Chaplain Serves Diverse Soldiers

A local news story documents the efforts of Utah National Guard Chaplain (Maj) Gaylon Springer, and contains interesting comments about the role of Chaplains and religion in the military.

“I’m in charge of sin and stupidity and sometimes that’s a big job in the military,” Springer said, laughing.

He described the typical flow of spiritual needs during many military deployments: 

While stationed in Ramadi, Iraq, in 2005, Springer, who lives in Delta, was one of six chaplains serving 4,000 or 5,000 military personnel with religious backgrounds ranging from Christian to Muslim to Jewish. As the “there are no atheists in foxholes” adage suggests, attendance at church in the military increased during the deployment.

“Our church attendance was really high when we first got deployed,” Springer said. “As we were there longer those numbers decreased. You get more complacent.”

While much is often made of the number of “evangelical” Chaplains, Springer is a Latter Day Saint.  Like every Chaplain, he sees to the needs of any who request his help.