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Navy Chaplain on the Front Line - 2003-03-21

“Benoit, How are you doing? Are you behaving?”

“I’m Chaplain Scott Adams. I’m originally from Mangum, Louisiana. I’m 33 and I’m a Lieutenant, Junior Grade in the United States Navy.

I knew that when I got my orders that I was going to a Marine unit. And I knew that the Marines would take me out of my comfort zone. Being out here is not what I had imagined at all. But it’s a good experience it’s a growing experience for me as a person, as a minister.

I survey the “hootches” and make sure everything is OK. If there’s somebody that’s having a bad time, usually the other Marines will pull me aside and say, ‘Hey look Chaplain, you have to talk to so and so’. It’s just a reminder that I’m here. That I’m here for them. It gives a face to the name Chaplain, that hopefully is somebody that they can feel is accessible to them. Someone that, if they do have a problem, or they have good news, that someone who will listen to them as well as be happy with them.

It’s what I call a ministry of presence. It’s letting them know that there’s someone there that’s on their side…. That’s not in their chain of command so to speak that’s there to be there advocate and to be a listener and a counselor and a friend to them.”

“But I’ve got some more coming so, supposed to anyway. You all have a good night guys… ”