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Interview with Andrew A. Wade, August 14, 2007 | UNCW Archives and Special Collections Online Database

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Interview with Andrew A. Wade, August 14, 2007
August 14, 2007
Interview with U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander and Chaplain Andrew Wade.
Phys. Desc:

Interviewee:  Wade, Andrew Interviewer:  Zarbock, Paul Date of Interview:  8/14/2007 Series:  Military Chaplains Length  120 minutes


Zarbock: Good afternoon. My name is Paul Zarbock. I'm a staff person with the University of North Carolina Wilmington's Randall Library. Today is the 14th of August in the year 2007, and we're in Newport, Rhode Island. This videotape is part of the oral history program focusing upon military chaplains. Our interviewee today is Andrew Wade, Lieutenant Commander United States Navy, and Chaplain. Good afternoon, sir. How are you?

Wade: Good afternoon, very well, thanks.

Zarbock: Chaplain, tell me, what individual, series of individuals, or better series of events led you into the selection of the ministry as your occupational choice?

Wade: Well, my dad is a minister. My dad is a pastor, so I grew up in the church, grew up around the church.

Zarbock: And where were you living?

Wade: In Florida. I was born and raised in Florida. When I was about nine, I was at a summer camp, at a Christian summer camp, and at that time I felt like God was calling me into the ministry in some form. I thought I was going to be a missionary. And so I made a commitment, filled out a commitment card, and came back and reported that to the church that I felt like God was calling me to be a missionary some day. So that is kind of how I first started thinking about entering the ministry. But I was not moving very much in that direction the rest of my life after that. I joined the Marine Corps at 17.

Zarbock: Had you finished high school?

Wade: I finished high school early so that I could go in the Marine Corps. I was in a big hurry to go off and see the world.

Zarbock: What year was that when you joined the Marine Corps?

Wade: That was 1982.

Zarbock: What was going on in the world at that time?

Wade: Well, I guess Lebanon was just starting to enter the news. I do not remember there being anything. In the '80s is when the Iranians had stormed the embassy in 1980. In fact, on the way up to my brother's boot camp graduation, my brother joined the Marine Corps two years before I did. And as we were driving up the highway to go to his boot camp graduation was the day that they announced the hostages had been released. I guess that was the same day as Reagan's inauguration. So that was big in the news, the whole thing with the Iranians and the Ayatollah Kouhmeni, and those kinds of things. So I joined the Marine Corps at 17. Was eager to go off and see the world and glory and fame and all that kind of stuff. And shortly after joining the Marine Corps, I had been in the Marine Corps for about a year and a half, I was offered the opportunity to go to college, which was kind of funny because I had joined the Marine Corps so I could delay going to college. I did not think that I wanted to go to college, or I was ready to go to college. So I went into a program that allowed me to stay in the Marine Corps as a Reservist and go to college full time. So I kept my rank and stayed in the military.

Zarbock: What was your rank?

Wade: I was a Corporal. And at the appropriate time in my college studies I went to Officer Candidate School in the Marine Corps at Quantico. So I did that for 10 weeks at Quantico, and graduated from Office Candidate School. And the intent was is that when I graduated from college, then I was going to be commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.

Zarbock: Where did you go to college, by the way?

Wade: The University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida. So my last year in college I really felt like God was calling me into the ministry. I had remembered that commitment that I had made when I was nine years old, and I guess there was a series of different things that kind of caused me to think now was the time to make good on the promise that I had made earlier, that up until now I was kind of living my life for myself and doing what I wanted to do and what I thought was fun. And it was as though God was saying, okay, now it is time for you to decide whether or not you are going to do what I want you to do. And so that is when I was faced with the prospect of staying in the Marine Corps longer, or getting out and going to seminary, because I knew that I was going to have more school once I graduated. So if I had elected to stay in the Marine Corps, then I would have had to finish my time as an officer in the Marine Corps and then still go to seminary. So I elected to leave the commissioning program that I was in, and I finished up the rest of the time that I had to serve in the Marine Corps, and then I left and went to seminary. That was in 1988. So I spent six years in the Marine Corps.

Zarbock: No lightning bolt. No riding on a horse and suddenly there is this blazing revelation.

Wade: Well, yeah, something funny like that kind of happened. I remember one Sunday night I was sitting in church and my dad was preaching, of course. And somewhere towards the end of his sermon, he was preaching on the idea of submitting to God's direction for life. And he read a poem, and it is called "I Met the Master Face to Face." And so he finished reading that poem. No actually I guess it was a Sunday morning. It was a regular Sunday morning. Oh, I know what it was. It was a service for graduates. It was a service for young people who were graduating from high school and college. I was not graduating. I was not there because of that. And this poem is called "I Met the Master Face to Face." And it talks about a person who had kind of lived a semi-charmed kind of life and things had gone well for them. But then they met God and the rest of their life changed after that. And when I heard that, I knew that God was talking to me, that God was saying, "Okay, now it is time for you to do what you know you are supposed to be doing." And so I went in that afternoon to talk with my dad and I told him what I was thinking and what I was feeling. And I never knew this at the time. I did not know this prior to this, but when I told my dad that when I heard that poem I felt like God was calling me to enter the ministry. He looked at me, and he said, "That is the poem that I heard when I was a young man and knew that God was calling me into the ministry." So that was a lightening bolt, I guess. So I guess that was just a little extra confirmation. I knew already what was going on, but as soon as my dad told me that, I have a lot of love respect for my dad. I mean, he is a genuine. He is at home the same person that he is in the pulpit. I mean, you know, so I have a lot of respect of him professionally, too, as a mentor and pastor. So when he told me that, that was just like that additional confirmation that God gave me that I was doing the right thing, I guess. So that is what led the journey to seminary.

Zarbock: Where did you go to seminary?

Wade: Wake Forest North Carolina, which is Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. There are six Southern Baptist Seminaries that I had to choose from, and Wake Forest was the only one that was a small town. And I grew up in a small town.

Zarbock: That is the environment you wanted.

Wade: That is what I wanted. I mean, you know, I used to walk to school. You can walk to the post office and walk to the bank and walk to church, and that is where I wanted to be.

Zarbock: Am I correct? You were a commissioned officer at this time?

Wade: No. I was out of the Marine Corps. Well, you mean when I made the choice or when I went to seminary?

Zarbock: When you went to seminary?

Wade: No. When I went to seminary I had been out of the Marine Corps for about a year.

Zarbock: Okay. Were you in the reserves or anything?

Wade: No.

Zarbock: You simply resigned your commission.

Wade: Had gotten my discharge and was out, and because of some financial things, working and trying to save up money and everything before I went to seminary, it was about a year after I got out of the Marine Corps before I actually went to seminary.

Zarbock: What kind of jobs did you pick up?

