Cross is Welcome Sight in Military Chapel
An Army article entitled “For God and country, chaplains provide soldiers peace-of-mind, place to worship,” details the service of Chaplain (1Lt) Julio Vargas and his assistant Spc. Justinet Oquendo as they serve the soldiers training in exercises in California:
Soldiers leave many things behind when they leave home – family, friends, their everyday way of life. However, one crucial aspect of their existence will always be available to them regardless of location – a place to worship…
When soldiers walk in and see that cross, they feel at home and definitely know what this is – which is a place they can worship,” said [Chaplain] Vargas… “This is so they realize there is always a place for them to connect with God.”
Like many military articles on the chaplaincy, it emphasizes the chaplain’s duty to all of his troops, regardless of their faith:
Despite the fact he wears the cross of a Christian chaplain, it is his duty to accommodate soldiers of all faiths to the best of his ability in a given environment, he said.
“Even soldiers of different faiths and denominations can come to me, be they Jewish, Muslim, Mormon or any other,” said Vargas. “Even if all I can do is provide them with a Quran or Torah, I do my best to help with their spiritual needs.”
US troops go around the world in training and combat in response to their nation’s call. As they go, so do their chaplains, who continue to provide spiritual support and resources so they can exercise their rights and religious freedom. It isn’t always easy, but it is necessary, and the US military generally does an admirable job of providing such support.