Marine Corps Chaplain meets with MARFORPAC Marines
By Cpl. Danielle M. Bacon
| | June 17, 2004
U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC, Hawaii --
Words of praise, hope and inspiration filled the air in Hawaii as the 15th Chaplain of Marine Corps made his rounds at Camp Smith and Kaneohe Marine Corps Base Hawaii, June 17.
During one of many stops on his two-day visit, Rear Adm. Robert F. Burt met with Marine Forces Pacific enlisted Marines from every rank to discuss the special relationship between the
Marine Corps and the Navy.
“Chaplains want to see Marines be the best Marine they can be,” said Burt. “Sometimes, chaplains are not used as often as they could be.”
“I have seen three kinds of chaplains,” said Master Sgt. Steven Wadleigh, MARFORPAC G-4, who started out by talking about his boot camp experience and how the chaplain motivated him to go to church.
The second chaplain Wadleigh referred to wasn’t what he initially experienced with chaplains.
“The chaplain’s door was always closed. That gave me a bad attitude towards all chaplains,” said Wadleigh, who added that the closed door left the impression that he was never there.
He went on to explain his third experience, “There was this chaplain, who would drive a mile from his office to visit the Marines everyday. He didn’t have to, but he would, at least to say hi or talk to Marines about anything.”
Wadleigh’s attitude of any Marine going to the chaplain changed after that. “I had no fear that one of my Marines was talking to him,” Wadleigh said.
Then Burt explained that working with Marines is something many chaplains strive not to give up.
“Serving Marines is like working at the finest restaurant, where everything is nice, upbeat and everything goes smoothly,” said Burt. “In fact, when I worked as a monitor, I would have chaplains call me up and say, ‘I don’t want to leave the Marines.’”
When he would tell his fellow chaplains they had to go on ship, they would ask to go on a ship with Marines.
The master sergeant wasn’t the only one that had something to say about their experiences with chaplains.
“It is really good to see chaplains who get involved with the Marines. I think it is good to know where they stand on different issues,” said Cpl. Ruddy Daza, MARFORPAC S-4. “Knowing that makes you feel more comfortable when you really need to talk to them about important issues.”
Burt made it a point to emphasize chaplains are available to Marines for personal growth and to contribute to their well-being.
After finishing his tour around Camp Smith, the Marine Corps Chaplain went to lunch with Navy chaplains and religious program specialists from Hawaii, where he passed on praise from Marines at MarForPac.