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Title:
Interview with Barry J. Baughman, May 2, 2007
Date:
May 2, 2007
Description:
Interview with chaplain Barry Baughman.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee: Baughman, Barry Interviewer: Zarbock, Paul Date of Interview: 5/2/2007 Series: Military Chaplains Length 60 minutes

Zarbock: Good morning. My name is Paul Zarbock, a staff person with the Randall Library of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Today is the second of May in the year 2007, and we're video taping at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Our interviewee today is Chaplain Barry?

Baughman: Baughman.

Zarbock: Baughman. Good morning, Sir. How are you?

Baughman: Good. I'm fine.

Zarbock: What individual, series of individuals for an event or a series of events, led you into selecting the ministry as your profession?

Baughman: I'll start with probably the event. I came from a broken home. I'm the oldest of three children. My sister Toni [ph?] is a year younger than me, my sister Amy [ph?] would have been a year younger than my sister Toni. Grew up not really knowing who my father was because my parents had trouble initially, separated and then divorced.

Zarbock: Grew up where?

Baughman: I grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania in an area called Jeannette or Greensburg, Pennsylvania, two towns very close to each other, about 45 minutes southeast of Pittsburgh. Mother's side of the family was Italian and Roman Catholic, father's was German and Lutheran. So I actually had more of a Catholic upbringing than I did Lutheran. But I was always interested in trying to find out about my father. So I was the one that explored and would go down and spend weekends from time to time with my father. He had been remarried, with my stepmother Judy [ph?]; he was a truck driver for Greensburg Beverage. My grandfather was also a truck driver for Chemical Lehman [ph?] at the time, and they lived in Jeannette, whereas, Demenchios [ph?] lived in Greensburg; so only a town apart. We went through five elementary schools, we had the, you know, free medical and dental type programs. My father really didn't pay child support, so my mother at times had trouble paying the rent, so we'd get evicted. So we ended up going through five different elementaries. Eventually, through my contact of going down to visit my father, I was the only one, my two sisters really didn't do that, I would come back and my mother would always tell me, you know, what a son-of-a-gun he was basically. And then she'd say, "Well, you look just like him." And I'd say "You know, mom you're telling me I'm a son-of-a-gun" or whatever, but I was still interested. My mother ran into problems later. At on point in our life I can't remember, I think I might have been in elementary school, a black man came to live with us. She didn't really ask us if, you know, this is what we thought of this or anything like that. So now all of the sudden we got ostracized by all of the other kids. We were called, you know, foul names and things like that. One time, I walked in on him beating her, once actually, ran next door, and said to the neighbor "Please, quick, call the cops."

Zarbock: How old were you then?

Baughman: I was in probably fourth or fifth grade. I'm not sure how old I would have been, pretty young. And the neighbors called the cops, they showed up at the door-- my mother's just a little Italian woman, and I was about half her size then. And the cops showed up and she said, "Oh, I don't know what he's talking about officer," and I kind of just looked at her and my jaw dropped. And later on they eventually got into trouble. How they were making ends meet was, I guess this guy who lived with us was a drug addict, and they eventually ended up going to jail. Because of that we initially went to my grandmother's on the maiden side. But I was told later, years later, because I looked so much like my father, my grandfather did not want me in the house. But I had a connection with my father in Jeannette, so I decided, you know, for my own sanity I need to do that. I think I spent a year with my maiden-- or my mother's sister and she was Roman Catholic and all. And after that year I decided, you know, I can't live like this, I need to get out and so I decided to go live with my father and stepmother. So that's what I did.

Zarbock: Let me interrupt long enough to say that I'm absolutely amazed at the psychic strength that you had, you know. You have not gone through bad times, you went through terrifically bad times.

Baughman: Yeah, there was-- it was not very pleasant.

Zarbock: A master of understatement right there.

