Current Army Chaplain Provides Vietnam Field Service

The 3/4 scale replica of the Wall in D.C. is 375 feet in length and stands 7.5 feet high at its tallest point.(photo courtesy of Chaplain Daryl Densford)

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, founders of the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. also sponsors a mobile Vietnam Memorial Wall that is 3/4 the size of the original and travels around the country to give veterans, their families, and citizens an opportunity to visit The Wall That Heals even if they can’t travel to our nation’s capital.

The mobile wall just had one stop in Missouri this year, in the small town of Ava, near Fort Leonard Wood. When requested by the Douglas County Veterans Memorial Association, Fort Leonard Wood Chaplain Resource Manager, Chaplain (MAJ) Daryl Densford, willingly volunteered to go to Ava to give visitors a feel for what Vietnam Soldiers may have experienced when they worshiped in the field, as chaplains traveled around Vietnam to provide religious support to those fighting there.

(Photo courtesy of Chaplain Daryl Densford)

Chaplain Densford, dressed in a Vietnam War-style uniform, used one of his Vietnam-era chaplain kits to provide a worship service with Communion for about 60 participants who were visiting the mobile wall on 22 September 2018. According to Densford, while he took time to describe chaplain ministry during the Vietnam War and how it compares to today, “it wasn’t just an exhibition but a worship service for many Vietnam veterans, their family members and other visitors to the Wall.”

Following the “Field Service” there was an Honors Ceremony to remember the Soldiers whose names are on the Wall. Chaplain Densford provided a prayer at this ceremony which also included addresses by Missouri Governor Mike Parsons, Missouri State Representative Lynn Morris, Ava Mayor David Norman and President of the College of the Ozarks, Jerry Davis. One of the features of this ceremony was the sharing of memories by family members of six residents from Ava who died in Vietnam.

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Tommy Goode)

Whether caring for Soldiers and Family members serving today, or for Veterans, their families and families of the fallen from other wars, chaplains are willing to serve. “It was a great honor to represent the Chaplain Corps and Fort Leonard Wood at this event, and to honor those who died during the Vietnam War,” said Densford, “It’s what we do as chaplains on a regular basis as we ‘nurture the living, care for the wounded and honor the fallen’.”

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Here are some more pictures from the day:

(Photo courtesy of Dr. Tommy Goode)

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(Photo courtesy of Dr. Tommy Goode)

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(Photo courtesy of Dr. Tommy Goode)

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“Altar” set-up using two 5 gallon cans and two ammo boxes with the Vietnam-era chaplain kit (photo courtesy Chaplain Daryl Densford)

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This gentleman with Chaplain Densford was a machine gunner in the Navy but was a lay-volunteer for his chaplain when out to sea. He currently is a civilian minister and assisted Chaplain Densford with the worship service (photo courtesy Chaplain Daryl Densford)

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Chaplain Densford with Missouri governor Mike Parsons (photo courtesy of Chaplain Daryl Densford)

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Chaplain Densford with Missouri Representative Lynn Morris (photo courtesy of Chaplain Daryl Densford).

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Chaplain Densford with Dr. Jerry Davis, President of the College of the Ozarks (photo courtesy of Chaplain Daryl Densford).

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About Daryl Densford

I am an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene serving as an active-duty Army Chaplain. I am currently the Chaplain Resource Manager at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

Posted on 27 September 2018, in Chaplaincy, History and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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