Carl Vinson Chaplain Ready to Serve Shipmates

Story Number: NNS091105-21Release Date: 11/5/2009 9:16:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Heather Roe, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- While USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) has three chaplains, smaller Navy ships do not have the same manning. One Carl Vinson chaplain recently spent time aboard other U.S. Navy ships to minister to the crews.

During his week aboard USS Elrod (FFG 55), Navy Chaplain Lt. Marlin Williams held a burial at sea for 12 veterans. He also conducted evening prayer, bible studies and counseled shipmates. While there, he distributed a religious need assessment, given to determine the religious needs and views of Sailors aboard. Williams believes it is important for religious services to support our Sailors.

"What matters is being there when people need you and that's the bottom line," said Williams. "We were able to take the fighting spirit of the Carl Vinson to the frigate and help out another part of the Navy."

Williams also had the opportunity to spend 36 hours aboard USS Ross (DDG 71) while the destroyer assisted Carl Vinson during an underway period in July. While aboard Ross, Williams had over 30 individual counseling sessions and two religious services.

Williams also spent 10 days in February 2007 aboard USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) during their underway period to assist with ministry services.

Williams hopes that he is able to visit other ships in Carrier Strike Group 1 during the transit to California.

"We are here for everybody whether you're rooted in a faith or you think you have no faith. I truly hope I'll be able to help fellow ships going around the horn [of South America]," said Williams. "What we do here aboard Carl Vinson is not a one man show. This is a one team, one fight effort and I hope everyone remembers to dream big."

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