Wade: Ever since I was a teenager I worked in landscaping and plant nurseries. That is real big in Florida, so I did a lot of that. And during my time in the Marine Corps that was really the advent of the personal computer, and if you knew something about computers. This was before we had computer people in the military. If you knew something about computers, you ended up becoming the default computer guy in the unit. So when I left the Marine Corps I went to work for General Telegraph and Electric, GTE. It is the phone company there in Florida. I worked for GTE and GTE Service Corporation is who I worked for, and they were the people who did the software rewrites for all of the systems that the phone company used for customer service and for data analysis, all those kinds of things. So that is what I did while I was trying to get ready for seminary. And started seminary, and really had every intention of being a foreign missionary in Japan. So that is where I thought I was headed. And I worked in a church, worked in a small church as the associate pastor. And it is kind of funny. I do not know if you are familiar with American Idol at all, but Clay Aiken, who is a pretty popular pop singer now, was actually a kid that was in my youth group there in North Carolina. So I did not really get to see him grow up. There were several years in between the time I left the church and the time he was on American Idol. But my first summer in seminary I spent a good bit of the summer working in Brazil building churches. Went down there with a team. We were going through a small town and there was this project where they had these prefab churches, and we could go in in a relatively short period of time and build a church and the attention that building the building would attract was kind of ripe for throwing the doors open and then everybody wanted to come in and see what the church was like and find out. And these were all communities where there was a church there without a church building. So they were home churches, or whatever. So I did that for part of a summer my first summer in seminary. And my second.

Zarbock: This is for credit?

Wade: That was not for credit. The guy that I had worked for in Florida at the plant nursery, that wholesale plant nursery, found out that I had the opportunity to go to Brazil and work for the summer to do summer missions work, and he wrote a check and paid for me to go do that for the summer. He said, "If Andy wants to do that, Andy ought to do that." And so he just wrote the check. That was not for credit. The next summer I found out about a credit program that the seminary offered. It was called a International Practicum in Foreign Missions, is what it was called. And so I went to my advisor and I asked him how I registered for that class, how I participated in that class. And he said, "Well, I do not know. No one's ever taken that class before." So he said, "You need to find a professor and the two of you can work up a syllabus for the class." So I worked with our International Professor of Missions, our Professor of International Missions at the seminary. He had been our first Southern Baptist missionary to Iran, and then he became a professor after all the Americans had to leave Iran. That was Dr. George Brazwell [ph?]. So Dr. Brazwell and I worked up a plan and I wrote to some missionaries in Japan and begged them to let me work with them for the summer, and just hoping and praying that someone would pick up my request to do an internship with them in the summer, and got flooded with responses. I mean, I was just praying that one would say, "Yes. Come work with me for the summer." We got lots of responses back. So then I had to talk with the director there in Japan and find out, let them help me make the choice of where I would go. So that I actually did for credit. I went and I worked in church growth and church planting for the summer, and teaching.

Zarbock: Where in this process?

Wade: Southern Japan around Nagasaki. There is a fairly large city in southern Japan, Bugoka [ph?]. I worked there for some time, because one of my classmates in seminary was from Japan, and his dad was a pastor in Japan. So I worked with his dad's church for a little while. And then I went a little farther out into the countryside to a little town called Itsu [ph?], which is kind of a little, tiny train stop about an hour from Nagasaki. So I worked with a small church there that was actually an extension of Nagasaki Baptist Church which is, I think, one of the very oldest Christian churches in Japan.

Zarbock: When you say worked with them, what could you do? And by the way, did you speak Japanese?

Wade: Yes. I speak Japanese. I started studying Japanese in high school, and I was very involved in martial arts, and that was kind of an outgrowth of.

Zarbock: [speaks Japanese]

Wade: They are not going to put that in the transcript are they?

Zarbock: No.

Wade: So you speak Japanese, too, I guess.

Zarbock: Skoshii.

Wade: So I spent my summer there, and did a lot of a reading while I was there. Doctor Brazwell had assigned a lot of reading that I did, and so I wrote reports on the Christian church in Japan, and church growth in Japan. And then I came back and I had to write this huge magnum opus at the end, and I got credit for the summer that way. However, my last year in seminary when I really kind of started thinking about where I was going to go, what direction I was headed, and ministry experiences that I had had up until that point. And I guess some of the missionaries that I met while I was there and saw what some of the work was like while I was there, I was not certain that I was going to go back to Japan as a missionary at that point. So that turned out to be a very good experience for me. I was very active in working with the First Baptist Church of Raleigh that had a Japanese mission. And so I was going there on Sundays, and was working with their Japanese Sunday school. And one day I went into the Student Center in seminary, and there was a Navy chaplain standing at a table with all of his recruiting stuff spread out on the table. And I told somebody later it was like someone shoved me from behind and said, "Go talk to that guy." And so I went over and I talked to him, and that is when I guess I began to come to the realization that if God was calling me to be a missionary, that it kind of made sense that I would go to a group of people where I already spoke the language and I was already comfortable, and I had some cultural connection with, and that was the military. I failed to mention, I went to a military school in high school for a while, too. I did that so I could graduate early. I found out that I could go there and get through things faster and graduate early. So I had gone to military school. I had spent time in the Marine Corps and had come from a kind of a military family. And so when I thought about joining the Navy and serving with the Navy and serving in the Marine Corps, that just seemed to be a natural fit. So I started to submit my paperwork. It took me about two years to get accepted into the Navy. I got courted by the Army for a little while during that period, and was invited to one of their chaplain conferences, but very quickly knew that they were not my people, so to speak, so continued to pursue ministry in the Navy. After about two years, my application was accepted for IRR, which is a kind of reserves where- that stands for Individual Ready Reservist. That means that you do not actually serve on active duty unless the nation is in a time of war. You know things are bad when they start calling up the IRR guys is what it boils down to. So when they told me, they said, "Well, you could come in now, but you can only come in the IRR." I said, "Well, that is fine, you know. If that is the only thing that is available, then that is fine." So I came here to chaplain school in 1994. And while I was here my basic course officer, the senior officer in the basic course, asked me why I was not going on active duty. And I told him I would love to go on active duty but I was not given that opportunity. And he said, "Well, if you submit your paperwork, then I will give you my recommendation to do on active duty."

Zarbock: The year is what?

Wade: That was 1994.

Zarbock: How old are you at that time?

Wade: I guess I was 29 years old at that time. Yeah, 29.

Zarbock: Single?

Wade: I was married.

Zarbock: Children?

Wade: No children.

Zarbock: Let me pause and ask. What was your wife's attitude towards being a minister, or were you a minister when you got married?

Wade: I was not a minister when we got married. I was in the Marine Corps when we got married.

Zarbock: Well, what was her attitude about being a minister, and then what was her attitude about being a chaplain?