Baughman: Right. Through my connection with my father and stepmother down in Jeannette I came-- I bumped into a cousin Patty [ph?], Trishabelle [ph?] actually was her name, and she went to the Lutheran church that I was initially was baptized in- my mother had us rebaptized Catholic years later when the divorce became final. My cousin Patty was kind of viewed as an outcast with the rest of the family. She had a husband who worked Pepsi-Cola, was a foreman there, and she had two sons roughly my age. Warren was a year older than me; Wayne was two years older than me. And I grew up playing football, wrestling, track, baseball you name it. So that connection there-- she lived just across the street, basically, in the same town. I played sports with her sons and she always use to tell me-- she was a confidant for me, and she would always say "Barry, why don't you just come live with me." And I would say, "Patty, you just can't leave your family and go." Well, you know, things got worse. My father and stepmother were living in a house a stone's throw from my grandfather my grandfather and grandmother, his father and mother lived in a double-wide trailer next to the house they had that I guess got too bad for them to live in. So we did a lot of things with them. But eventually my father and stepmother had to move, me too, with my grandmother and grandfather in that double-wide trailer. They were all smokers, I never smoked a cigarette in my life. At the time my dad was working for Greensburg Beverage, he was hauling Stroh's out of Detroit and Miller's out of Milwaukee, and unfortunately another dark side of it. One time he would take me with him and he was actually having an affair with a woman who was only a year or two older than me at the time, which was pretty, you know, distressing. Eventually, things didn't work being in the same trailer together, you know, he would always get speeding tickets and be late coming-- eventually he got in trouble with Greensburg Beverage, and the marriage between he and Judy fell apart. One time he told me, you know, she wouldn't leave unless I told her but he never make me tell her, but he'd come home and get angry at things she didn't do, and start yelling at me about it. And by this time now I'm junior high, high school age. I hadn't moved around as much, grades started improving in school, was in theater, in football, press and track, all of that stuff. I enjoyed theater because I could actually be somebody else, and that-- there was a draw there, and I was told that I did it quite well. So, one of my first career inspirations was to be an actor. Then it went from that to being a police officer until I had realized I would probably have to arrest half of my family, that wouldn't work well. So, then it was due to sports I wanted to be a chiropractor. I got hurt on the football field once and went to a chiropractor to fix me up and I was like "Wow, that's an awarding profession. I want to do that." But the real connection with my cousin Patty was one that brought me back into the church. And eventually I did go and live with Patty. The marriage fell apart with my father and stepmother. One night they had a horrific argument in the trailer and he turns to me and she yells "I'm not going to leave unless he says." So he turns to me and says "Tell her." And I told her "You need to leave." And I was shaking and all. I told her later, I said, "You know it's not right. You don't love him and he doesn't love you. Don't worry about me." My father lost his job with Greensburg Beverage. He was a real interesting character. He can sell, you know, like they say, "Ice to the Eskimos." He had all kinds of wonderful opportunities slip through his fingers. He was-- somehow got a job managing a night club out in Ohio where he lived with this, you know, girl that was really only a few years older than me. And by now I'm about in my senior year in high school and it's been rocky. He and Judy fighting all of the time and stuff until that blew up finally, that I said happened. I decided to go with him one last time. I tried to make a go of it in Ohio. And that's when it all hit me, you know, this is crazy, I don't want to do this, I don't need to be here. I left all of my friends and my high school. So I actually went through most of the family, real close to my great-aunt and uncle, Aunt Marla [ph?] and Uncle Harry [ph?]. I called them first because they live right over the hill from where the trailer was that we lived in. They were over the hill and Patty was just down the road caddy-corner. And I said "You know I'd like to come back. Could I live with you?" And she laughed and said "Well, you know, Barry, if you're going to do that, we'd like you to stay with Pap" Then I called her daughter, Buff, Buff and Al. They were supposedly the millionaires in the family because Al had some kind of chicken restaurant that-- in New Alexandria that got really big that's called The Corner, and got famous for that. So I called them, they laughed, said the same thing. I wanted to stay them, but you know, I'm thinking like a kid, you know, can I still go to my high school? And of course they, you know, they said "Well, if you live that close you might as well stay with your pap." I called my grandfather back, said "Pap, I'd like to come home." And he said "Well, I was just getting use to not having the responsibility, you know." But that hurt, I mean, I did everything, you know, around the house, the lawn and all of that. But part of me said "Hey, he's right. He's retired. He shouldn't need that." Then it dawned on me, I remember Patty saying "why don't you come stay with me." So when the whole rest of the family kind of turned their back on me I went to go live with my cousin Pat. And that's when everything changed and grades went, you know, graduated with all A's and B's, and she got me into college and everything. Now, what was happening with my mother at the same time, she eventually got out of jail. She and my sisters were back together, but there was another black man who was abusing her. I ran away once when I was with my father when he was yelling at me for something that Judy did or didn't do, and then I realized, you know, I couldn't stay with them either because I couldn't deal with that. She's still in an abusive relationship, and so then that's when I decided to go with my cousin Patty. That's the connection with the Lutheran church. She ended up going to the church I was initially baptized in and I started going to church with her. There was a calmness about her when my life was all chaos and I said "You know, why is it, you know...," and she was my confidant too. There were things going on and unfortunately, eventually, her marriage ended in divorce too, and that got real ugly. So it was like I witnessed a couple of ugly divorces. But basically I said "What do you have?" And she said "It's faith." And I said "What's faith?" She says "Well, you know, I just believe in God and I believe He's-- things happen for a reason and He's going to, you know, help." I always had this curiosity, you know, why did these things happen, you know? Why was I getting yelled at for things somebody else did, you know? Why did I feel this way? You know, why was I so angry at this or not angry at that? So Patty said she gets it from church. And that was Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Jeannette, Pennsylvania. It looked like a castle, big black rock right next to the train station down there. So I started going. And of course as a kid, I was bored out of my mind. Now again, I'm in high school now. So I finished my senior year with Patty, and I'm with her there, and I'm starting to go to church. Actually, I started going to church with her even before I made the move, you know, to move with and in with her. Of course, the family got all upset, "Why you doing that?" And I said "Well, I asked every one of you and you all said, you know." So I really at that point didn't care what they had to say anymore. And that was funny, but they were all angry that, you know, even after they had said "Hey, no, you might as well go here or go there but anywhere but here." So anyway, I was bored out of my mind in church, and so I joined the choir, I figured maybe that'll help, you know. And the ironic thing was apparently my father was one of the youngest voices in the choir. But people started seeing something in me and they were talking about, you know, this guy would be a good minister or whatever. And the irony was in the midst of all this chaos I grew up in, my friends would come to me and talk to me and they would be like "Hey, you seem-- looks like you have it all together, you know. Can you help me with this problem?" And so it was a-- over the years it was putting one and one together and equals two, and maybe I did have something. I use to laugh though and think that if you really knew what I came from. On the whole and looking back, I think I was kind of robbed of a childhood, I had to be, you know more adult earlier, and that helped and that's a strength for other things, but a weakness as well. Eventually, some of the kids would sneak off to the Full Gospel Church on Wednesday-- and boy, you didn't fall asleep there. The preacher there, you know, would keep you awake. So initially I was baptized as a baby as a Lutheran, parents separated and then divorced, mother had us rebaptized Catholic, more of a Catholic upbringing. But even at the time both families were holiday church goers at best. The Baughman's not at all, Demenchios, my mother anyway, Christmas and Easter that type of thing. But there were times when we moved around, as I mentioned earlier, five different elementary schools, I actually attended a year or two at a parochial school in Holy Cathedral in Greensburg. And so there was some influence there. My grandfather on my mother's side was this big-- he looked like Rocky Marciano, big Italian guy, huge, he would just crush you with his grip. He use to always tease me when eventually I, you know, ended up becoming a Lutheran. He used to tease me and call me "Benedict Arnold" or some such thing, "a turncoat" or whatever. But we were holiday church goers at best, but I did have some experience with-- more experience with the Roman Catholic side of the house. Now when I'm, you know, speed ahead again and I'm back with Patty and, you know, some of the kids at my age at the Lutheran church now, high school again sneaking off to the Full Gospel Church, I didn't have the full-- how do you say, upbringing or Sunday school upbringing that, you know, normally a normal family would in a church. So we're listening to this guy preach and he's talking about, you know, "How many of you, you know, have the gift of the Holy Spirit?" "What do you mean?" "Well, how many of you can speak in tongues?" And through that whole theology we kind of got-- now I like to say "conned" into getting rebaptized. So now this is the third time I ended up getting baptized because they said "Well, it really didn't mean anything before when you were baptized as a baby. And you still didn't even know what was going on in your mother's head and you rebaptized. You've got to chose Christ yourself and make a stand." And so I decided...

Zarbock: Did that call for total immersion?

Baughman: Yes. It was total immersion, and there was like 70 people there at that time.

Zarbock: In the church?

Baughman: People were coming up, they were even being baptized, the church was full. There were hundreds in church but those that were being baptized were about 70. And this one woman's ahead of me, she comes up, African-American woman, and comes up speaking in tongues and I turned to the person, you know, "What's this, you know?" And they smiled and they said, "Oh, don't worry about this. She gets baptized every time they have these things go on." So I'm like "What's going on?" So, you know, I did, I got baptized. I didn't have any, you know, I was immersed, but I didn't have anything. And, you know, years later that ends up being a story that gets told by one of my friends jokingly to the woman who becomes my wife. And the reference was, you know, "Barry, you know, you've heard that song by Lionel Richie, Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady? Barry's, Once, Twice Three Times a Christian." And I've since coming through my Lutheran understanding to realize that the first baptism was what it took, and that was more like worth righteousness. But we would sneak off so we wouldn't get bored at the Lutheran church. But then as you got older, I was initially majoring in business administration. Patty got me into an off-campus at Pitt. I went to Pitt at Greensburg for business administration, I went the whole year, even the summer. I was about ready to finish my final class when I sort of felt the calling come.

Zarbock: You're how old?

Baughman: I am now probably in my first year going into my second year of college.

Zarbock: And the year is what?

