Category Archives: Chaplaincy

Chaplains in Chapels Drinking Coffee

Excited to share the next episode of Chaplains in Chapels Drinking Coffee! In this episode, we went to Fort Benning, Georgia and visited with Chaplain Estella Karr at the Interfaith Chapel she helped to establish.

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Remembering the Attack on Pearl Harbor

There were many Chaplains and Chaplain Assistants who not only did their jobs but went far above and beyond to serve during and immediately following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and surrounding bases. In this 10-minute video, I explore the stories of some of them.

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Centennial of the Dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

One hundred years ago on 11 November 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was dedicated when the remains of an unknown Soldier from World War One was interred while four chaplains participated in the ceremony.

Three years after the end of World War 1, an unidentified Soldier who had been killed in fighting in France during the war was brought to Washington D.C. and lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda until 11 November 1921. On this Armistice day, the body of the unknown Soldier was committed and interred outside the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery, along with the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Chaplain (COL) John T. Axton commitments the body of an unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, 21 November 1921 (author’s collection).

Continuing reading this story and see more pictures here.

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On This Day in Chaplain Corps History

On 24 June 1917, after devoting thirty years to the development of a professional Army chaplaincy, Orville J. Nave died of injuries he received when he was hit by a trolley. His amazing career began in the Civil War and continued until this day in Chaplain Corps history, 24 June 1917.

His story is too long to tell in a short video but here are some of the highlights of his influential career:

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On This Day in Chaplain Corps History

On 17 June 1775, militias from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire met on Bunker’s and Breed’s Hills overlooking Boston Harbor to challenge the British’s occupation of Boston and the harbor. It was a bloody day of battle with the field going to the Crown, but it bolstered the cause of liberty in the colonies. Not only were patriots from these three colonies, and several others there, putting their lives on the line for their freedom, but there were also at least four chaplains there, enduring the danger and hardships of their new fighting parish, On This Day in Chaplain Corps History. Here are their stories:

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On This Day in Chaplain Corps History

On 6 June 1944, the largest amphibious combat assault in history took place as Allied forces landed in Normandy by air and sea. Among them were 13 chaplains who parachuted in with the airborne troops and many more who landed on the beaches. In this episode of “On This Day in Chaplain Corps History,” the stories of some of those chaplains are told.

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A Virtual tour of Chaplains Hill

There’s a quiet place set aside at Arlington National Cemetery where chaplains are remembered and honored. It’s called Chaplains Hill. What better time than Memorial Day to visit Chaplains Hill and be reminded of the service and sacrifice of the chaplains buried there?

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On this day in Chaplain Corps history

On 28 May 1948 the United States Post Office issued a stamp honoring the four chaplains who perished ministering to others when the Dorchester sunk after being torpedoed by a German Submarine in World War Two. Here’s a little more history about the stamp with a lot of samples of the First Day Covers.

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“Tell it to the Chaplain!”

It’s news in this man’s Army when corporal tells chaplain to keep his chin up

by Corporal Grant Robbins1

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“Look,” said the first sergeant. “Why don’t you just tell it to the chaplain?”

I had gone into the orderly room because my name was not on a new rating list. My sad story has such a long background of pyramided woes that I shall not go into it more than to say that only a good heart-to-heart talk with someone would straighten me out.

The following day I stood before the chaplain dressed neatly in patched fatigues to give the impression of a poor but honest home-spun GI.

“What have they done to you now?” asked the chaplain. “And kindly make it short.”

I sat down and let him have it straight. When the torrent had subsided, I sat back and searched the face of the chaplain for a reaction. He gazed at his feet and shook his head slowly.

“I just can’t understand the Army,” he said. “Now take me for example. You may think that I am doing pretty well, but I’ll tell you appearances are deceiving. After five country churches with an average salary of ten dollars a week, I finally get settled in a good town with a good congregation. And then, of course, I leave it to become a chaplain. Where do they put me? Out on a sand-blown camp in the desert, with a tent to preach in and a bunch of tank men who have no more inclination toward religion than Hottentots. Then the wind blows the tent away.”

I said that that was too bad.

“That was only the beginning,” he continued. “Shortly after I experienced a slight success in bringing some boys into the fold, they put another chaplain over me.”

He went on and on from one misfortune to another, and as his story developed one could easily see that he and Fate were at odds. Tears trickled down his cheeks and splashed off the bars on his collar.

Since passes were issued now only on Sundays his congregation had suffered a heart-breaking drop in attendance. And he had been ousted from his warm office to make room for the Red Cross. When he protested, he was mistaken for a mess officer and installed in a cubbyhole just off the mess kitchen, where from 0600 to 2100 came a heavy odor of frying Spam.

“And to top it all,” he said, “I have not received a promotion in eighteen months.”

I couldn’t stand it any longer. I reached across, patted him on the shoulder and said: “Keep your chin up, sir. I’m sure things will work out in the long run.”

He smiled miserably and thanked me. I tiptoed quietly out the door, leaving him in his grief.

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1 “Tell it to the Chaplain,” CORONET magazine, September 1945, pg. 68. (Excerpted from the book The Best from Yank, the Army Weekly, published at $3.50 by E. P. Dulton & Co., Inc., New York, N. Y.; copyright, 1945, by Franklin S. Forsberg.)

On this day in Chaplain Corps History

On 23 May 1951 Chaplain Emil Kapaun died as a Prisoner of War during the Korean War. Today, we remember him and his ministry to the Soldiers of his unit and fellow POWs whom he served unselfishly.

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