Spirituality keeps Airmen, families fit for fight

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Natasha Stannard
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The nation's swords and shields - its sentries and avengers serve no purpose with dull blades and brittle structures.

They must sharpen their abilities to meet the U.S. Air Force's mission to fly, fight and win through exercise and training. This exercise is not only physical and mental, but spiritual.

"Spirituality is important for what we do, and how we serve our country," said Chaplain (Lt. Col.) David Carr, 52nd Fighter Wing chaplain.

Much like maintaining a strong physical physique, maintaining a solid spiritual core takes training, and the five chaplains here are always available at the chapel. When care is needed immediately, they're a phone call away.

"[If you] acknowledge that you're not spiritually fit and [think] 'I'm missing something in my life and need to talk to someone' - we're here for that," the chaplain said. "We always have a chaplain available for walk-ins and [one] on-call 24-hours a day for those who need someone to speak with right away.

When someone is in crisis, we don't want them to wait to until Monday morning to make an appointment. We want to talk to them then," he continued. "That's what we're all about."

The rhythm of military life is not always smooth as it involves transitions and changes that may cause stress. Seeking spiritual guidance is one way to ease that stress, Carr said.

"Everyone has their own troubles - life is filled with them," said Senior Airman Daniel Arevalo, 52nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron engine mechanic and church attendant. "There's no way I'd be able to make it through mine without the chaplains, and the family I've built from attending services."

Some Airmen may think chaplains want them to sign up for a religion on a dotted line, but their goal is not to sell religion, Carr explained. It is to guide people on their spiritual path through whatever form of worship they seek.

"As chaplains, our key purpose is to care for the spiritual part of the whole person and [present] people the ability to exercise worship," he said. "For us to be the warriors we are, we need to be a strong person -- that involves being spiritually fit, and we're that spiritual care. "

The spiritual care provided here includes: confidential counseling, worship services, programs and classes.

Service schedule:

· Protestant worship is 10:30 a.m., noon and 4 p.m. Sunday at the chapel.
· Catholic Masses are 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday and 11:45 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at the chapel.

The chapel here doesn't have the capabilities to provide services for all faiths; however, the staff does find ways to serve all, the chaplain said. If a person is of a faith in which service is not provided for here, the chapel will do its best to care for their spiritual needs.

"We are pluralistic." Carr explained, "My job here is to care for the religious expression needs for anybody on this base, and if I can't provide that [expression] for them, I'll find someone who can. I'm going to meet their need."

Programs and classes include:
· Catholic religious education 10:15 a.m. Sunday in Bldg. 136.
· Tuesday Night Community for Protestants, which includes religious education and dinner, at 5:15 p.m. in the chapel.
· Approved Workmen Are Not Ashamed, a youth program, for grades 3 -12 at 3:45 p.m. Sunday in the chapel.
· The Hangar, a fellowship and bible study, at 6 p.m. in Landscheid.
· Club Beyond Teens, a Bible study group for middle school and high school students is from a 6 - 8:30 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. Tuesday for high school students; and is from 3 - 5:30 p.m. Thursday with snacks at 3 p.m., for middle school students in Bldg. 136.
· The Coffee Mill is a young adult ministry center. They host Bible study 7 p.m. Wednesday and fellowship 7 p.m. Friday.

For more information, call the chapel at DSN 452-6711/6281/6179 or 06565-61-6711/6281/6179.