Welcome to my new blog entitled "Chaplain's Corner"! People from my home in Indiana asked me before I left on October 26th if I could somehow keep them in the loop of my new experiences in the active duty Air Force. So, I thought a blog would be one nice way to fulfill the request.
I am now in Day 8 since I arrived in Japan on October 28th. I can't even believe I am here. When I started the accession process to join the active duty, my recruiter kept saying over and over again that I would be stationed at a base in the U.S.A. or "CONUS." CONUS is the acronym for Continental United States. Then, when I finally learned where I would be serving, another chaplain told me that I would be serving in Japan. It took me a week to finally come to grips with the impending adventure I would begin. So, Yokota Air Base in Fussa, Japan here I come! http://www.yokota.af.mil/
The time table for my departure from Indiana was quite exhausting, but I finally made it here. I departed Indianapolis, Indiana on 26 October and headed to San Francisco, CA. After a short layover, I headed up to Seattle, Washington. That is where the long layover occurred. After retrieving my bags, I headed to the USO and checked in my bags. Then, I spoke with my sponsor in Japan. Fr. Oscar has been such a help and he advised me to get a hotel room so I could get some sleep before departing for Japan. I headed to a hotel near the airport, checked in, and finally had some dinner. Then, off to sleep for a few hours before I had to check in along with my bags for the final leg of my trip.
Finally, after a very very very long flight, I landed in Japan. I quickly retrieved my bags and was greeted by my sponsor, my Wing Chaplain and his wife, and several members of the Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Community. We headed over to the Officer's Club for a nice lunch that featured an Asian Buffet. YUM!
In the last week since I arrived, I have been involved in in-processing for a two day experienced called "Right Start." I have been completing paperwork, I took a driver class, I found an apartment on base, I found a car, I drove said car (on the left side of the road where I was sitting on the right side of the car - weird), and finally I have slowly got into a groove in the life of an active duty Air Force Chaplain. So far so good!
I have been blessed to be able to begin this journey. I am so thankful for my family, my friends, my Bishop back in Indiana, my military Archbishop in DC, my brother priests, my friends at the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne, IN, and all the other people who have supported me in this journey. Please stay tuned for more updates and have a blessed day!
(Base Chapel ready for Catholic Mass)