Why Do I Want to be an Army Chaplain?
When a minister applies to be a chaplain in the Army, they are asked to submit a statement about why they want to be a chaplain. Going through my old files, I came across the statement that I wrote nearly 20 years ago as I was applying to become an Army chaplain. For me, it still holds true today, perhaps even more so.
In the face of the challenges in our nation today, the Army soldier is asked to do his or her duty to defend the Constitution of the United States with honor, integrity and selfless service while facing dangers on every side. Our young men and women in uniform give up the security of their familiar worshipping community to follow the call of their country to defend freedom.
These soldiers not only need the training that the Army gives them but also a presence that will give them moral and spiritual support as they face the potential risks of military service. While their spiritual leaders back home can give them some support, the Army Chaplain is uniquely qualified and equipped to be there for the soldiers when needed the most.
I feel called of God to represent Him and my Church as part of the Chaplain Corps. I believe that my experiences and education along with the additional training that the Army provides will combine to make me an effective Chaplain, working alongside those of other faith groups to serve our soldiers as they serve their country.
I want to be able to help those who have given up so much to be in uniform, to be a Chaplain who is ‘courageous in spirit and compassionate in service,’ continuing in the great tradition of the Chaplains who have gone before me, serving both God and country as a United States Army Chaplain.
Daryl W. Densford
24 January 2003
Not COVID-19, but Combat, Disrupted Worship Services in Vietnam
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many chaplains today have been shuffling their routines and procedures to produce video devotionals and online worship services for their parishioners to receive religious support while many who are deployed shuffle their schedules to accommodate military operations. Here is a press photo, taken 4 April 1966, of Army Chaplain Curtis Bowers with such an experience. The caption reads:
Chaplain Curtis Bowers of Lancaster, Pa., sometimes has to change his schedule of services. Protestant services for the U.S. 101st Reconnaissance Platoon, the ‘Screaming Eagles,’ were held last week on Monday near Tuy Hoa, South Viet Nam, because the men had fought all day Sunday.