Your Chaplain cares for you, is ready to serve - Camp Lejeune Globe: Faith

Your Chaplain cares for you, is ready to serve

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Posted: Thursday, July 19, 2018 12:00 am

One of my favorite aspects of serving as a Navy Chaplain is our core competency of “caring for all.” When I’m introducing myself to the new Marines at the School of Infantry – East, I usually tell them, “Whether we agree on everything spiritually and theologically, or nothing at all, I am here to care for you.” Often, because of the cross on my collar, Marines, Sailors, and their family members will tell me about their relationship with Christianity, and I will have the privilege of finding common ground with them and serving them accordingly.

Other times, people don’t want to talk about faith or beliefs right away, or at all. I recently had a young Marine who sat across from me with injuries to both of his feet. He told me about his family, and his sincere desire to serve as a United States Marine. Some tears were shed as we talked about the possibility of losing his dream just as it was beginning. I met with this Marine many times while he recovered and celebrated as I watched him finish Marine Corps Training and move on to his school and into the fleet. He messaged me the other day to let me know he was doing well and to send me some pictures of his duty station and workspace. While we met together, he never wanted to talk much about his spiritual life, preferring to receive some encouragement and distraction from his stress by talking about other things. As we messaged, I asked him about his spiritual fitness. He replied that it was hard to find people in his community and that he was missing it. After months of knowing him, this was the first time he shared his spiritual background. I was able to give him a couple of ideas about how to go forward as we talked about the beauty of his tradition. He went on to share a YouTube video with some music from his tradition that was enriching and wonderful. After a few more messages, we signed off. My heart swells to see him doing so well.

I know there are those times that Marines, Sailors and their families are apprehensive about talking to their chaplain, concerned that they will be preached at. If you have read this far into the article, I hope you will call on your chaplain when you’re in need. Your chaplain wants to see you thrive – no matter what you believe. We will provide for you in any way we can. If you come and believe none of the same things, we will care for you in any way regardless.