Baughman: Well, I graduated high school in '80; so this is probably '81 or '82. And I'm going to the off-campus at Pitt. Now what happened, in the meantime too and there's just so much, Patty's relationship fell apart. And the irony was, Patty and I were both each others confidant. Her husband was a good guy, he'd build a house for the neighbor, but she couldn't get him to, you know, put the screw in that light plate over there. And she did everything for her boys, and eventually she said "I can't take this anymore. He doesn't do anything for me or the kids, you know, I'm going to divorce him." And there is more to I than that, but this long story short, Patty's house before that time used to be the mecca. Everybody came together. They had a built-in pool, they had a pool table, they had a pinball machine. I lived up in the attic, and I got along fine with the boys and everything was great. But then all of the sudden when they started arguing, you know, everybody's gone from the house again. One night, I came home from work, the house was empty, they're having a big argument, and I'm upstairs-- actually it woke me up. I was asleep. I got up, I came down, and we called him Bruno, he was about 6'4", big guy, he had Patty down on the floor and she called for help from me. So, I come, and I stood in the door and I said, "What's going on?" He let go of her, she ran, you know, ran away down the stairs. She went out and hid on the front porch. Now, its only he and I in the house now, she's out in front. He comes and he looks at me and he says-- you know, swore, he said, "You know, stay out of it." And I turned around, went upstairs grabbed a few things, went out and spent the night in the car. I told her I wouldn't sleep in the house again with him. I can't remember where I stayed after that. But eventually, that marriage fell apart. Patty ended up getting a small house another town on the way, Adamsburg. I stayed with her and then got to witness a really ugly side of people. Her family, even I guess her husband at one time tried to say, "Well, what do have with Barry, you know? Why are you talking to each other, you know?" He tried to imply that we were having an affair, which of course we were not. We were just talking. You know, she was one of the best mothers I ever had in my life. So, I got to witness her own family turn against her. Initially, the boys didn't want to, for lack of a better word, pick sides in the divorce. And I tried to say, "You have to. I've been through this. You're going to have to do something." They initially stayed with the father. He didn't do anything, didn't do the grocery shopping, didn't buy them-- they were starving. Eventually, they moved down with their mother, and when they did that I slept on the floor. And in the midst of all of this somehow is where the calling comes. We were still in the house, they were fighting. And one night, I remember as plain as day, I was thinking about what I wanted to be, and what I wanted to do and is there-- is God possibly calling me to the ministry. And it was more of just an inner feeling, it was more of taking a survey or some sort of calculation of all the people that have said throughout my life, "You know, I think this guy would be a good minister, you know." And now when you look back on it, you know, I think the Lord works in mysterious ways, but obviously the initial obvious connection was, "Well, here's a young man that's in the church. Well, obviously that's kind of strange. Why is this going on? Maybe, you know, he might be a good minister." But what was happening internally was I was starting to get a lot of my questions answered about life, things were the way they are. And finding out about what faith was, and I believe developing a belief in God. And one night I was just walking around, and the way I remember it now is at that point I think Bruno had finally left the house and Patty was still there. Eventually, she would move out. There was another man who was trying to date Patty, but she really didn't want to, you know, date him. He told her that at one time when he witnessed me in church that he saw something, some sort of connection with me and the alter, and put two and two together. And he told her, "That boy's going to be a minister someday." And he talked to me about that from time to time, but at the time I wanted to be a cop, I wanted to be a chiropractor or what have you, and I was all ready, you know, in college for business administration. But then something finally clicked and I said, "That's what I'm supposed to do," so I put-- and this is one of the things that really sealed it for me. I kind of did to the Lord what Gideon did, you know, I test them. If you remember the story of Gideon where he, you know, "Leave the fleece dry and the ground wet. And then the next night, leave the fleece, you know, wet and the ground dry." So as I mentioned at one point, I was really into theater. And actually when I came back from my father's place with that woman in Ohio and eventually with Patty, I had the role in the fall play. I was the president of the theater company. Most of Hempfield students went on to this Adamsburg playhouse, and I tried out for that. And I prayed to the Lord and said, "If I get a part in this play, I'm going to take it at a sign that you want me to be an actor. I'm going to be the best actor I can be." Because at that point I kind of realized that, you know, you just have to find out what the Lord wanted you to do and do it. And so I went out-- but I really stacked the deck against him, you know. So I went out-- I mean, I'm the president of the theater company, all of my buddies were going there. So I go and I-- but I was one of the first ones to audition and the play was Fiddler on the Roof. And I did my audition, and I had to wait a month to find out. And so I did the two readings, sang several songs and whatever, go on with my life. And things started happening and before I know it that's when that call came. Now I'm transferring from Pitt at Greensburg and I'm going to Thiel College.

Zarbock: To what?

Baughman: Thiel College, which is about two, two-and-a-half hours north of Pittsburg, private Lutheran college.

Zarbock: Did you say Steel?

Baughman: Thiel. T-H-I-E-L. Thiel College Greenville, Pennsylvania, to major in religion and to pursue this call. Because I figured, "Well, I never got called back, you know, the Lord answered that prayer." Two weeks before I'd go to Thiel, I call Adamsburg Playhouse. And I hear the, you know, recording, "If you want to make reservations for the fun, exciting Fiddler...," I hung up dejected. I figured "Okay, that wasn't answered." Then all of those things ensued, now I'm going to Thiel and I'm, you know, ready to leave. Two weeks before I left to Thiel I talked to one of my girlfriend's-- friend's girlfriend, and she says, "I see you were in Fiddler on the Roof." And I said "What?" She said "I see that you were in Fiddler on the Roof." I said "No. I tried out for it and, you know, I never got called." And she said, "Oh, that's right. But your name was in the program. You were in the chorus." But she knew this group as well, and she said, "Oh, that's right so and so got laid-off and a few people didn't get called." Then I just got goose bumps all over my body and thought, "Oh, am I making a mistake?" And I thought, "Wait a minute. Did I make this prayer and...," you know. So that's one of the stories. Every time I go back I try to find where this guy is because I want to get a copy of that play I was never in that changed my life. So that was one of the big moments of that change. So now I go to Thiel and I major in religion, and I'm really starting to get the answer now to why, and I have a real interest in psychology and why people do what they do, and why they say what they say. And I'm developing an interest in counseling as well. And while I was there the next step was just gradually to obviously apply to, you know, the faith group to be a minister. And I went through that, you know, no problems, and I majored in religion, took two years of Koine Greek, ended up going to Gettysburg Seminary. And from there ended up in the parish, and my first parish was Spring Church Evangelical Lutheran Church in Apollo, Pennsylvania. My buddies jokingly refer to it as the arm pit of southwestern Pennsylvania, but we were up on hill it was a great, great church, great experience.

Zarbock: Big church, small church, medium?

Baughman: Small church, small country church. Before I left in three years-- when I first got there they would have maybe 30 people come in on a Sunday. And when I left we had anywhere between 60 to 100. So we, you know, kind of grew a little bit.

Zarbock: Okay, when you arrived, what year was that?

Baughman: Okay, I was ordained in-- Father's Day of '88 and in the Lutheran Church you can't be ordained unless you got a call. So that was-- I graduated from Seminary in '88, high school in '80, college-- Thiel College, majored in religion, eventually with that year at Pitt in Greensburg '80, '84. Then to Gettysburg Seminary from '84 to '88. And over that time obviously I got married before I went to Seminary, met my wife Kim when I was going to Thiel College. And met her and got married. She came from a much more stable family. Her father was a steel mill worker, her mother was a nurse; diehard Roman Catholics, and I couldn't understand why the Lord put the Roman Catholic in my-- you know, the father wasn't too keen on me initially, another big guy, I mean, "What's your intentions with my daughter?" And anyway, it was kind of interesting but eventually won them over. Ah, there were some-- no, we'd need more than two hours to tell the whole story. But anyway, in the midst of Patty's, you know, marriage falling apart, and she eventually got back into her house and, you know, it got too hard for her because Bruno was out of the picture now to care for me. So I actually ended up going back to my grandfather's for a little bit until I ended up getting married from my wife-- or with my wife.

Zarbock: How old were you when you finished Seminary?

Baughman: Let's see, Seminary. In '88, I was born in '62. I'm not real quick with math of course. So in '88-- shoot let me think. 26, thanks. That's why I'm a chaplain. I'm not quick with numbers. Okay, so I'd be 26 out of Seminary.

Zarbock: And you're going to start your career at a small country church, church population, about 30?

Baughman: Yeah, for the active, much more in the books.

Zarbock: And you have to do everything?

Baughman: Basically, yeah. Now, the interest there, what happens there is most of the guys there were in the military. And I never heard anyone-- or had retired, had some time in the military. I never heard anyone complain about the military. In fact, the only compliant was, "Boy, if I would have of stayed in I'd been retired back in such and such a time." Well that got my interest going. In Seminary I always kind of would listen to the guys that would come and ask-- for those who would want to be chaplains, I'd always listen to them, you know. You know, one year they'd send a Marine-- well, maybe provides Marines with chaplains. So one day a Navy guy would show up, the next year an Army guy. And I go and I'd listen, I'd ask my wife, "What do you think about it?" And she would always say, "No, because, you know, you have an deploy or whatever." And Jordan was born while I was in Seminary, and then Nathan was born the next year. And then we go the first parish and Anna's born in Apollo with-- my first parish there. and I'm in my two-and-a-half year mark in the church. And it was nice we were in the area I grew up with. We could see our families and all, but I just felt this-- for some reason I felt this calling to the Navy. And I said "Well, obviously I'm a chaplain. I'd have to be a chaplain. I'm not a non-combatant." And I don't even know how the call came, you know. Like I said I would go to all of the meetings and listen. Then in my first parish, talking to-- most of the leadership had been military at one time or another, Air Force actually, one Navy guy. I think we might have had a Marine or two as well. And they never said anything bad, so I really got interested in that. So finally, my wife said, "Let's-- you know, if you want to do this, let's try it." And I knew immediately when she said that, it was going to work for some reason, I don't know how, but I had to talk to the Bishop first. And I asked him, you know, "I have this interest, what do you think?" And he said, "Well, I'm the first one that we have to decide." And he said, "Sure if you want to do this we'll pursue it. I'll submit your name and we'll go from there."

