JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. --
The 446th Airlift Wing’s Chaplain Corps supports Reserve Citizen Airmen at the training range here last month.
Father (Capt.) Pedro Jimenez Barros, a 446th chaplain, and Tech. Sgt. Allen Jackson, a 446th religious affairs airman, provided 25 meals to 446th Security Forces Squadron members during their annual qualification training.
“As chaplains, we are trained to care for the well-being of our Airmen. Not only the spiritual side, but trying to help and making sure that all their needs are covered,” said Jimenez Barros.
“So providing food for them on a busy stressful day (we all get stressed when tested), I think it is another way of showing care and telling them ‘the chapel is here for you’.”
The setup took approximately two hours for the chapel team. They transported the meals, which included chips, beverages and burgers, to the range so the defenders could have lunch during training. The burgers were made with care, as it included a homemade sauce, fried eggs and sautéed mushrooms and onions.
Two Airmen, in particular, were thankful for the support.
“It makes me feel valued that they care so much to cook and feed us,” said Senior Airman Joshua Ortiz, a security forces member who participated in the annual qualification training.
Another squadron member, Senior Airman Dylan Jess, said, “The surprise morale visit by the chaplains was enjoyable. After a long day out on the range, a tasty burger and cold drinks were much appreciated.”
This is not the first time the chapel team has made food a way to fellowship with Reserve Citizen Airmen around the wing. They host a breakfast every drill weekend. They even hosted a chili cook-off with Airmen being able to cast their vote for the best chili.
The Chaplain office has done something like this for at least 20 years, according to Jackson.
Over the years, Jackson worked with Chief Master Sgt. Michael Pate, 446th Security Forces Manager, to support the defenders in the field.
Whether it is coordinating with USO to support the field training exercises or making homemade chowder to serve it in the field in cooler months, this is something they have looked forward to it over the years, Jackson said.
And, the chapel team will continue to care through food.
The U.S. Air Force Reserve Chaplain Program is a cooperative and pluralistic ministry. Chaplains adhere to the requirements of their endorsing religious bodies. They provide religious ministries during war, contingencies, national emergencies, and military exercises.