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NEWS | Jan. 26, 2010

Chapel program reaches out to dorm residents

By Mike Joseph 37th Training Wing Public Affairs

The first Check Six event of the year is Jan. 28, 6 p.m., at the Kisling Community Center.

The event, co-sponsored by Freedom Chapel, 37th Communications Squadron and 67th Network Warfare Wing chapel, is a social activity for permanent party dormitory residents.

According to Freedom Chapel Chaplain (Capt.) Alex Jack, music by a disc jockey, swimming, X-box and prizes will be among the activities. Chief Master Sgt. Darryl Morris, 67th NWW command chief, will also speak to the attendees.

"We try to give them a nice meal since they don't have a dining facility or a real kitchen to cook in," said Chaplain Jack, in charge of this Check Six event. "So typically, the co-sponsors grill steaks and chicken. It's a night to relax, have fun, socialize and get to know other people."

He said that Check Six is one way for the Freedom Chapel chaplains to reach out to the dorm residents, "to let them know we care, we're available, and we're here for them."

The group plans for 200 to attend out of the more than 800 permanent party residents on base.

Past winter Check Sixes have been held in December but was switched this year to January.

"We were planning on having it in December ... but the lull occurs after the holidays," said Chaplain (Maj.) Stephen Allen, Freedom Chapel branch chief. "Considering the amount of attention given in December to Christmas, parties, a heightened sense of checking ourselves, I thought it was a great insight by Chaplain Jack to move it to January.

"That's the time things are occurring in others' lives that maybe we need to give a little special attention to," he added. "There's an elevated level of stress in January and February."

Chaplain Allen said the funding for this Check Six comes from the Freedom Chapel congregation through Sunday offerings. He added many members of the congregation are retired Air Force who want to help the dorm Airmen.

"They (the congregation) have a great passion to help the young Airmen," Chaplain Allen said. "They remember how lonely it can be in the dorms, and this is their way of saying, 'we want to be a part of your life, we support you, we're behind you 100 percent.'

"It's a gracious gift from the parishioners who want to be a part of that."