By Jacqueline Quynh, Multimedia Journalist - email
Capt. Andy Sohm hugs his sister after making surprise visit at St. Joseph's in Le Mars, IA
LE MARS, Iowa (KTIV) -
For one man, a call to serve God, also became a call to serve his country. And on Tuesday, a priest in the military surprised his family with a visit in Le Mars, Iowa.
Melanie Lehmann a first grade teacher at Gehlen Catholic School had heard there was a special guest during mass, but had no idea who it was. She was in tears when she found it was her brother Andy Sohm, a priest stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
"I wasn't even thinking of my brother Andy, I was thinking that's great, we get to meet another new priest. I just started crying immediately, to get up and walk I couldn't have done that, I just felt like my whole body was shaking I was so excited." Melanie Lehmann said.
She says growing up, her family was very close, that's why she calls this visit a blessing. Her brother, US Air Force Captain Andy Sohm wanted to be a priest since he was five. He was ordained a priest in 2006 and then two years ago, he decided to answer what he explains as a "call within a call."
"My call always remains as a priest but serving now not only as a priest, I'm serving as a chaplain, that means I serve the whole military. I am serving all faiths, I do counseling, appointments, I do prayers before changing of installation," Andy Sohm said.
Some might wonder if it's difficult for Sohm, who's a man of God, and peace, to have to face the realities of war.
"At times I think to myself why you know, it's so hard, it's so difficult, but then I see the people and I see how much they want to know God, I see the desire and I see how walking with them, and bringing them hope, brings me absolute consolation," Sohm said.
While back home, Sohm is inspiring people like his sister.
"I would definitely consider my brother a hero because he is the one that has to listen to everybody else's problems, issues, that they have in the military and he doesn't have anybody he can rely on other than his family," Lehmann said.
Though Sohm is celebrating Thanksgiving with his family, he's keeping the men and women in the service who aren't able to come home in his thoughts and prayers. He also says, he may be deploying overseas to Qatar next July.
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