He Was There

Chaplain response to NAS Pensacola terrorist attack

By Chaplain Nick Dewhurst, US Navy Reserve, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida

On Friday December 6, 2019, there was an attack on students at Naval Air Station Pensacola. At the time, the news reported over 11 hurt and several fatalities. The moment I heard of the events, I immediately reached out to local chaplain assets and offered myself to assist.

I was allowed onto the base and was able to help provide immediate counseling for witnesses and classmates of the victims and offered support. Throughout the entire weekend and into the next week, I was able to help coordinate local resources, interface with the active component and provide manpower to an overtaxed active component.

In the immediate aftermath, it was determined that 24-hour chaplain coverage would be needed and a watch stander would need to be present. I stood one of the first watches and was instrumental in standing up the hospitality and counseling center for those impacted by the event.

I was also able to help the active component with the vast amount of group counseling for Naval Flight Officers impacted. This was a great time of ministry and a great way to be the hands and feet of Christ during a crisis.


Join me in thanking God for Chaplain Dewhurst’s quick and capable response to this tragedy. Having recently returned from deployment in support of operations leading to the defeat of ISIS in Syria, Nick was undaunted by the news reports and ran to the sounds of tragedy. Pray for Nick and our 199 other military and civilian chaplains who are called out daily to respond to tragic situations, at home and abroad.

For more stories by and about CBAmerica chaplains, log onto www.cbamerica.org/chaplaincy. For brochures on chaplaincy or endorsement, email Randy Brandt, Director of Chaplaincy at chapbrandt@cbamerica.org

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