The Army Chaplain: A Kind Of Mission Specialist

On this Easter Sunday, host Rachel Martin brings us the story of the role Army chaplains play in helping National Guard troops transition to civilian life.

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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.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTIN: That was Rick Ebb, the post chaplain at Camp Atterbury, Indiana.

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