Wednesday, April 29, 2020

My latest column: “When This Plague Ship Returns to Port”

By Father Kevin M. Cusick

In my life as a chaplain I had occasion to observe human behavior up close. Particularly so on the aircraft carrier, a city at sea, where I served aboard for three years, and for two deployments within that period.

When the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower was fully loaded, to include the aircraft units, there were about 5,000 people aboard. The ship needed everything to run a military airport at sea and everything necessary to support the lives of the personnel needed for that mission. There were two nuclear reactors and everything entailed to operate the ship itself.

Start to list everything you need for your daily life at home to do your work — except for a commute by car — and you begin to get an idea of what is necessary to sustain life and well-being for the mission of the ship and the air wing aboard.

The personnel also needed to practice their faith and that was where I, among others, came in. Items for worship aboard included a home-made kneeler crafted by a young officer who had taken up woodwork as a hobby. He was my first convert on that assignment.

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