Cadet 2nd Class Yung Chin died while on leave in June; he had completed two years at the US Air Force Academy. Every year the wing performs a homecoming memorial formation in which the names of deceased graduates are called (to the reply of “Absent, sir!”). Regrettably, there are often cadet names included in those rolls; Cadet Chin’s name will be there this year.
What is somewhat unique about Cadet Chin’s memorial was the faith under which it was conducted:
Sensei Sarah Bender, the Academy’s Cadet Chapel Buddhist Program Leader, held a service that included remarks from friends and family, a memorial meditation, military honors and Celtic blessing as Chin’s ashes were interred at the cemetery…
Sensei Bender prayed for Chin to be healed and find peace. A committal ceremony followed.
While Buddhism is a very small minority within the US military, USAFA has had a Buddhist program for many years (even before the religious scandals of recent years). The Academy, and the US military, generally do an admirable job of providing the spiritual resources that any military member, or their family, might need — even if they are a minority faith.
May God give comfort to the Chin family.