Zarbock: Let me tidy up a point here. Your wife remains a Roman Catholic?

Baughman: No. We were married in the Catholic Church because at the time-- another story. There was an interesting situation. When I was going to the church, Holy Trinity in Jeannette, they eventually got a new pastor-- he was really great, Pastor Black. And with me being the young guy that was doing things that, you know, they hadn't seen young guys do in a while, so everybody's going, "Oh, this is going to be a great guy." Well, then there was this girl that arose too, "Oh, why aren't these two together?" So there was this tremendous pressure for us to kind of date and stuff. So we would do things together with the church, youth kids and stuff like this. And they in their minds thought we were always going to get married. Well, that never happened. Then unbeknownst to me, apparently, the girl really had a problem with it and would talk to the pastor about it, you know, that for what ever reason, you know, she and I never, you know, got together or stayed together. And because of that-- and I was away at college, for some reason he didn't really take a good liking to me or what. And I went to him for advice later, and, you know, I found all of this out later. And I tried to explain to him, you know, I never misled this person on or anything like this, so. Then another story to this, there were problems in his own life and he eventually was killed in his van, the church van he was driving ran into a bridge embankment. And later I find out because there were problems in his own life that they thought this might have even been, you know, a suicide. Well, that was about that time in for...I can't remember what I was telling you before. What was your question initially?

Zarbock: Your wife converted?

Baughman: Yeah, she-- I don't know how-- what I was going to say maybe it'll come to me. But initially-- well, that's why. We were married in the Catholic Church because at that time I didn't have a good relationship with the pastor at the Lutheran Church because of what I had just said. And I think my wife's parents were pretty diehard Roman Catholic and, you know, they were pretty much insisting. I had pretty much grown up a Catholic even though, you know, at least the early formative years, so I didn't have a problem. And because I really wasn't on the best of terms with my own pastor, it didn't bother me. I said "Sure, no problem." So we were married in the Catholic Church in Bethany, though, in PA, about a half-hour up the road from Greensburg, Jeannette area where I was from. And the families, you know, got together, and everything like that and-- always interesting. My father ended up remarrying another woman, so he'd been married about three times. And all of the ex's kind of got together and got along with it, and like the present one, so interesting story. But, yeah, that's why I brought that up. So that's why we ended up getting married in the Catholic Church. And I had to go and sit through the instruction and most of the pre-marital instruction amounted to-- because even though I was a Lutheran pre-min, and "We believe this. What do you believe, you know?" So I really didn't get any type of marriage counseling from the guy. That's all it was "We believe this. What do you believe?" And I had to sign this thing that said we would raise the kids to the best of our ability Catholic. And over time as I went through Seminary and Kim, if we had children because at the time we didn't have any children, as Kim began to find out more about the Lutheran faith, she said, "Well, I have no problem with this. I believe that." And so obviously when the kids were born they were baptized Lutheran, and so we stayed with the Lutheran Church ever since. So I get teased sometimes by her family that I stole her away, you know, from the flock or whatever. But the interest to the military developed with some of the senior leadership in that small church that already had military experience. And again, you never heard anyone complain about it at all. And finally when the wife said it was okay, and we talked with the bishop. And sure enough I went through MEPS in Pittsburgh they didn't know what to do with a chaplain. And it's been a roller coaster ride ever since. It's been about 16 or 17 years now.

Zarbock: You've been in the service 16, 17 years?

Baughman: About 16 or 17 years now, yeah.

Zarbock: And your rank currently is?

Baughman: I'm a lieutenant commander. This is my fourth look at commander, '05. What's frustrating about that is that I've had three or four perfect evals from two Marine Corp colonels, and a tour in Iraq, and you know, still wear lieutenant commander; so we're hoping something will happen. When I was with MAG-26, that's who I went to Iraq with-- when I was with those guys I-- with a company from [inaudible] the first half of that year was-- I got-- I developed hyperthyroidism. And so they worked me up for all of that. Long story short, I had three options: I had to take the pill that would-- the nuclear pill that would kill-- or their agent pill to would kill the thyroid, take another set of pills that would take another year to work, or do the surgery. I said "What do you recommend, doc?" They said "Take the pill." So I took the pill, it took eight weeks to get my symptoms under control. At that time my symptoms were I was hyper alert and hyper exhausted at the same time. Eventually, when that pill took place-- what it did it was bringing my hyperthyroidism down into normal and eventually into low. My weight shot up 50 pounds. I gained 50 pounds. And all this time I'm going to medical saying "Hey, you know, this isn't right. What's going on? I'm doing everything, I'm doing my PT, I'm dieting and it's still not working." I said "It's got to be my thyroid." They wouldn't listen. Long story short, I finally had a consult with an endocrinologist in Wilmington and he said, "Yeah it is your thyroid and they didn't quite kill it." And put me on Synthroid immediately and the weight just started to go down, thank God, and now I'm scheduled to have my thyroid removed surgically June 4th, so. And you know, I'm not even sure that that would even be possibly the reason why I haven't picked it up. It's just that the military's downsizing and even guys who've been, you know, in combat and what have you are still not getting promoted. It's kind of frustrating, but most of us love what we do, and especially with the Marines and you know the sailors and all of that. And so that's why we're. The chaplain core has one of highest retention rates of any core you can be in . And it's so exciting. I mean, my first corrugation was an aircraft carrier, you know. Then the CBs, you know, then a Marine Air Group and now I'm over at SOI seeing how they take...

Zarbock: What is SOI?

Baughman: SOI is school of infantry. What they do is Marines have finished their boot camp and they've gone home for 10 days leave. Now they show up at SOI and get further instruction on how to be a Marine and how to do the weapons and such. And depending on what their MOS is they...

Zarbock: MOS is?

Baughman: I really don't quite understand it. In the Navy we call it billets. In the Marine Corp an MOS is sort of their job description, what they're going to do in the Marine Corp. If they're not going to be-- if they're going to be infantryman they go to ITB, Infantry Training Battalion. If they're going to be say postal clerks or cooks or something like that they go to Marine Combat Training Battalion, which is different. And that's only 19 days worth of training whereas the infantry gets 52. And it's just a lot of moving parts over there with two junior chaplains under me, most of these young men and women over there are going to be going to Iraq shortly, when they get through their training. If you're an MCT you have to get further training at your primary MOS school where they're going to teach you after, you know, SOI experience here what it's like to do your postal clerk work or your admin work or cook or something like that, and then they go the fleet. Whereas, ITB for the most part goes right into the fleet after.

Zarbock: Chaplain, you said you did serve in Iraq?

Baughman: Yes, I was there with MAG-26.

Zarbock: How long were you there?

Baughman: I was over there just a little over seven months. At the time, we had two reserve chaplain's came in and kind of backfilled us and we couldn't-- backfill's is probably not the word to use. We couldn't just leave them in the rear and go forward, they had to go forward as well. So the way it worked was since I had that thyroid problem, my junior chaplain went forward with a senior reservist. And then when it came time for the switch at the midway point, I went forward and my junior chaplain came back and I went forward with a junior reservist. So it worked out great because you wouldn't have want two lieutenant commanders there together. So, we had a lieutenant commander and a lieutenant, and in the second we had a lieutenant commander and a lieutenant, so it worked out perfect.