Wade: When I came to her and talked to her about going into the ministry, she was not really surprised. She and I had been working with the young people in the church for a couple of years before, simply because they had put out a call that they really needed people to work with the young people, and as soon as the call was put out, I just immediately felt, well, I could do that, or I ought to be the one to do that. So we had been working with the young people, teaching discipleship classes and Sunday school, working in Children's Church, at that kind of stuff. So when I came to her and said, "I really feel like God is calling me into the ministry." She really did not bat an eye. Now, when I said that I was thinking about going back in the military as a chaplain, she said, "Now why in the world would you do that, because all the time you were in the Marine Corps you complained all the time." And I said, "Well, being in the military is kind of a love-hate relationship." You love it, but you hate it, and the reason that you are angry is because you love it so much. If you did not care, you would not complain. So she was okay with the idea, I guess, of going in the military. It was not anything that she ever voiced any opposition to. So does that answer your question?

Zarbock: Yes, it does.

Wade: Okay. So I guess I should go back to 1994 then, when it all began. So I submitted my package while I was here to come on active duty. Before I came here for Chaplain School, while I was back in North Carolina, I also failed to mention that when I left seminary I began to work as a police chaplain with the Raleigh Police Department in North Carolina. So that was a pretty formative experience, too, when I started thinking about military ministry. The police officers always swore that they were not a paramilitary organization. Well, seeing it from my perspective, they seemed like a very paramilitary organization. But I had a lot of good experiences with working with the police department. That is the only time I have ever been shot at was when I was with the police department, never in the military.

Zarbock: Yeah, yet.

Wade: Yet. Yeah, yet. It is not over with yet.

Zarbock: Remember there are no facts in the future, no probabilities in the past.

Wade: Yeah, okay. So I was serving as a tri-vocational minister, I guess. I was working with the Raleigh Police Department as a police chaplain on the weekends, and I was serving as an Associate Pastor of Youth with a small church in town, with a new church that met in a movie theater, did not even have a building, kind of a mission church. And then I was working at General Electric, too, to pay the bills. So I was a network analyst for GE. So when I came here for chaplain school I had every intention of finishing Chaplain School and then going back to my life that I had back there in North Carolina. So I went back home with the expectation, although I did not know when, that the Navy was going to call me to active duty relatively soon. So had just bought a house right before I left to come up here to Chaplain School. The recruiter said, "No. There is no way that you are going to get on active duty. You are going to be- it would at least be a few years before any of that happened." So two months after I got back home I got orders for my first assignment. So I was living in Raleigh and the Navy sent me all the way to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. So I spent six years there, spent my first six years in the Navy right there at Camp Lejeune. So my motto was, "Join the Navy. See North Carolina", because I spent so much time there. But a very good experience. I was sent first to Marine Corps base. There is about 13 chaplains there, a wonderful senior chaplain. My first direct supervisory chaplain was Chaplain Mitch Srands [ph?], who is a rabbi. And I am going to be participating in his retirement ceremony this Sunday. So he and I have kind of stayed in touch off and on through the years.

Zarbock: Where will the ceremony take place?

Wade: It will be at the Battleship, the USS Massachusetts at Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts. So things kind of come full circle, I guess. My Senior Supervisory Chaplain was Capt. James Prince. He got promoted to Captain right about the time I got there. Being in a community of so many chaplains was really very formative for me, too, to not just be thrown out on my own to begin with. So my very first assignment was Infantry Training Battalion. I was the Battalion Chaplain. That is where all Marines who are going to be infantry go right after they finish boot camp. So they graduate from boot camp. They go home on leave, and then they come to Infantry Training Battalion, which is there at Camp Lejeune. That was a really neat experience, because I had a battalion during the week, and then since Camp Geiger, which is that subunit, that sub base there a Camp Lejeune where School of Infantry is, has its own chapel, has kind of a small, country church chapel. So I was there during the week and then I preached in the chapel on the weekends. So it was like being in a really small town.

Zarbock: Am I correct? When you were assigned to the Marines in the case that you were as a chaplain, you did everything that the Marines did?

Wade: Right.

Zarbock: Marching? Hiking?

Wade: We went on hikes, right.

Zarbock: Full field pack?

Wade: Right. No weapon. No weapon.

Zarbock: Canteen cup cover and cork.

Wade: Whole thing. Yeah. And the flak vest.

Zarbock: But if they went 30 miles?

Wade: You started with them and you finished with them.

Zarbock: Was it general knowledge that you had been an enlisted man in the Marines and later an officer in the Marines?

Wade: That was something that most people knew, right.

Zarbock: Well, I got to probe. What is your best guess as to the influence that that had in a relationship that you developed, or were developing with the personnel?

Wade: Well, when Marines find out that you have been to boot camp just like they have, or if Marine officers find out that you went to Quantico just like they did, I had one Commander tell me, he said, "Andy, you have instant credibility with my Marines." I do not know how true that was, but that was his perception. And that is why I said that it seemed such a natural fit, military ministry, because when Marines talk about weapon systems, or when they talk about tactical issues, I mean, you know, I was trained the same way that they were.

Zarbock: I had someone, an interviewee said in priorities the Marines believe the most important thing, A, ammunition; B, water; C, a chaplain. Is that correct?

Wade: I would say that is probably a pretty fair estimate.

Zarbock: Food follows the chaplain.

Wade: Probably so.

Zarbock: And I probed as to why, and the response was Marines get trained to kill. That is why I am a Marine. And in the killing, they get killed themselves. But they can always rely, feel that they can always rely upon the chaplain to be there at times of, when they are wounded, and it does not necessarily have to be a military weapons wound. It can be a wound of the mind or soul.

Wade: The soul, right.

Zarbock: Would you endorse that evaluation?

Wade: You know, sir, I am not sure if every Marine knows that up front. I read a story that comes out of the Green Book that we have, "Chaplains with Marines in Viet Nam." I think that this is in that book, where a chaplain showed up at a fire base, which was pretty forward, kind of out in Indian country, kind of fire base. And when he checked in with the CO, the CO kind of thought that the chaplain was somebody who was just going to be in the way, and somebody that had to be taken care of, and so he was kind of like, "Yeah, yeah, okay, chaplain, well, you know, put your stuff over there, and that is where you are going to live." And he did not really spend any time greeting the chaplain, or getting to know the chaplain, or bothering with the chaplain. But I guess it was either the very first night or after just a very short period of time that the chaplain had been there, the base came under an incredibly severe attack, and it lasted all through the night. And all during the night, the chaplain did nothing but just crawl from fighting position to fighting position and talking to the Marines and making sure they were okay, and bringing them ammunition if they needed it, and bringing them water if they needed it, and just all he did was just go from position to position to position. And the next morning the Commanding Officer called the chaplain in and apologized to him, and said, "I had no idea before tonight, before last night, how indispensable you are to my Marines."

