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From the February 2007 issue of The Christian Science Journal

One of Lt. Col. William Battle's earliest boyhood memories is sipping mint tea with his Aunt Lenteen on their front porch in Panama—mint she picked and boiled in water till it was deep dark green in color. But even more than the lingering smell of tea on those tropical evenings, what he remembers most is the aroma of Spirit his aunt exuded wherever she went. "She was a devout spiritual thinker," he says of the gentle family member who raised him. And it wasn't just words, though she did talk a lot about God and the Scriptures. "It was who she was with family as well as strangers," he says. "Always loving and meek."

Battle's interest in Christian Science began at the age of eight, when Lenteen was healed of diagnosed breast cancer through the help of a Christian Science practitioner. His aunt was always singing around the house—tunes from her beloved Baptist hymnal, and then after her healing, songs from the Christian Science Hymnal. "Her healing made me feel—and know—the presence of God. That He is never far off, but always right here. It was a powerful idea that's never left me."

Up until three months ago, "right here" for Battle was Kuwait, where he headed up the U.S. Army's Logistics Civil Augmentation Program, providing life-support services, such as food, water, housing, and transportation to the troops in Afghanistan and Kuwait. In Kuwait, temperatures rose to 120 degrees, and the winds blew hard. The strong suggestions of a lack of unity, peace, and love blew hard, too, which is why Battle cleaved daily to Science and Health and his weekly Christian Science Bible Lesson.

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