Zarbock: What was your duty assignment?

Baughman: I was the-- I'm the MAG chaplain. Anything that flew that was ours over there. So when you say all of those pictures of copters flying around Fallujah a few years ago, anything that flew was ours. There was only one maybe Army squadron that really didn't fall under ours. What was amazing to me was the MAG was primarily a-- the MAG-26 at the time when it's back stateside is primarily helicopters, but yet when we were in Iraq my CO was the CO of everything that flew, the fixed wing and everything. So it was very, very interesting. We had several other reservist roll through as well. At one time I had about-- well, I always had three RMTs, religious ministry teams, under me, chaplain and then RP, a religious program specialist. A religious program specialist is our bodyguard. They're the ones that are the combatants; we don't carry weapons, they do. They protect us wherever we go, so that the Marines don't have to. So I had always three RMTs, one down in TQ that took care of all the [inaudible] that we're taking care of all of the Marines and stuff. And we were in Al Asad.

Zarbock: I'm sorry, where?

Baughman: Al Asad. And that's where, you know, the big airbase there they have. So anything that flew was ours. So my job was to make sure we were getting out and about visiting the squadrons and, you know, just like it would be back here, any type of counseling, anytime of emergency. And we were doing religious services as well.

Zarbock: Tell me about the counseling. What would personnel approach you...

Baughman: Well, obviously anxiety out, you know, going into a combat zone. Most of it was also, you know, possibly marital problems. You know marital problems don't stop just because there's a war going on, and obviously being separated adds, you know, to that. Sometimes its good, sometimes it's bad, sometimes its both. Occasionally, we'd get a few that just say, "I can't do this anymore."

Zarbock: What would you do then?

Baughman: When they get suicidal? When somebody said they couldn't do it anymore?

Zarbock: Yeah.

Baughman: Well, we would try to talk with them. And you know, as chaplains we're inside the training command and outside of it. We have confidentiality, they-- there is nothing that anyone is going to tell me that the UCMJ, you know, the Uniform Code of Military Justice is going to put me on the stand and say "Chaplain, reveal this." But there's certain things depending on different states you're going to be that you may get called in to try tell that. Obviously, so I would try to tell them, you know, "Hey, you have complete confidentiality with me. There is nothing you're going to tell me I'm going to report to anybody. But I'm a key resource person. If I'm doing my job, I'm going to refer you to the help that we have here to get you or even refer you on." Now, obviously we were in Iraq. So if some of those situations had to be referred back stateside or to medical, obviously we did that. But when you're back here you can even refer to people in town. Because sometimes they choose to seek help from non-military sources, you know. For instance, marriage counseling. Sometimes a spouse feels that because we wear the uniform that we're going to assign to uniform, and that's not true at all. We try to show that, you know, we're there for them as well. So we're kind of safety valve, though. We're there first and foremost; I guarantee their constitutional right to freedom or worship. But we do much more counseling, it's definitely one. The reason most chaplains love the Marines is Marines let us do what we need to do. In the Navy, you wear nine, ten different collateral duties. And I had to argue with Cos, "Okay, Sir, which job do you want me to drop so that I can, you know, actually do my job now." You know, do the services, do the counseling, do the visitation, so.

Zarbock: When you first arrived in Iraq. How did you get there? You flew in?

Baughman: Yeah, we flew in.

Zarbock: Had you ever been in the Middle East?

Baughman: Yes, I had been in Dubai, and Jobalei [ph?] with the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln on two west [inaudible]. That was my first duty station, on the Lincoln.

Zarbock: There probably was some sort of cultural shock, but it may not have been as stringent as if you've never been there before. But what was it like? You'd step off the airplane and "My gosh" it's a...

Baughman: Yeah, you get hit with a wall of heat, and that wall of heat is 24/7 it doesn't stop. What I remember from the deployments with the Lincoln was that the irony was there was all kind of destruction going on everywhere. I'm talking eight, nine million highways, huge. But I remember this one time we were, you know, we had to get cabs and things and they changed the money out for us. And one time there must have been some sort of a U.S. person over there that wasn't associated with the military. He rides up alongside our cab, winds his window down, beeps his horn, and we wind ours down, and the guy's saying, "How much is he charging you, you know?" And we're telling him, and he's like "That's not right." And he followed us all the way to our destination. This guy got so angry. He made this guy, you know, charge of what he should. So unfortunately one of my first memories is kind of negative about them over there, that they were trying to rob us of everything, you know, money wise that they could. If the taxicab ride should have only been say the equivalent of a dollar they would charge two. And most of you wouldn't know, you know, they'd get away with it. So that was unfortunately a negative one.

Zarbock: How much contact did you have as a chaplain with the native population?

Baughman: Actually, we had quite a bit. We did comrel projects, community relation projects. When I was on the Lincoln, we painted the inside and outside of this 14-room schoolhouse with the, you know, children, friends and such. We did that. We did all kinds of things. We took on supplies from squadrons and things before we deployed from this specific purpose, and we would give medical supplies and things of that nature. And that's one of the thing that sticks with me most about Iraq. As the MAG chaplain the two things that stick out in my mind, the generosity of the American people, and the military. Went out of our way to give them the kids, the local kids, school supplies, shoes, toys, candy. And I forget that group that came over maybe it'll come to me, we would collect the stuff. Terry Enninger [ph?] the first reserve chaplain, Lieutenant Commander Enninger, started this program. And by the time he left-- and he had to cut his torch short a bit because he's actually a professor at one of the seminaries in North Carolina, but he started this, the time that he was there got over 5,000 pounds of stuff. By the time I finished we were at 10,000 maybe 15,000 pounds of books, toys, clothing, shoes, you know, you name it, it was amazing, candy. We got it from all over. We got it from corporations, we got it from schools, we got it from churches, we got it from families. One family was so generous they sent, because it was over Christmas, they sent us over 3,000 toys that the Marines could come in-- we set up this Christmas toy shop to send back to their kids at home. So that was a little different, that wasn't stuff that was marked for the Iraqis. I mean, we had-- the Iraqi children received through MAG-26 alone, at least 15,000 pounds of toys and those things. This lady wanted this to be for the Marines. So we set up this-- guys would come in-- and I mean, top of the line toys and things, gifts for children of all ages, and for your wife, and all free. And you know, what I would do was we would get a flag, and dedicate it, and fly it in their honor, send it home to them, and they loved it. Other flags that we got-- we'd get like the little Marine Corp flags and the guys would sign and thank them. And the people would write back and say "Oh my God, that just so amazing you sent this thing." That really touched me. One of the things-- you were asking for stories. One of the things that made me stay in this business-- because you know I go through-- I imagine like everybody else does, you know, you start out and it's like "Oh, this is great. It's all new, its fun." And then before long you go "Oh my God, what do I do with this? This isn't fun anymore." After a year the needle [ph?] comes back, I've been waiting, "I can deal with this, I can accept the negative and the positive." But there has been a lot more positive than negative. It started on the carrier because that's where I was trying to decide. I initially came in because I felt "I wanted to serve my country, I'm not a combatant, how can I serve my country I'm a chaplain. I'll serve under guise of chaplain." And I was struck by all the Lutheran churches when I was in Spring Church Apollo, Pennsylvania there, we had this little study group of all the Lutherans who would get together. And I told him that I was contemplating joining the military as a chaplain. And they were like "What do you want to do that for? You want to join the war mission." And I was like, "What are you talking about? Our faith is one of the ones that have had chaplains since it began. this is a viable ministry, you know. So for some reason I felt really, you know-- and yet most of my fellow colleagues, it's hard for them to understand. So I was kind of floored by that. But one of the things that made me stay was I realized-- I would get a call from, say, a chief , "Chap, check out this guy. I don't know what's going on. He's a good guy, but he's really having some problems, you know. I'm sending him to you. " And I think what the chief was saying was that "We've done all we can for him, we don't know what's going on. Maybe its something personal, maybe he'll tell you because of confidentiality." And they send him to me. And you know I listened to the story and I do what I want, and I counsel him and I obviously try and do the best that I can. And maybe I tell him at the end, "You know your chief called." Chief called?" "Yeah, he's really worried about you, he thinks you're a good guy, he just doesn't know what's going on." And you can just see, you know, like, "Oh my God, you know, he cares about me." And I said "Well, of course he-- what do you think he's going to do give you a hug and a kiss in the morning-- hey, I'm glad you showed up for work, you know." And you know, the guy would go back-- the chief would call back and say "I don't know what you did but boy, you know." And that's like, you know, I didn't do much of anything. And I thought this is an worthy organization.

