Religion
5:00 am
Sun April 8, 2012

The Army Chaplain: A Kind Of Mission Specialist

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

There is one group in the military with a unique role in helping soldiers and their families through difficult times. So, on this Easter Sunday, an Army chaplain describes his work helping soldiers who have just returned from war.

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RICK EBB: My name is Chaplain Rick Ebb. I'm the post chaplain here at Camp Atterbury. I am one of the first people they see, and I think that's very important that the representative of faith is there. And we say a prayer, a quick prayer, for God's safety bringing them back.

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EBB: When they see the cross or whatever religious faith group we're wearing, some soldiers will be real quiet, but all of the sudden, they'll just open up and unload.

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EBB: We ask them did you get married or divorced within six months of your deployment, because the suicide statistics, 65 percent's related to relationships. Or, did you experience a death while you're overseas, and that could be grandma was in hospice and she died while you were gone, or it could be a buddy got killed in combat. A loss is a loss no matter where it happens, and they have to deal with that now. And we just have each other to lean on as we get through it.

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MARTIN: That was Rick Ebb, the post chaplain at Camp Atterbury, Indiana. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.