Zarbock: You are one of us.

Wade: You are one of us. That you do something that nobody else is here to do, and nobody else can do. And that fit right in with what my senior chaplain had told me when I first joined the Police Department. He said, "Always remember your job is not to be another cop. They do not need another cop. They need a chaplain sitting in the car next to them." And so when you say that about that hierarchy of needs for chaplains, I think that maybe people find that out if they have got a good chaplain nearby. I remember, too, going back to why I am doing what I am doing. I remember when I was in Officer Candidate School, we had a good chaplain, and he was there with us. I mean, when we were on- those are probably the most grueling hikes that I have ever been on. Been on a lot of hikes, but the ones at Quantico were probably the worst because of the mountains and the gravel on the road, which I am sure that all has strategic purpose, so that you would lose your footing often. But I remember as we were hiking the chaplain was hiking there with us. And he did not have to be there. I mean, he was not in our training platoon. He was there because he wanted to be there. And at that time I guess because of construction that was going on and everything, we did not even have a chapel. But the chaplain would come out to our area and would hold services in the gym. And he would just circle up a bunch of chairs and would bring his guitar, and such as it was we had church together. And I remember when I came here in 1994, we took a little field trip to Groton, Connecticut, to the Sub base to Groton, Connecticut, and there was like a big training event going on where all of the local chaplains were going to be there together. And I looked at one of the chaplains and I thought, "Gosh, that guy looks familiar to me." And when I went into to head to wash up before lunch, he was standing at the sink next to me, and that is when I realized who he was. And it was Chaplain White, who had been my chaplain at Officer Candidate School. And I told him, I said, "You know, in large part it is because of you that I am here today." He said, "Well, don't blame that on me." But I said, "No." I said, "You were a good chaplain and that influenced me."

Zarbock: That is not Dave White, is it?

Wade: No, sir. Ken White was his name. I know who Dave White is, but that was not his name.

Zarbock: Do you? How do you know him?

Wade: I think Dave White was still the Chief of Chaplains when I first came on active duty. I remember him being here the summer that I was here for Chaplain School. I met him at the Officers' Club that summer.

Zarbock: Got a great memory. Well. But I interrupted your flow of remembrances.

Wade: So I was talking about having good chaplains, their being in that community. I spent about a year there at the School of Infantry, a great, tight community. I mean, on Sundays the School of Infantry, which is kind of like the equivalent of a Regimental Commander, he was in church with his wife every Sunday. And my Battalion Commander was in church with his wife there every Sunday. And I mean people who worked there at Camp Geiger when to church there at Camp Geiger. So we were a really tight community. It was a great place to start out in ministry. I was only a lieutenant JG. I was only 29 years old. So that is pretty young as far as chaplains go. People used to say, "Chaplain. What did you do?" Because they would see that I just had a silver bar on. And I said, "Well, you know, I got busted for fighting" or something like that. That was my story. Because they had never seen a lieutenant JG chaplain before, most of them. So in about a year I got promoted and sometime in that next year, there was this chain of events that happened where a chaplain at the air station nearby suffered some pretty serious health problems, and they came and got one of our chaplains from Camp Lejeune and filled that guy's position with our chaplain. And the chaplain that they took is a very good friend of mine, who was the senior pastor at the main Protestant chapel at Camp Lejeune, which is the largest Protestant chapel program in the Marine Corps. So when he left, when he was pulled to go fill that other billet, the Command Chaplain came and asked me if I would take his place as the chapel pastor there, so kind of entering the chaplaincy because I was not certain that I wanted to be in local parish ministry. I did not want to do what my dad had done, kind of parish, be at the church, Sunday school, deacons, all of that kind of stuff.

Zarbock: Budget.

Wade: Budget. Yeah. All of that. After about a year as a chaplain, I found myself pasturing a very large church there on Base, vacation Bible school, Sunday school, youth group, two services on Sunday morning, choir, all of that stuff. But it turned out to be a great experience. It was some of the best ministry that I had. We had small group Bible studies going on in peoples' homes during the week and, again, working with that big team. If you had a problem, if you had a challenge, it was very easy to go to somebody that you worked with and talk to them about what was going on. I was very closes to our senior chaplain and his wife. So if there was something that you struggled with, there was always another chaplain. It was not like being on a ship where you are the only guy out there.

Zarbock: For example, can you illustrate what you...?

Wade: Well, you know, we had a lot of volunteers that we had to work with, and sometimes the volunteers did not get along well, or sometimes you did not get along with the volunteers. I always got along pretty well with the other chaplains that I worked with, but if you had a question about how to handle something that was going on. I remember we had a combined Christian youth group. We had about 85 kids who participated in this Christian youth group. And it was Protestant and Catholic kids that we did retreats together, and we met every Sunday night, and we did community service things together. And it was really popular. In fact, a lot of the kids did not even come to church. They just wanted to be involved in the youth ministry part. And so sometimes there was some conflict around that, some of the Protestants did not want their kids hanging out with Catholics, and some of the Catholics did not want their kids hanging out with Protestants, that kind of thing. So there was always that kind of collegial atmosphere where we could talk about those kinds of things and work through those things together. If I needed help in worship planning. Had another chaplain that was kind of my associate. She had another job during the week, but she was always available on the weekend to help with weddings and preaching and things like that, so a real team ministry. It was good to be in that kind of environment.

Zarbock: And you spent six years at Lejeune?

Wade: Well, I spent my first three years there. I was at Infantry Training Battalion for a year, and then I pastored the Protestant chapel for two years. And then I was given orders to the 2nd Marine Division, which is right there at Camp Lejeune. So I literally moved across the street from where my chapel was. My office was about a 100 yards from where it had been when I was at the chapel. So I went to the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines. And shortly after going to Two-Six, did something called a UDP, the Unit Deployment Program, which is where a battalion picks up and goes to Okinawa and becomes part of the 3rd Marine Division. I guess there is some kind of limits on how many Marines we can have in Japan at any one time. So they rotate these units out on these short deployments for six months, so that we do not go over our quota, so to speak. So we have enough people in the Western Pacific without having too many people there. So we picked up, seemed like it was some time right before Christmas, December, first week of December or something like that. So picked up, went to Okinawa. The whole, the entire unit goes all at one time. There is about a 1,000 Marines by the time you are plused up.

Zarbock: This is right before Christmas.

Wade: This was right before Christmas of 1997.

Zarbock: "Honey, would you take care of the kids? I am going to Okinawa."

Wade: Yeah, yeah. "I am going to Okinawa for six months."

Zarbock: How did that go over?

Wade: Well, I thought that that was okay at the time, and it seemed like my wife was okay with that at the time. But I will say, since we are talking very candidly, that that began a chain of events that led to my divorce. So that deployment was the beginning of the end for my marriage.