[tape change]

Zarbock: Tape number two, Chaplain Baughman. We're at Camp Lejeune. Today is the 2nd of May in the year 2007. Take it away, Chaplain, what were you-- what just...

Baughman: We were talking about growing up in that chaos, and one thing I actually did forget to say. There was a point when I had contemplated taking my life, which was in-- I was in high school. And this is important because it helps explain why, I think, I became a minister and why I came in the Chaplain Corp. Growing up in all that chaos I just-- everywhere I looked, I saw chaos and things that weren't good, and I just though, you know, why live in a world like this, I couldn't. For some reason I started thinking about Jesus dying on the cross, and I felt worse. Then I thought, you know, here's an innocent man that, you know, and look what he got, you know. So, you know, even more I just wanted to, "Oh, this is and I just want to leave." But then I decided to do, you know, I don't know exactly what I said. It was a prayer, but I basically said, you know, offered myself to him. I said, "You, you know, every time I try to do something it's not working. Everywhere I see there's stress." And this was after seeing two divorces, moving all around, all that stuff. I basically said, "You know, Lord, you know, come into my heart, you know, you, you know, I want to follow you. I want to do what you want me to do. If it's to be a ditch digger I'll be the happiest ditch digger in the world, just let me know. If it's to be an actor we'll do the actor thing, and again, even if it's in ministry, somehow make that known to me." And when I finally did that my thoughts changed from wanting to die because I thought the world was so full of chaos and whatever, to wanting to live, and like you had said, provide some sort of structure or orderliness to it. And I woke up it felt like 600 pounds was taken off me. Grades went from mediocre at that point to A's and B's. And the two things that motivate me were-- the one, the two things that actually kept me from taking my life was I had to believe that there was a reason these things happened. And the second thing was for some reason, this is more selfish, was I had to believe that others had it worse. I had to believe that I wasn't the worst. And it took ten years, yeah it took ten years to meet some of these people that had had it worse and that was through seminary and [inaudible] for education where I'm a chaplain in a hospital and I'm meeting people that have been addicted to drugs, alcohol, you know, and if I thought my life was a living hell or bad it didn't touch what some of these-- so ten years, you know. Because initially I was like, "Lord, you know, show me these people. Show me that, you know, I don't have it worse so I can have some reason to hope and live. And so that became, you know, ten years later through my education starting to meet those people and see that I could then thank God that, you know, for what I had, my experiences. I've often wondered if I could change it all if I would, and then I decided I wouldn't because I think it's made me who I am today, and I think I have a-- I'm in the ballpark, so to speak, of dealing with things in capable ways. I think I can help people. And, you know, they used to, that's funny, you know, they use to say, "Tell me why you want to be a minister and don't tell me because you want to help people." Well, I fell into that, but I-- from personally I began to say that I want people to know that, you know, God loves them. I want people to know that no matter how bad their life is that when they get to the end of that rope and they're serious God's serious too. And you've got to be careful when you play, you know, Monte Hall with God, you know, "You get me out of this one I'll do right by you." God's going to get you out of it and you're going to have to live that way. And we all do that from time to time, you know, "Lord, help me out of this one and I'll do right by you." And that led me into also, you know, in the military. Initially it's a lot like youth ministry because you're, you know, talking with a lot of these young, you know, soldiers and-- well, not soldiers in case of Navy, but sailors and Marines. And I think they're the salt of the earth and I love them and I love what I'm doing. And if they said we're not going to promote you any more and you can stay 30 years I'd stay 30 years and do it. I'm not going to-- and most chaplains are that way. Yes, we want to get promoted. Yes, we want to do these things, but what we do we have the best job in the military. We help remind the CO that we're human and, you know, that sometimes we need to standup and help our people. And by far, hands down, in all my years in the military the Marines do that better than-- and I think the Navy can take a lesson from the Marines. They definitely need to do that.

Zarbock: I'm going to ask a question of you that I've asked all other chaplains interviewed. At any time in your career was it ever suggested, was it ever hinted, were you ever ordered to do anything that you thought was in conflict with your ethic and your value system?

Baughman: No, never. There's been times when I've had to say to a CO that I can't be the Family Readiness Officer because of this instruction or something like that, but I have never been asked to do anything that would go against my faith, against rules and regulations or my background. In fact we were in Iraq when that thing happened with Klingenschmitt, or whatever, the hunger strike chaplain, and the Marines...

Zarbock: I'm sorry, I'm not...

Baughman: It made the national news, the guy that went on a hunger strike. That chaplain claimed that, you know, his CO was telling him what to preach and what to pray and, you know, all that. I think it was Klingenschmitt was the name, but the Marines got angry, the chaplains. "Did that ever happen to you, did you ever?" And I said, "Not at all." I said, "I can't speak for that guy. I don't know what happened to him, but that-- if what he says is true I find that hard to believe, but that's horrible.

Zarbock: Was he a Navy chaplain?

Baughman: Yes. Yes he was.

Zarbock: Serving with the Marines.

Baughman: Well, I don't think he was with the Marines, but he was just claiming that someone in the military told him how to pray and, you know, how to preach. That's never happened. If a CO tried to tell that to me, "I'm sorry sir, you're out of your box, you know, I don't tell you how to be a CO. Don't tell me how to be a chaplain." It never happed. And believe me, obviously, you know, we're taught in the chaplain's school, you know, we look for that. It's never happened. I don't know of a few that it has happened to. I mean, I can't even give you an example that maybe has. Maybe that's naive on my part, but.

Zarbock: Just as a piece of conversation between you and I. It'll show up on the tape, but a piece of conversation. I've only heard of one situation and curiously enough it was the wife of the base commander who directed the chaplain to do something or other. The chaplain refused. The wife made some sort of threatening remark and stormed out of the church. That afternoon the base commander called the chaplain and said, "I'm sorry, and this won't happen again and, you know, you're-- the actions and activities of your role are your actions and activities of your role, not my wife's prerogative to order you around." It's the only situation I've ever heard.

Baughman: Right.

Zarbock: I'd like to probe a little bit in another area. You are married. You are the father three children.

Baughman: Four.

Zarbock: Four?

Baughman: Yes, two boys, two girls.

Zarbock: What's the role of a Navy wife, a Navy chaplain's wife? What does a Navy chaplain's wife have to do?

Baughman: I think that role has changed. In the past they used to talk about how important it was and you actually got graded on whether or not your, you know, wife would come to the functions and things. That's changed now because a lot of things are, you know, spouses work. My wife's a nurse and it's been a great career to have, you know, for her to go anywhere I go. And we've been to Yokosuka, Japan. She was able to work there. She had a great job there. You know, so being a nurse plugs in anywhere. Yeah, there's still some, you know, times you get some of the social pressure and, you know, sometimes...

Zarbock: Could you specify? What do you mean?

