Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Taking the Blog Back

Ok so over the past 10 months my wife has decided to join with me on this blog and then decided to take over this blog, well I am taking it back! Just don't tell my wife.

In all seriousness Annie has done a great job keeping everyone informed and keeping everyone up to date on what is going on with us and Bella. But as we have looked at the most popular searches on this blog they usually revolve around some of the blogs I have posted on entering the Navy Chaplaincy and my initial thoughts, so I think I will do a little more.

I have been back from the deployment for three months now and things are going ok. I say ok because family life is great. It is such a joy to be with my wife and my daughter. To see Bella improve and to be a husband and father again. But as a Chaplain it is hard to be back.

When you are in the military you feel as if you are not "really" in until you deploy, but for a Chaplain being deployed doesn't make you feel like you are "really" in the military but it does make you feel like you are truly doing ministry. When I am here in Norfolk, VA I cover a few different ships. I go to a different ship each day visiting each ship once a week. In this setup I try to partner with the command as much as possible but in reality all I really do is put out fires. I don't mean literal fires but counseling fires. A Sailor will get into some kind of trouble and then I will get a call and the CMC or XO will say I think you need to talk to this Sailor. So I'll sit down with the Sailor that I don't know, who I have never spent any time with, and I will try to make a positive impact upon his/her life. This is a difficult thing to do and is at the heart of why (at this moment) I don't plan on making the Navy a career.

On the deployment I was able to impact the lives of my Sailors every single day. I covered two different ships over 7 months out to sea; USS Winston S. Churchill and USS Oscar Austin. I was able to spend about 3 1/2 months on each ship so I was able to invest in who the Sailors were as people and not just put out the random fire that would come up every once in a while. So as I love being home because I get to be with my family, I also miss the opportunity to really invest in the lives of my Sailors.

Above is a pic of me and couple of the helo pilots from USS Oscar Austin. When I was on USS Oscar Austin I found myself hanging out with the pilots alot. The only problem was that the pilots keep vampire hours. They will stay up until 3 or 4 am and till sleep until 10 or 11am.


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