For the first six months of 2010, I deployed from Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson to the Dover Port Mortuary in Delaware, where I served as Senior Chaplain. Once a week or so, I was able to step back from the raw edge of emotions, sounds, sights and smells generated by that unique mission of receiving, honoring and preparing the remains of courageous women and men who died in service to God and country. Simply driving through and away from the gates of Dover Air Force Base served as a temporary salve, soothing my psyche between those all too frequent arrivals. Stopping for a bite to eat at local diners in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia, once folks discovered I was from Alaska, their follow-up question spoke volumes. “Oh, do you know … Sarah Palin?”
Now that my wife and I have had to return to Wisconsin after 15 years of living and loving life in the Great Land, I beg you, please don’t make me go through that again! You — and Alaska — should know, and do deserve better.
— Chaplain, Lt. Col. Keith Muschinske, USAF, retired
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
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