Baughman: Well, you know the more senior you get, yeah, you know, I think people do take note, but the way, you know, that I was taught when I first came in was it's-- that's one of the things that has changed, because I remember some of the guys used to say in my first parish that, you know, you used to have to have cards and you used to drop the cards off and that's how the CO would know if you came. And then, again, there was a time in the military where, you know, your spouse was kind of being evaluated like you were. And I think that has changed. But the more senior you get I still think there may be some of that. You know, there's certain functions, obviously, you want to have your spouse at. Obviously, the Chaplain Core Anniversary Ball would be one of them. You know, if a married chaplain just kept showing up single I don't think there's any type of, how do you say, you know, repercussion or whatever but, you know, obviously the other chaplains would say, "Hum, we haven't met your wife. Where, you know, where's she at," something like that, but not like it used to be at all. The support is amazing because they have to be willing to pick up and go with you. And to, again, like I say, I'm fortunate that Kim's a nurse and that she's able to do that.

Zarbock: What about your children? They've moved how many times?

Baughman: We were worried. Oh gosh, this is the first time in about 16-17 years we've not had to move during a permanent change of station. So we've been all over the place. And one of our greatest fears initially was that, you know, the kids would grow up and, I don't know, have problems. And so we asked them every time, you know, "How are you doing?" This was the first time that our daughter-- the boys never said, you know, "Hey, I want to stay here. I want to do this." Jordon graduated in Japan. I think it was harder for Nathan. We came here and I was at MAG-26 at New River and Nathan had to go his senior year into a school where, you know, he's a new kid. They all know him, he doesn't know them, so he's learning, but he's doing fine. Never once did the boys say, "I want to stay." Hannah was the first one to say, "If it's possible I'd like to stay here and finish high school." So instead of going to Hawaii I took the following tour here. It's kind of weird. Every three years now you kind of-- your blood starts telling you it's time for you to move. But I'm actually enjoying staying now and being able to do some things on the house we have, and like that. You had mentioned a story you were talking about morals and things and if ever asked to go against them. And again, I say no. That's never happened. The-- I've, you know, the line, the military, the line being the combatants the CO and all that, the line has never, you know, given me any, you know, major stress. Ironically it's always senior chaplains that give you the stress. We always joke and we say the Chaplain Corp would be fine if it weren't for the chaplains. But, you know, most of the stress comes from dealing with senior chaplains. They figure they know how to do it, and they know, you know, and in most cases I think we do need to listen and understand, but sometimes, you know, like any field or profession, you know, maybe you need to realize that sometimes there's other ways to do things. But the majority of stress, and I think most chaplains will tell you that, come from other senior chaplains not the line.

Zarbock: Who outrank you militarily, is that correct?

Baughman: Yes.

Zarbock: Which adds another dimension to it.

Baughman: Right, whom you have to deal with and all. But then, you know, it's like the old, you know, axiom, or whatever, "You sometimes take the bull by the horns and he becomes your, you know, your good friend. Sometimes you take the bull by the horns and you get stuck or, you know, you get hurt." You had said something earlier too that make me thing of something that was very interesting. You know, when you said you talked to the fellow you saw crying. This didn't happen to me, but I heard it and I remember it really stuck with me. One of our meetings out in Iraq the CV chaplain came and talked about how, I think it was the CV chaplain. It might have been another chaplain with another Marine unit, but basically how the Marines wanted the chaplain to bless their weapon, and now that can be a, you know, that's an interesting thing. Now, you stop and you think about that. With how Marines are taught and, you know, that this weapon is going to save his life, and obviously, unfortunately, he may have to fire this weapon on someone else. And for a Marine to come up and say, "Chaplain, I want you to bless my weapon." That's a powerful moment. Now, if the chaplain says, "No, I don't believe in that," now he's just, you know, undermined this young man or woman's entire world, and the chaplain did. And he said that he was just struck by how-- it gives me goose bumps just think about it, but he said he was struck by how-- what an intimate type of moment that was for a Marine to ask. And the whole unit, you know, they did, and then they did, they blessed the whole unit. We used to have convoys out and they wanted the chaplains to bless the convoys before they left, amazing. There were so many moments, so many stories I, you know, I can't begin to tell you.

Zarbock: You were approached by the troops who were going on convoy.

Baughman: Yeah.

Zarbock: And you were asked...

Baughman: Asked to bless the convoys before they go out. We did this.

Zarbock: What would you say?

Baughman: Well, we-- obviously you just, you know, pray that they would, you know, complete their mission and that, you know, God would protect them and they would be safe. And also, I mean, you know, we always pray that, you know, that if a life has to be taken that obviously it's, you know, it would be a necessary thing to do not just a frivolous thing. And, you know, you would hear stories all the time, you know, "Chaps I saw the car coming to them, you know, we had the sign, we would blare the warning. They wouldn't listen. We had to fire on them." You know, these guys were bothered by this stuff. I mean, they did-- in the end they did what they had to do but, you know, they're not like sometimes the media likes to portray them, just cold hearted killers. And those were a lot of times we'd get too, "Chaps, you know, how can I do this when I'm Christian?" You know, and we would talk about the, you know, the two kingdoms theory, the just war theory and, you know, and things of that and most of them are fine with that. Every now and then some of them are not and we do what we need to do with them, you know, whether or not they seek, say, conscientious objector status or whatever. But, you know, we're primarily, as I said earlier, the chaplain's a key resource person.

Zarbock: But you would raise the concept of a just war?

Baughman: Oh, definitely. Definitely, I think most chaplains do because, you know, we get a lot of those questions, "How can I do this, you know, chaps, how can I do this? How can I take another's life?" And, you know, and I share that just to say that they don't do it lightly, you know, and I don't think it's even taught that way, you know, they're not taught to, you know, to just go out and kill and not have any feelings about. And the chaplains are integral parts of the units to deal with just that type of stuff, you know, not only when we lose somebody, but also obviously someone who comes back who had to take another life. That's a serious thing, you know, for them. Doing all the Warrior Transition Briefs we did and, you know, hearing the different types of stories. You know, everybody had all kinds of different experiences in Iraq. We were in Al Asad. One of the things that struck me about Al Asad that was interesting that I wasn't prepared for, you know, we had civilians over there, that we had civilians that were, you know, anywhere from like literally just out of high school to could easily be grandmothers and grandfathers, you know, senior citizens. We didn't have a lot of children. We had-- one of the things I started to tell you, that one of the neatest things that happened was...

Zarbock: When you say "we had" what do you mean?

Baughman: We as in the-- at Al Asad, the whole base. I mean, we had Army, we had Marines, we had Navy, CVs were there, you know, and I think their, you know, different groups would pass through, we being the forces, or whatever. The group that was there to help us do what we needed to do they had their, you know, they had their civilian counterparts that were there driving trucks. And even those guys, we would sit in the same mess hall and talk. And wanted, you know, "Hey, come out and bless the convoy." And they had their own chaplain as well and, I mean, it was amazing, all kinds of stuff like that. We didn't see a lot of kids, obviously, didn't see any children. Our Christmas Eve service we knew that there was an Iraqi family that was living in the mosque. They had a mosque on the base, and but there was no imam there. And we had Iraqis on the base as well. I mean, it was a very interesting, you know, mix of people. Then we had some other third world nation people that would come in and, say, help-- Ugandans, I think, ended up helping with security as well. And we got to talk with all different types of people. But one of the highlights of the tour was Christmas Eve service. The family in the mosque came to the Christmas Eve service and brought their children, and tears, it just brought tears to your eyes. Some of the guys had been there a year and not seen their kids. And the look on these faces, you know. And my RP, RP1 Painter [ph?] ran up, and because it was during the time we still had a few of the gifts left over, and brought them gifts for-- oh, it was-- it was amazing. And they attended the whole service, watched the, you know, the choirs, the singing and everything. And then we went, and I think we did like five or six Christmas Eve services that night and the last one ended up at midnight with the EOD Ordinance guys, way out at the far end of the base. They all came. We lit candles. I mean, it just-- I can't begin to describe it to you. And you might not see these guys at Sunday, but boy they didn't miss Christmas, you know, that night and, you know, a little taste of home getting together and, you know, praising. It was a very, very spiritual moment. And no matter where we went, the chaplains, you know, we were welcome and they wanted us there. And, you know, it's just hard to describe.

