JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
As Airmen, we follow three core values to keep true to the Air Force creed. One of these is Service before Self, which can leave us feeling empty and tired at the end of our day, but Chaplain (Capt.) Pedro Jimenez Barros of the 446th Airlift Wing, is here to help.
“Spirituality is an important component of Airmen fitness, because spiritual health helps you to balance your professional life with your personal life and helps us to forgive, be better Airmen, leaders, moms and dads,” said Jimenez Barros.
Jimenez Barros was a lawyer before becoming a priest. Obtaining his priesthood in his hometown of Seville, Spain, allowed him to learn his religion in a very traditional way and practice it with the utmost pride, as displayed in his sermons.
“My whole family, mother, father, brother and sister are all doctors. I joke that they needed me to become a lawyer to protect them, but now, I tell them they take care of the body and I take care of the soul,” said Jimenez Barros.
Jimenez Barros was serving as a priest for nine years (12 years serving as a priest in all) on Moron Air Base, Spain, before answering the big need he heard of for Catholic chaplains in the Air Force. He accepted a contracted chaplain position on Joint Base Lewis-McChord knowing that he would eventually commission into the Air Force Reserve.
“I had other options for bases, but Washington fit my love of environment and I knew it was much busier than Moron,” said Jimenez Barros. “JBLM has great opportunities for travel and deployment and my goal is to serve as an Air Force priest for as long as I can.”
Jimenez Barros loves getting to go out to different units and meet Airmen. He says it’s like the apostles in old days. He wants to make himself known to everyone so that when the time comes for them to seek his spiritual counsel, people will find it easier to come in to a familiar face.
“I want to go active duty and live my priesthood in the Air Force for as long as possible,” said Jimenez Barros. “I want people to know they are not just a number.”
Jimenez Barros likes to read Ken Follett and watch romantic-comedy movies such as The Holiday and Love Actually. Jimenez Barros misses his family, the Spanish red wines and food, the prices and the sun.
“My family sent a picture of themselves and the first thing I noticed was the sun setting on their faces; we see the sun everyday there,” said Jimenez Barros.
When you see Jimenez Barros out making his rounds ask him anything about Spain. He loves to share his passion for his home country and also his interests of outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking and sailing.
“I want people to know that I can help by providing confidence and listening with confidentiality and give support, trust and advice to help restore inner peace,” said Jimenez Barros.