Chaplains at the Academy

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by nfugleberg, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. nfugleberg

    nfugleberg Member

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    Does anyone have any personal experience with the chaplains at the Academy? My husband was given a card on I-day with a phone number and unfortunately, I had to call today to see if someone could tell DS that his best friend's mom died this morning. Does a chaplain tell him privately and give some time to recover? Is he given any time to write the family? We were torn about telling him, but didn't want him to find out from someone else. Your thoughts and experiences in this regard would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    The Academy chaplains are hand-picked and are experts at this kind of thing, as many mids lose grandparents and others during their time at USNA. They know how to break bad news, will coordinate closely with Summer Regiment staff, do grief counseling and reassure parents. Call. It'll be fine.
     
  3. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    ^^^^

    Agree. Unfortunately, with 4000+ mids, there are episodes of bad news almost daily and the chaplains can be very helpful in dealing with these issues.

    As an aside, after Plebe Summer, your mid will probably have a "favorite" chaplain. It doesn't really matter if the mid is religious or not and the chaplain may or may not be of the same religion as the mid. They tend to wander Mother B at all hours of the day and night and strike up friendships with mids, regardless of religious persuasion.

    I was at a graduation event recently where the mid involved was Catholic yet picked a Jewish chaplain to preside b/c they had become friendly. Not surprising in the military!:smile:
     
  4. nfugleberg

    nfugleberg Member

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    Thanks for the reassurance. Just got off the phone with DS who was in the chaplain's office. What a horrible way to get to hear his voice. He is of course upset but I am SO grateful he was allowed to call since he had a request for the service. For the last 2 years, the basketball and baseball teams (of which both DS and best friend were members) has worn wristbands with "LB" (the initials of the mom) and a pink ribbon in support of her. They have held fundraisers to assist with medical costs and have really rallied around the family. I cried when DS's only request was to put his wristband with her. Every time I think the Navy can't impress me more, they go the extra mile and do. He is upset about missing the service and doesn't know what to write to the family. I told him the wristband will say it all. Also said the tragedy is not in missing the funeral-the tragedy would have been missing her life.

    I think it was the right thing to do - telling him. He also said that calling the chaplain card was the perfect thing to do. Sometimes I get stuff right! I also never expected that he would be able to call and we could make sure he achieves some closure. Reminded him that now that she is rid of that pesky body, he's got a brand new cheerleader with him every day. He sounds very determined and was sure to tell me that tomorrow is the halfway point.

    Also made sure to let him know that over Christmas, he would certainly be "chilling" with the family and they understand his commitment. I am VERY impressed with the chaplains. The response was more than I ever anticipated and despite the fact they deal with this with hundreds of mids, I truly felt that I wasn't "just a mom". Come PPW I'm going to find the Rabbi who returned my call and helped me accomplish this and hug him. :shake:

    And thanks to all of you who help this mom who really is Navy ignorant. Did get kinda a laugh this morning when I told the Rabbi we are in North Dakota- "what the heck is a corn shucker doing in the Navy" was kinda his reaction.
     
  5. lovethenavy

    lovethenavy Member

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    So glad that you had a good experience with the Chaplains and that your son called home. I have been thinking of you and keeping you and your son's best friend's family in my prayers.
     
  6. Soylent

    Soylent Candidate

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    As a current Mid I highly agree. I'm of the agnostic persuasion, but the Chaplains are a great group of people.
     
  7. Soylent

    Soylent Candidate

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    If he's the Rabbi I'm thinking of, he's a great guy and has a lot of fans.
     
  8. falconchic88

    falconchic88 Member

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    nfugleberg,
    So sorry to read about your loss. You, your son, and his friend/family are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm glad you were able to personally talk to your son, and what a beautiful and perfect thing to say:
    "the tragedy is not in missing the funeral-the tragedy would have been missing her life."

    I am so thankful to know the chaplains truly are there for our Mids.
     
  9. MomoftheMagik

    MomoftheMagik Member

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    Your son, his best friend and both of your families are in our thoughts and prayers.

    And, your son's comment and his actions are just another reason I am thankful that my son has the opportunity to spend the next four years with these wonderful young men and women!
     

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