Zarbock: Sure.

Wade: Although I did not know that at the time, did not have any inclination of that at the time.

Zarbock: This is one of the things that other chaplains have mentioned about deployment, and how difficult it was the last couple of days before they left, and that in order to reduce. No. In order to change the nature of stress, they would frequently get into an argument. It may be over the most trivial of things, but it was better to argue than to be morose and concerned about oh, what would happen if something happened to you overseas, or in deployment. Or, by the way, what is going to happen to me if the car breaks down, and the kids get the mumps, and on and on and on.

Wade: Yeah. There is an incredible amount of tension and stress.

Zarbock: Really.

Wade: Right before you leave. Well, you are trying to get everything done. Everybody else is trying to get everything done. The unit is trying to get packed up. You are trying to make sure that you have got everything that you are going to need for the next six months. Oh, and by the way, at the very last minute, there is this parade of individuals that want to come see the chaplain for why they cannot go on deployment, which is really surprising. I mean, I thought. I was kind of getting relaxed. I was kind of thinking, well, gosh, you know, all these people have not showed up like I thought, or like had been predicted. And then it really comes at the very last minute, all of these individuals.

Zarbock: Each with a heartbreaking story.

Wade: Well, not necessarily heartbreaking. I guess the thing that is kind of disappointing is, is it seems like it is the people that you would least expect. It is not. I was disappointed in some of the people that showed up with not real good reasons for getting out of the deployment. So that is all happening at the same time, too. I have my own theory, too, about the arguments. I believe that there is kind of an intuitive need to distance ones self emotionally. So you get into an argument with your spouse, or whatever, so that you can kind of begin to break away. Now, that is counterproductive, because that is probably the last thing that you need at that point in time, you know, to leave on those kinds of terms. But I do not remember that that is really what came into play in my case, but I know it was not this joyous skipping off to war for either of us.

Zarbock: But off you went.

Wade: Off I went. We went to Okinawa, and we got settled in. And about two weeks after we got there, some Marines were engaging in some really stupid behavior. There was a huge case, big trial, about all of this. So without trying to restate all the facts, they killed a Marine. Three other Marines were in a room with a Marine, and they dropped this guy out of a window. And however it all came about, they dropped him on his head, and it broke his neck, and he died. So that is how our deployment began. And that was right around Christmas. That was like the week before Christmas, or something like that. So that really overshadowed, I guess, a lot of the deployment, because now I was going to see these guys in the brig that had killed one of their fellow Marines. And there were families coming over to Okinawa, whose sons were on trial for murder, and, you know, all of that was part of the deployment, too, during that time. Had a wonderful battalion commander. He is a general now, in fact, in the Marine Corps, a very Godly man. But I know that he really struggled, all of us, really wrestled with all of those kinds of issues. I did not spend a lot of time in Okinawa. We sent a group of Marines up to Camp Fuji in the mainland. It is a pretty remote base at the base of Mount Fuji. And there is no chaplain there. And so I went to the XO and asked about going with those Marines. And he said, "Well, chaplain, that is not that many Marines that are going up there." And I said, "Well, you know, we have got a lot of Marines here in Okinawa." I said, "We have got a lot of chaplains here in Okinawa where you guys are going to be. And there is zero chaplains there. And although it is only going to be the equivalent of about two companies, which really was almost half the battalion. I guess at that point maybe a third of the battalion. I really think I ought to go." And so he sent me. So I spent six weeks at Mount Fuji in hip deep snow most of the time while we were there.

Zarbock: And as I understand it, out in the boonies.

Wade: Kind of out in the boonies, yeah. It takes a while to get to Tokyo from there. But that turned out to be a wonderful experience for me, because speaking Japanese and being familiar with Japan and not afraid of Japanese people, I was able to take the Marines on tours on the weekend, take them into Tokyo and show them how to use the train, and how them how to get around. We had a little, tiny chapel. It was about the half the size of this office. And it was a great experience.

Zarbock: Comfortably seating six.

Wade: Yeah. You could probably get about 20 people in there. I mean, we never had a problem with seating, unfortunately. It snowed almost the entire time we were there. I mean, I almost never saw the grass while I was there. But it is a beautiful, beautiful place, and wonderful people. And really got plenty of chances to get to know Marines while I was there. So I spent six weeks at Camp Fuji, and those were with the weapons companies and with the weapons platoons. And then I flew back to Okinawa and I think I had two days to wash my gear and get back on the plane to fly to Korea. So then I spent another six weeks in Korea living in pretty Spartan conditions, with almost no hot chow. We had showers every once in a while, but a lot of time out in the field. We would sleep in these riverbeds at night, these dry riverbeds at night. And that was the one night that I really, really thought I was going to freeze to death. I was talking with somebody recently who had been in the Army, and they had an experience where they really thought they were going to freeze to death one night. But I got trapped somewhere without gear one night, so I did not have a sleeping bag or anything, and was out in the boonies in Korea in the wintertime. And so I thought I was going to freeze to death. But spent six weeks in Korea with the whole unit then, and, again, wonderful chances to do worship out in the field and do counseling under some pretty extreme circumstances at times.

Zarbock: Does the word "miserable" sound comfortable to you?

Wade: There was a lot of misery there. Yeah. There is something called Korean hemorrhagic fever that you get from breathing rat feces that you have to watch out for. So that whole process is not really...

Zarbock: The Land of the Morning Calm has got certain deficits, doesn't it?

Wade: Well, again, wonderful people. Learned how to read Korean while I was there so that was a good experience. We worked with a Korean orphanage which was within walking distance of the base. It is kind of across the street and up a hill, so we kind of continued work with that orphanage there. It was a Montessori school. I am sorry, not an orphanage but a Montessori school there. And got to see some of the countryside. Got to travel a little bit through Korea while I was there. And then after that, went back to Okinawa. But there was not much of the deployment left by then. So I spent a lot of time away from Okinawa while I was there. But loved Okinawa. Had other really great chaplains to work with there on the island. And towards the end of the deployment while I was dealing with a lot of the struggles that some of the Marines were having in their marriage, was having a lot of the same struggles in my own marriage. And I really knew, even just talking on the p hone, that something was not right, that things were not going well. But I had some close Christian friends that were in the Battalion with me that I was able to talk with and pray with. These were people that had been in my chapel before, and now we were in a unit together. We were under deployment together. So I came back from that deployment and, like I said, things were really not going well with my wife and I, and we almost got a divorce then. We went through marriage counseling and went to some kind of special programs for saving troubled marriages. These were things that I had recommended to people. Had, I believe, we had a really good, Christian marriage counselor that did a lot of good for us. In fact, she is the wife a chaplain. And through that whole process, I began to be really interested in counseling and therapy, psychotherapy, and the junction of Christian counseling and psychotherapy. And so after a little while, I began a doctoral program that I am still in for a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. So that although things did not turn out well for my wife and I, that became pretty formative for me to see the value in good counseling.

