DUBLIN, Ga. — The Dublin VA spent the last two days remembering the service and sacrifice of four World War II chaplains. They gave their lives on a sinking ship to save others
The chaplains helped other soldiers board lifeboats and gave up their own lifejackets when supply ran out. Sam Scaggs, a clinical chaplain, says he hopes we never forget the importance of their sacrifice.
"That is a level of love and heroicism that, frankly, is something that blows me away," Scaggs said.
On February 3rd, 1943, four chaplains boarded the U.S.A.T Dorchester with more than 900 other people. Sailing down the Atlantic Ocean at packed capacity, a German submarine fired a torpedo at the ship, sinking it and killing hundreds on board.
"We overlook, sometimes, just the beauty of just being alive and being here. These four chaplains, they understood that," he said.
The Carl Vinson VA in Dublin honored those four chaplains Wednesday ahead of Thursday's anniversary.
During the service, current chaplains reflected on the sacrifice and heroism the four men showed.
"To understand the importance and the power of chaplaincy, and that we are there just to love on those in their greatest times of need," he said.
Military service runs in the family for Chaplain Sam Scaggs. His father and grandfather both served. Scaggs says in order to be a chaplain, you have to ask yourself this one important question, "Do you have a passion for others?" he said.
Scaggs says he feels called to serve in this way, and often remembers this Bible verse: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for another," he said.
Right now, five chaplains at seven clinics service 39,000 veterans in both central and south Georgia.