FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- During the Task Force Wings Joint Operations Aviation Exercise at Fort Bragg Aug. 19-29, many Soldiers were able to practice their faith, and to help them spiritually during this training were the chaplain and the chaplain's assistant.

"That's what I am here for, to provide religious services for the Soldiers," said Chaplain (Capt.) Tim Raburn, the chaplain for Task Force Wings who deployed from Fort Campbell with the unit for its training. "I go out and visit with all of the Soldiers to ensure their religious needs are met. We fly out to the Soldiers who are at a different location so they can have a religious service as well."

Chaplains follow their own denomination, but are always willing to help others who practice a different faith.

"As Chaplains, we are required to stick to our denomination, (but) I minister to all Soldiers everywhere, no matter what," said Raburn. "My background is Baptist, so my preaching comes from that background," said Raburn.

A major aspect of the chaplaincy is to provide counseling to every Soldier, regardless of personal faith.

"We are here any time of the day for Soldiers," said Sgt. Michael Tellier, the Task Force Wings chaplain assistant. "I will be there to schedule the appointment for any Soldier, or even their spouses, to receive counseling from the chaplain. If a Soldier needs help, we will be there to aid them on the right path."

Raburn knew for a long time that this was what he was made to do.

"I loved the military since I was little," said Raburn. "I wanted to be in it as I was growing up, but God kind of led me a different way. I felt God calling me to be a preacher, so I went to college for a while, got my degrees, and became a youth pastor."

Raburn still yearned to serve his country, but didn't know quite how to do his calling and his passion at the same time.

"While I ministered as a youth pastor, I met an ex-Navy chaplain," said Raburn. "He told me I can serve God and serve my country at the same time, and God just let things happen, just the right way. I have served for three and a half years, and I love doing this. Especially out here in the field; this is right where I belong."

Raburn has been very proactive at providing the Soldiers services and prayer throughout the JOAX.

"I conducted a service Wednesday night and spoke about the gospel of Mark and how he came to be, and how he was influenced by the Apostle Paul and Peter," said Raburn. "(Mark) started out as a timid guy who deserted Paul, but came back to be a brighter Mark and a bold player in the Christian gospel."

Due to Raburn's efforts during the week, several Soldiers said they were looking forward to the church service on Sunday.

"I attend church every Sunday while I am at home, so a church service here will put my mind more at ease," said Spc. Narkietha Stanley, a signal support specialist for the Task Force Wings. "Church for me is good for the heart, mind, body, and soul."

No matter which denomination, every Soldier is afforded the opportunity to attend any church service.

"We welcome all who want to receive the Word to come," said Raburn.

Page last updated Mon August 27th, 2012 at 00:00