Zarbock: But the marriage finally dissolved.

Wade: It did. I came back to the United States after that deployment, and I went back to my Supervisory Chaplain, went to the Division Chaplain, and went to my CO and explained to them what was going on in my personal life, and thought that I needed. I did not want to be taken out of the game, but I did not need to be first string, either. And so they moved me to another unit that was not going to be gone as much, and was not going to be as high tempo. Second Tank Battalion was where I went. It is rare that Tanks deploys a unit until Iraq. That is rare. So I went to the Second Tank Battalion and spent the rest of my time in Division. So I spent three years total in the Second Ring Division, the Second Tank Battalion.

(tape change)

Zarbock: Tape #2, Andrew Wade, 14 August, 2007, Newport, RI, Military Chaplains Oral History Project.

Wade: So let's see, where was I?

Zarbock: Reminisce with me about a couple of things of a humorous, warm hearted nature that took place.

Wade: Well I guess the very first thing that comes to mind is I went to my first unit as a brand new chaplain. I had probably only been there a couple of days and it was Infantry Training Battalion and there was a Sergeant Major who was retiring that day. The Battalion Sergeant Major was retiring. Now normally you would expect that there would be this big parade where everybody puts on their uniforms and stands on the parade ground and the band is there and there's a pass and review and, you know, all of the traditional pomp and circumstance, but this Battalion Sergeant Major had decided that he wanted to do a battalion run. He wanted the entire battalion to form up in formation and he was gonna lead us on this run of yet to bet determined length, you know, just as far as the Sergeant Major wanted to run.

Zarbock: In uniform. What kind of uniform?

Wade: PT gear, just shorts and tee shirt, and go fasters so- which are running shoes. So it was gonna start early in the morning and then-- it was dark. I don't know if it started at five or six or whatever, but, you know, there we were in North Carolina, it was dark. I was actually living out there at Camp Geiger. [ph?] My wife had not yet left Raleigh because we had a house and she had a job and we were trying to- it was a few months before she came to join me there. So I was living on base which was another good thing, just getting started, I was steps from my office. So I put on my PT gear and when I got up that morning and I opened my door and it was pouring rain. I mean it was just buckets of rain. And so I ran to the PT field and all the marines were out there. They were starting to form up in formation and some of the officers I saw, you know, were kind of in a group off to the side. And as I came trotting up in the dark to the group, just as I got to the battalion, it just suddenly stopped raining. And everybody turned and they looked at me and they said, "Chaplain, that was amazing." "We expect you to do that every time we go on a run okay?" So that kind of began my reputation, you know, like thank you God, you know, that was perfect. So that was kind of the joke, you know, that I was the weathermaker, medicine man kind of. In fact when I left I think I got a plaque or something that, you know, if you have a nickname they put it on your plaque. And mine said holy man on it so. You don't get a plaque when you leave there, you get a helmet, so they gave me a helmet with my name on it and instead of bug doke, [ph?] they normally put insect repellent in the little green bottle, they put that in the helmet strap, they put a little green bible, a little Gideon's bible, in mine. I guess that's one funny story. Another thing happened. I was project officer for the Marine Corps Prayer Breakfast, which is held annually at Camp Lejeune on the occasion of the Marine Corps Birthday. And it is supposed to be this grand affair where generals come and you have, you know, some very important speaker, you know. And it's not like a normal prayer breakfast where, you know, I had prayer breakfasts at my unit where we would just go to the chow hall and we would actually pray, you know, and spend time in prayer. This is more of a ceremonial kind of thing and so, you know, you send out invitations and it's catered and it costs a lot of money, you know. You have to charge for tickets for everybody. And so I was the senior project officer and chaplain Jim Escher, [ph?] who was also in the Marine Corps before and is still a very dear friend of mine, was my junior project officer. He came in the navy about a year after I did so he was junior to me but he and I were the project officers for this prayer breakfast. And we had followed the letter of the law in getting everything ready for the prayer breakfast, step by step by step. And so the morning of the prayer breakfast, as I was the project officer, I got there early and to make sure everything was going well. And when I got there to the facility there was no food there, there was no caterers there, they had not even begun setting up yet. And so I got in my truck and I drove back to the place where they were supposed to- they were gonna prepare the food at their facility and then they were gonna bring it over in chafing dishes. And I pulled up and the manager was just unlocking the doors on the builiding. And so this was about the time that we had said in the contract that they were gonna be there and have everything set up. And so they were just coming in to start cooking the food. So I drove back to the facility where we were having the prayer breakfast, which is Marston [ph?] pavilion there at Camp Lejeune, and I went up to the command chaplain and I said sir, they just started cooking the food. And he was very gracious and he bit his lip, he didn't reach out at me or punch me or anything like that, and he said what do you think we ought to do. And I said sir I believe that we ought to begin with the program since everybody's here. We ought to begin with the program and then when the program is finished we can adjourn and everybody can get breakfast, because breakfast will be ready and it will be here by then. And he thought for a little bit and he said we're not gonna do that. He said we're gonna go with the program the way that it's written, the way that it's published. And I said aye aye sir and he said I want you to go up on the platform and I want you to explain to everybody what's going on. And I said aye aye sir. And so I walked up onto the platform and the place was full at this point.

Zarbock: How many people were there?

Wade: 300, 400 people maybe, I guess. Maybe 300 people.

Zarbock: Tickets were required and they had paid for the tickets.

Wade: Had to buy a ticket for the breakfast.

Zarbock: And they had gotten up and they were standing there.

Wade: The Commanding General was there, the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division was there and the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force was there. And so I got up on the platform, Lt. J.G. Wade, soon to be Ensign Wade, I got up on the platform and I walked up to the microphone and all eyes were upon me, and I said excuse me, but does anyone by any chance have five loaves and two fishes with them. And nobody laughed. Nobody laughed. I didn't even get a chuckle. So that was the end of my stand up comedy career, and that was almost the end of my navy career. Chaplain Prince called us in after the event, which except for the delay in the amount of time, you know, amazingly, miraculously, we probably only started about 30 minutes late. They did get the food there in an incredibly short period of time. Chap Prince called us in later that day and said "did you do this" and we said "yes," and he said "did you do this" and we said "yes," and "did you do this and this and this and this" and we were able to say "yes," and he said "well then I don't know what else you could've done, you know, short of going to those people's houses and waking them up that morning and personally driving them and unlocking the building and standing there with a gun and making them cook, you know". So then the next week when I came back to the main base chaplain's office, we had boxes there, we had like mailboxes there where we picked up our things. When I went to get my mail out of my box there was a field ration, it's called an MRE, Meal Ready to Eat. There was a field ration in my box and to the front of that field ration someone had taped a copy of the prayer breakfast program and across the front of it they had written Chaplain Wade's Do It Yourself prayer breakfast. So the MRE and the program was all that you needed, you know. So I got ribbed about that for a while too.

