Lutheran Church–Canada] pastor and a military chaplain to pray and bless my brother, along with our pastors Rev. Stephen Alles and Rev. Dan Kletke,” Major Klein told the Canadian Lutheran. “Though I have deployed to Afghanistan and Bosnia, and blessed and prayed with thousands of soldiers, this time it was different. Now it was my little brother going over.”

Cpl. Klein is a member of the 2nd Combat Engineer Regiment and will serve a seven-month rotation in “a very dangerous area of Afghanistan.”

Major Klein, who works at Canadian Forces Base Petawawa, said there’s no doubt his brother will be involved in combat operations at the “pointy-end” of the conflict.

Attending the April 18 farewell and Godspeed service for Cpl. Klein were more than 300 people, including many veterans.

Major Klein said some of those attending the service had never met a soldier before, and he encouraged other congregations to hold similar services for members leaving on active duty.

“As for the Klein family, we are very proud of Matthew and will daily pray for his safe return,” said Major Klein.

St. John’s Lutheran Church is a member of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS).

Visit St. John’s website at www.stjohnspembroke.ca/index.html

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