Chaplains are individuals who minister to military members, and
their families of all faiths, while they are known for promoting
spiritual growth and fulfillment, chaplains can also be there for
personnel on a deeper level.
When I was in Air Force
technical training, I had to go to a chaplain for a confidential
discussion. That is where I learned it is okay to rely on someone
else's strength to get you through hard times.
Capt. Greg Lawrence, 28th Bomb Wing chaplain, left, talks with
Airman Sadie Colbert, 28th Bomb Wing photojournalist, at Ellsworth
Air Force Base, S.D., Jan. 8, 2016. Personnel can use the chaplain
corps to request confidential counseling, allowing Airmen to feel
secure when discussing sensitive information. To contact the base
Chapel Office, call (605) 385-1598. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman
I failed two out of four major writing tests we were
given, and I felt my heart sinking inside my chest. I needed
to pass this next writing assignment to pass the class.
Failure was not an option.
I felt so positive about
this next assignment, so I confidently arrived at a building
for my interview with an employee there, and to my surprise,
the window was blacked out. I began to panic. I knew what
happened but I didn't want to face reality. They were gone.
The whole entire office, key to my assignment and
passing technical school, had gone on a company strike.
After already going through two different interviews for
this assignment, a simple photo and one quote separated me
from a passing grade to get me through the class. I was
livid, and naturally, when I thought everything was over for
me, I had an emotional breakdown.
layers of a terrible social life and zero confidence
frosting, that final assignment was the cherry on top of my
stress cake; I decided it was time to talk to a chaplain. I
knew I needed some help getting through those rough times.
And it paid off because I was able to graduate
technical school and I'm now writing this article.
Getting me through, chaplains provided me 100 percent
confidentiality, which is available to all Airmen.
can't tell you how many times people ask me if I can't tell
anyone,” said Chap. (Capt.) Greg Lawrence, 28th Bomb Wing
chaplain. “The answer is no, I cannot, but [people] want
After speaking with the chaplain,
I found myself feeling more inspired to be more successful
than what I was. He provided me with several ways to
de-stress that I never considered. One was to improve my
social life, which I sought out as soon as I arrived at my
first base, Ellsworth.
Ellsworth's chaplain corps
sponsors Higher Grounds, a “hang out” zone to be used by
myself and Airmen who want to get out of the dorms and
communicate with each other.
“It's just a marvelous
place,” Lawrence said. “It's close to the dorms and Airmen
can play games and use the TV area. They can also use it to
Getting out of my comfort zone
and utilizing events hosted by Higher Grounds added a
motivating twist on my view of life. It also bolstered my
confidence, helping me be more productive than I thought I
could ever be.
“I think chaplains are here to care
for people,” Lawrence said. “My cross trumps my bars. I do
believe whether you're a one-striper up to a general, the
chaplains are here to care for you, encourage you, challenge
you and most importantly, be there for you.”
comments without depending on each other, individuals can
find themselves going down a bad road as well.
vitally important for Airmen of all ranks to be able to have
someone to talk to,” Lawrence said. “We think that just
because we get older and get more rank that we don't need
any help or encouragement. That mindset ultimately becomes
destructive. We all need others that we can go to.”
By U.S. Air Force Airman Sadie Colbert
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