Zarbock: Loaves and fishes (laughter)

Wade: Yeah, five loaves and two fishes.

Zarbock: How about sad memories?

Wade: Sad memories. A couple of them. One's pretty old and one's fairly recent. I remember a young man who was at Infantry Training Battalion, was brand new in his career in the Marine Corps, just getting started. And so I had met him and I had gotten to know him before this event happened. He wasn't just one of those nameless faces. There's a lot of people in the unit that you just never know. But this guy, I knew this guy. And we had a Navy Corpsman who was working at the clinic in that area who was apparently homosexual, and he was enticing young Marines to come to his house, which he shouldn't have been doing in the first place for any reason. He was promising them alcohol and he had videogames at his house and what he was doing was he was getting guys to go back to his house with him and he was getting them drunk and he was letting them play videogames. And then when they fell asleep he would do things to them. And so some- when this got out, this happened to one or two guys, they set a trap for this guy and- this Corpsman. And they ambushed him. And they didn't kill him but they came really close to killing him. So this young man had been part of that attack. Now I don't remember if he had been one of the guys that had been, you know, lured by this guy but it didn't matter, he had been part of the attack. And so I went to go see this guy in the brig and all he wanted to do was to turn the clock back to that night and not do what he had done. He still desperately wanted to stay in the Marine Corps, you know. You saw so many guys as a chaplain that just wanted to get out of the Marine Corps. They were so scared or they were so, you know, for whatever reason all they wanted to do was get out of the Marine Corps. And so you heard a million excuses from people about why they needed to get out. And this guy would have done anything to stay in the Marine Corps and it was just heart breaking. I mean I- nobody could do anything for him. The die had been cast at that point. So that was one that was especially heart breaking. Another one that just happened at my last command. I was at Marine Air Control Group 28 right before I came here.

Zarbock: Where are they located?

Wade: That's at Cherry Point, North Carolina, back to North Carolina. 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.

Zarbock: are you ever gonna get out of the city?

Wade: There was a young man that I had gotten to know pretty well, too, in bible studies and prayer time and in counseling, and he seemed like a really sharp guy. We were out at a training exercise in California, out in the desert, and this young man, he was just an average size guy, just a normal guy, you know, not a warrior or anything like that, he was just a Marine. He was a good Marine. And one night this very large, well built, very muscular Marine, who was with a group of his buddies, started picking on this guy. And he had been picking on other Marines too. And, you know, it's kind of like stuff that happens in- I guess it probably stops at high school. I don't think it happens so much in college. But you have big guys that, you know, pick on other people and throw their weight around and it's kind of this, you know, they call it grab ass in the Marine Corps, you know. They wrestle and beat each other up and everything but nobody ever really means any harm. Well this guy was the kind of person that was harming other people, you know, he was picking on people like that. And so this Marine that I knew really, well, really felt threatened by this guy. And he told him, leave me alone and if you don't leave me alone I'm gonna do something. And so they were in this tent full of people and at some point this guy came at him and this Marine, I don't remember exactly the story. I don't remember if he pulled a knife at this point or if he already had the knife in his hand, but he had his knife and he spun around to face this guy and when he did he laid the guy wide open. And the guy bled to death almost immediately. Now if you knew this guy beforehand, I mean I would like to think that people would say this about me, that people would think you would never think he would kill anybody. I mean this is the guy that you'd never think that he, you know, I mean he was a Marine and of course he was trained to kill people on the battlefield if needed to, but, you know, in a tent full of other people standing there watching? So I don't believe that he ever really intended to harm this guy, just to defend himself, but he killed the guy, you know. So what was I left with when I went to go see him in the brig? I mean there was absolutely no hope for this guy.

Zarbock: What did you have to offer? That you came is important.

Wade: You mean when I went to see him?

Zarbock: Yeah.

Wade: I didn't abandon him. I did not, you know, I did not not go see him. He felt like he had been abandoned by the people in the unit, you know. When you went to go see him he was locked in a little tiny 5 x 8 cell. He never, you know, military brig- in that military brig you never get out of your cell without having handcuffs on. So in order to go take a shower they put cuffs on him and they take him to the shower and they lock them in this little tiny cell that's got a shower in it. And then they take the cuffs off of him and they stand there and watch him while they take a shower. So that's what his life is like, you know. He never got out of his cell that he wasn't restrained in some way. And so he and I would sit in this little room and across the table from one another, and he knew at that point that all he had to hang onto was his faith, that he knew he was never gonna get out of jail. He knew that he could never undo what he had done but he said, you know, I just have to trust that God is still with me, you know. I don't even think at that point he was far enough along that he could say God still has something for me. But, you know, he felt like God was still there with him, you know.

Zarbock: Who's the chaplain that the chaplain goes to when events like this are on their plate?

Wade: I've been asked that by COs also. Commanding officers want to know, you know, who do you talk to? My dad has been a good chaplain for me. We laugh about challenges and compare notes and have funny stories that we share with one another. So my dad has been someone that I've been able to talk to. My wife now is someone that understands, although I try not to talk to her about most things. I don't want to lay that stuff on her, but there's been times when I've talked to her about particular issues. I've been very blessed to have good senior supervisory chaplains that I could go to and be straight with as well. You know, I could start naming names, but I've never had a bad supervisory chaplain. I know other people have, or I've read stories, you know, of other people who have.

Zarbock: Tell me about an absurdity or absurdities that you've seen.

Wade: Well this one doesn't apply directly to the chaplain corps but it does apply to the military. Shortly after I got to 2nd Tank Battalion, which was, again it was not far from where my office had been before at the 2nd Battalion 6th Marines, it was really, again it was just like less than a block away. So I got to my new office and I was in the battalion, like the kind of admin area, and I was looking out the window and there was this really kind of old decrepit building next door to us. It was right next door to us. And I was kind of struck by the fact that this old building, that they were- contractors were there putting a brand new roof on the building. And I thought well that's nice, maybe we'll get a new roof too, because these are World War II era buildings for the most part. And then after a couple of days I noticed that some more construction equipment started to come in and set up around this building and the roofers were finishing the roof. And the day that they finished the roof they tore the whole building down with a wrecking ball. So the wrecking ball was actually standing there waiting for them to finish the roof. And I asked why, you know, I'm still dumb enough to ask why. I said now why in the world would you re-roof a building that we know they're gonna tear down. And they said well the contract had already been let on the roof before the demolishment order had come and so they had to let them finish. I said why wouldn't you just give them the money and tell them to go away instead of making them stand there and build a roof, reroof the place. So that's probably one of my most absurd stories in the military. Another thing that- I guess this relates to ministry and seemed absurd to me, is that one night I called my dad because I said Dad I got a story for you. I said after all your years in the ministry I think I've got one that you haven't seen yet. And he said okay, so hit me. And I said have you ever had to go bail your church secretary out of jail in the middle of the night? And he started laughing and he said okay, you got me.

