PNJ.com tells their story of the Rev. Susan Sowers who, before she was ordained became associate rector at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Pensacola, Florida, was a West Point graduate and rose to the rank of colonel in the US Army. Her faith has always been central to her and and her friend, retired Brig. Gen. Rebecca Halstead, became both friends and spiritual companions throughout their service.
From the hallowed halls of West Point to the grit and gristle of the Iraqi battlefield, retired Brig. Gen. Rebecca Halstead and retired Col. Susan Sowers have been side by side.
They were Army officers. They were leaders of men. And they were friends.
Theirs is a story that began some 30 years ago, when the women forged a friendship at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. They were cadets then — among the first women to attend the academy.
As they climbed the Army ranks, they found their careers intertwined. Again and again, twists of fate resulted in the women being stationed together in all corners of the world.
They commanded troops together in Iraq.
They were next-door neighbors while working at the Pentagon.
They served side by side as company commanders in Washington state.
And through it all, they have been spiritual companions.
“She’s been pretty much my best Christian buddy for my entire life,” said Sowers, who is now associate rector at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Pensacola.
This weekend, the pair will be together again when Halstead travels to Pensacola from her home in Troy, Va., to deliver the Sunday sermons at St. Christopher’s.