FORWARD OPERATING BASE KALSU, Iraq -- A new chapel opened its doors here to congregants of all faiths Sept. 5, ensuring that the religious needs of the Marines and Sailors of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit will be met even while they’re away from home.
Relocating from the camp barbershop to the middle of the newly built town square, the new chapel also serves as the town hall building. The town square and chapel construction took place on the few days previous to its opening.
The MEU will be more than able to have all religious needs met, assured 24th MEU chaplains Cmdr. James M. Hightower and Lt. Cmdr. James C. Pierce.
Services are offered every day, and the chaplains’ goal is to make certain the chapel is always readily accessible to anyone in need of spiritual enlightenment, or just some peace and calm during trying conditions.
Walls and shelves inside the building, put up by the four-person chapel staff, hold devotional reading material that everyone is invited to come and take at their leisure.
“It’s our goal that nobody comes to Kalsu who can’t get their religious needs met,” said Pierce.
Since the move to the new building, the chaplains have begun two new programs for everyone aboard the camp. A choir has begun practicing Thursday nights, and immediately following the choir, an evening service is offered for the sake of, but not limited to, workers who can’t make the regular service. The evening service goes every night of the week except Sunday.
The chapels’ doors are always open, and everyone is welcome to go and have their spiritual needs met whenever convenient.
“We’re here to provide what everyone needs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” added Pierce.