(KLFY) Soldiers are deployed with all the things they need to survive physically. Food, water, shelter and what they need to complete their missions.
Chaplains in the military take care of their spiritual needs as well.
Most chaplains, the youngest you’ll find one is in their late 20’s, but I had a bit more mileage on my tires at that point.
Major Adam Harwood joined the National Guard when he was 42.
Degrees and pastoral experience are required for chaplains, but he still joined later than most.
Chaplains advise brigade commanders about religious issues in the region and they assist soldiers with everything from confidential counseling to ministry.
“I am their religious representative and I support their religious needs in any way possible.”
Chaplain Harwood is a seminary professor in New Orleans and he’s baptist, but soldiers in the brigade come from all different backgrounds.
“I either perform or provide that religious support. So in the last week, I’ve provided support to a jewish prayer service, a muslim prayer service, a catholic mass, and a mormon service, in addition to the protestant service that I led.”
And how does he span the chasm that divides many of these different beliefs?
“When you get to know the individuals and you get to know their religious perspective, if you focus on the issues that you have in common, you find that you can build bridges and forge lasting relationships.”
Speaking of relationships, the chaplain and his wife celebrated 25 years of marriage while he is deployed.
They have two daughters and two sons. He’s thankful for technology and wifi so they can keep in touch.