Saturday, November 29, 2008

CLB-3 keeps faith with first religious service of deployment

Story by: Lance Cpl. Ronald W. Stauffer

KANDAHAR AIR FIELD, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan - Navy Lt. Karen Rector, chaplain for Combat Logistics Battalion-3, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force-Afghanistan, conducts the battalion’s first religious service at Kandahar Air Field, while in support of Operation Enduring Freedom Nov. 9.

Despite hours of training, Marines and sailors are given the opportunity to take a break from the rigors of forward deployment and enjoy Sunday service to accommodate their religious beliefs.

“It’s good for morale. There’s a lot of home sickness, and being with a group tends to help,” Rector said. “The services are also a place to relax and worship.”

Pfc. Jennifer Hays, a radio operator with Headquarters Company, CLB-3, said the sermons give people hope for a better day and can keep pushing them forward.

“Every time I’m with a group of people who are religious, it makes me feel supported,” Hays said.

Hays said she was moved by the service and how Christ was like her body armor.

“The service went very well, and soon there will be a set service time,” Rector said. “There should always be a Sunday service and, if there’s time, we might arrange a bible study.”

The U.S. Navy’s Chaplain Corps provides religious services for all denominations to Navy and Marine Corps personnel in garrison, on ship and while forward deployed.

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