Zarbock: Not yet.

Wade: Yeah, not yet. My RP, my religious program specialist that worked for me, another- I think this guy was a Sailor, but lived in the same apartment complex as him, didn't get along with him for whatever reason. And this guy turned out to be really batty, this other sailor, not my RP, but this other Sailor had turned out to be really batty. And this guy had called up the cops in the middle of the night and apparently he had punched himself in the face, because again, my RP was not the guy that you would ever think would lay blow, very quiet, unassuming, gentle kind of person. This guy had called the cops and said that my RP had assaulted him, had come to his door and without provocation just punched him in the face. And so the cops, I guess just procedurally, went to the apartment of my RP and handcuffed him and dragged him, you know, out of the apartment in front of his wife and kids and put him in jail. And to me that seemed absurd that without- is that without due process I guess. I guess the cops have to just go based on the information that they had, you know, that he had been hit by somebody and this is who he alleged had done it. And so they took this guy to jail.

Zarbock: If there's a charge and some evidence to support the charge I guess a police officer has to...

Wade: Has to act. But you know what? What I saw on the other side of it is that now my RP had to post a bond that- money that he was not going to get back, you know. Even if he showed up for court, you still only get the bond back, but the money that you paid for the bond originally, you know, is gone, you're out that. So to me that whole process seemed very odd, very absurd.

Zarbock: The Chaplain Wade to the rescue.

Wade: Well I'm glad he called me. I mean I don't know who else he would've called but that was certainly a learning process for me. I'd never bailed anybody. I'd never even gone into a bondsman's office before to find out how that whole thing worked, so...

Zarbock: At any time in your military career, have you ever been ordered, hinted at, or with some sort of sly wink and nudge been requested to do something that was in violation of your religious beliefs or your understanding of military discipline?

Wade: Well I can say yes immediately to one thing that comes to mind. I probably have to think pretty hard because I don't think that that has happened. If it has it hasn't happened very often. I do remember early on seeing a memo or something that said something to the effect that military chaplains don't have any business preaching sermons in military chapels about right to life or against abortion or just keep that out of your sermons, don't mention that. I don't remember, this has been many years ago, so I don't remember where that came from. It was an article or a memo or something that was distributed to all the chaplains with the, you know addenda, you know please pay attention. Please be sensitive to this issue. And so at the next weekly staff meeting I asked the question. I said so are you trying to tell us, all of us, this was way more of a hot issue for Roman Catholics than it was for protestants but protestants were right in there with them in, you know, the right to life movement, and still are. Are you trying to tell us what we can and can't preach? And when I put it in those very black and white terms they, the powers that be, backed away from that very quickly. Oh no, no, no, no, we would never pretend to direct you to preach or not preach about anything in particular. So that's not what we're trying to say. But people do need to be sensitive to that issue. Okay.

Zarbock: Political correctness.

Wade: Yeah.

Zarbock: The issue is one of muzzling the independent.

Wade: Well, what's the law of the land, you know. Are we using our positional authority in the pulpit to sway political opinion, since that is not just a moral issue but certainly a political issue. I try to see both sides of the argument but I just wanted to clarify what was being asked of us. So I think that when it was asked in that way then it was made pretty clear to us that no, nobody's going to tell you what you should or shouldn't preach. I've never had anyone threaten me for anything that I said or preached in a sermon or- never experienced that.

Zarbock: Yet.

Wade: Yet.

Zarbock: When you review all of your life experiences what does Chaplain Wade believe in? What's your credo?

Wade: Well I believe that I have come to value my family, perhaps in a way and more so than I was even raised to. I have one son who, you know, you don't know how much you can love another person until you have a child. So my parents and my wife and my son, all of those relationships are vitally important to me. Whereas earlier on I guess I was way more interested in running off and doing what I wanted to do without as much concern for how it would affect those around me. So that's one thing. Another thing is that I believe that I have more- well I know that I have way more confidence in individual Americans than I do in the government of the United States of America. Because, you know, Lincoln talked about a government of the people, by the people and for the people. I don't think that the heart and soul and spirit of America resides in the government at all. I think that the heart and soul and spirit of America resides in Americans in spite of the government. And so when I agree or disagree with what the government's doing or when I'm led into-- my undergraduate was in political science so when I'm drawn into discussions of political issues or as I do joint professional military education now, I'm pursuing that in my spare time, and read all of those political things, what I have to continually go back to is that I'm not here to serve the interests of the government of the United States, but I am here to serve individual sailors and marines who need a chaplain. Not the government, but that guy or that girl who's right there in front of me right now. This is who I'm worried about. So that's where I am now. My credo I guess.

Zarbock: Were you in Iraq?

Wade: No, I've never been to Iraq.

Zarbock: Afghanistan?

Wade: Never been to Afghanistan.

Zarbock: Do you have something you want to say to those that are gonna see, hear and ponder your message?

Wade: Yeah, I would say first of all, it's not about you. You can't be doing this, you can't be serving in any capacity because of what you're gonna get out of it. If you're not selfless and- in as far as a person can be selfless, I'm like Paul, I don't mean to claim that I've obtained any of this, but I'm reaching forward for the prize that I've been called to in Christ Jesus. If you're not doing it out of a sense of calling, if you're not doing it that God would be glorified and honored through your life and through your actions, then you're gonna be disappointed. You're doing it for the wrong reasons. And I would expect that maybe some new chaplain, you know, might be looking at these things and thinking well of course, you know, I'm doing it for those reasons. And- but I would say just, you know, take the time to closely examine why you're choosing to enter this life, because it is not all fame and glory and it's not glamorous. If you want to jockey for position and my dad says that, you know, when people invest in themselves for those kinds of rewards, God says you can do that if you want but then that's all you get. And when Jesus talked about laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven, you know, there are people who want to get in front of the pubic forum and thump their chest and have everyone be so impressed with what they say and how they speak and what they've done. And so God says well you'll be rewarded in some way for that but then that's all you get. If that's all you want, then that's all you get. And I would like to think that God has way more in store for us than we could ever imagine if we will humbly allow ourselves to be used in whatever way he uses us. I would say also read all you can about Oswald Chambers. Not everybody's a big fan of Oswald Chambers, but Ozzie is a friend of mine [inaudible] who was a chaplain with the British army during World War I, and an intensely godly man. Oswald Chambers says that if everybody aspires to do some great and mighty deed for God, then who will be left to do all the little, tiny, insignificant things that still yet need to be done.

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