Zarbock: Did you ever have a situation of anger directed at you or see anger directed at? You know, combat is a pretty angry thing, and I don't mean that...

Baughman: But the type, the way my experience was with the MAG, you know...

Zarbock: MAG means?

Baughman: Marine Air Group. You know, that's not, you know, that's different from a bunch of guys, obviously, on the ground, you know, kicking doors, going door to door in Falluja. That's different. Most of our guys wouldn't have seen it. The only ones who have saw at least combat would have been the pilots, you know, the helicopters or the jets. Most of the guys, you know, turning wrenches in Al Asad is no different than turning wrenches here, you know, but they had to carry their weapons around, and again, we're going to the chow hall and you're brushing arms with Iraqis and, you know, obviously the base would get shelled from time to time. So, you know, there was all kind of things going on, but it wasn't the type of experience, say, that the Marines had had that were on the ground in Falluja. That was totally different.

Zarbock: Let me build on that, on that remark of yours, "From time to time." From time to time covers an awful lot of things. For example, what was the food like?

Baughman: The food was great. The food was amazing. That was one of the big surprises too. It wasn't all MREs. In fact I didn't have an MRE, maybe once just on the way over, but once we were there, you know, and that's what some of these civilian guys were doing. I mean, you could be sitting across the table from a truck driver, you know, who is a civilian who's just out there working for whichever group was out there that had that contract. And, you know, and they would send a couple armed escorts along with that, you know, convoy to get the supplies. And, I mean, it was a very, I mean, you needed so much more there to help us do what we needed to do.

Zarbock: What did you do for recreation and relaxation?

Baughman: If you were there seven months you got to go for four days to Qatar for some R&R which was kind of nice. And you could go to Qatar and either take these trips out in town or you could stay on the base. They had a Chili's there. The guys, if they wanted to, could drink. There was like maybe a two, three beer limit a night or something. It was very nice just to get away from it. And if you were there a year you could go twice. Some of them, some of the Army guys were taking time, a week or so, and going to Germany and stuff. You know, guys that had been there for a full year could also take maybe a week or two and come back home and visit, you know, but you had to go back. So we had a different experience, like I say, than others that maybe were on the ground in Falluja. So for us, you know, the way the MAG operates right next door at New River is the same way it operated out there it was just in Iraq, and of course, obviously, the pilots were the ones that were seeing more of the combat and things, so yeah. So that was the, you know, that was the nature of my experience and that kind of thing.

Zarbock: We're you scared?

Baughman: At times you were. I mean, the first time that rocket goes off close to you, you feel that percussion, you know. We were, you know, there was a bunch of us here not too long ago over at, right here on the base somewhere, and the artillery went off and our-- we had a very uneasy feeling because your body's saying get to a hardened shelter and your mind's going, "Wait a minute, I'm on Lejeune, I'm okay," but you learn that. I remember trying to explain to my sister, you know, she said, "Well, why don't you just stay inside," and I said, "You can't. You've got to go eat. You've got to go to your job. You've got to move around." I said, "Eventually it's like lightening, you know, we don't stay inside we're afraid lightening, you know, the statistic of lightening striking us is probably about the same." But you learn. It's a risk you learn to accept. But it's something that the average American hasn't had to deal with, you know. You know, you don't go to your home and expect you're going to be shelled every now and then, and they don't tell you, "Hey we're going to shell you now." I mean, I come out of the headquarters once, you know, six of them went off very quickly, boom, boom, badoom, I mean, it's very fast and furious. And it dawns on you that I could be in full gear if something hits me over there that's it, it doesn't matter, you know, and I think that dawned on the others too, and that helps you start to think, you know, "Am I right with God? Am I right with, you know," and some of them did. And we would get some of those, you know, types of counseling's. I personally don't think anybody can go on a deployment and think, you know, "Hey, I can't have a better relationship with my mother, my father, my sister, my brother, my wife, my husband, my kids, you know, and, you know, one of my favorite quotes is, you know, "There's no atheist in the fox holes." My favorite by far is the, I think it's the soldiers from World War II said, "I'm not worried about that bullet with my name on it, I'm worried about the one, all the others that say, 'To Whom it May Concern,'" you know. And when you live in that type of environment, and I don't care if you're 18 or 45 it makes you think, "Am I ready, my God, you know, am I right with God," and stuff. And that's where I think our role becomes more real too. When we're back here, you know, "Okay yeah, there's the chaps," you know, if you're out there that's a whole different ballgame, you know. Everything tends to be a lot more real, you know, like this is a game like football, this is the big game, this isn't, you know, this is real. This isn't grade 13.

Zarbock: That's a great sentence, "Out there everything becomes very real." So, Chaplain, you know, a self described chaotic childhood and youth, a very good education, interesting career as a professional and now a parallel interesting career in the military, what have you learned from all of this? What would you tell me?

Baughman: That I'm really blessed. I, you know, I thought I was in chaos. I thought I was living in hell, and maybe I was, but I can, you know, you can go anywhere and still do what you need to do for, you know, and I think the military's that way too. I mean, why does the military train so hard? Why does it do all this? Well, because it knows that when the rubber hits the road or when it needs to go and do something it, you know, it needs to be ready. It's not always easy. When I thought before I was alone and maybe the worst, you know, it wasn't true at all. I wasn't alone and I didn't have it worse. There were others that had it worse. You know, I just need to, like you said, try to learn from it and move on. My early childhood, I just wanted to share with people just that, you're not alone. God's with you, God's care, God cares for you. Maybe your mother and father couldn't do what they needed to do for you, or whatever, but God would put someone else there as a spiritual mother or father. And, you know, my cousin Pat is a perfect example of that, you know, and seeing that she had a faith and wanting that too, wanting that calmness, wanting that ability to be able to have the world fall apart around you and you still remain clam and be able to do what you need to do. That's what I want, so, and that's what I try to share with others whether it's the young Marine that's, you know, having trouble with the fact that you maybe have had to kill somebody or even just a Marine, "What if I had to, chaps; would I be able to do it," you know, that type of thing. And they're not easy, "Chaps, bless my weapon," you know. You've just got to recognize this is a serious moment and sometimes you've got to step out on that limb and do what you need to do.

Zarbock: I usually tell the interviewees that as a reward for the time that they spent with me the one thing I can guarantee was immortality, electronic immortality at least. You'll get a copy of this DVD. The year is 2007. You have children. Years from now this DVD or some format, an improvement of it, will be available to them and they'll see you as you are now. You will never be a day older. So is there some personal message that you'd like to add at this time in conclusion of this tape? Anything you want to say for future generations?

Baughman: Oh, definitely. Well, the reason I think people do this, the reason I think people join the military is because of the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. And I'm not a combatant. I'm a noncombatant. The only thing I could do was be a chaplain, but I could be with these guys that were laying down their lives, these men and women everyday to provide me and my family with those freedoms. I love my children and my wife that much that that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to support these guys. And yes, on the on hand you kind of look at it and go, "Well, that's kind of crazy," you know. You-- I used to always say, "Well yeah, the only one that really is certifiably crazy is the chaplain because we've had all our education, you know, all that's paid for and we say, "Hey, I want to go with you guys," you know, "I want to go with you." They don't draft us, you know. "I want to go with you, and I want to help you do what you need to do, and I want to be there and cry with you when you're crying. I want to be there to laugh with you when you're laughing." But we all do it just like they do, protect our families, you know, protect our way of life and the freedoms we have because not everybody has these freedoms at all and you don't see that until you get out in some of these countries. And so we do it because we love our families, and that's why I did it.

Zarbock: Thank you, sir. I wish you the best of days.

Baughman: Thank you.

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