The U.S. Navy is investigating a catastrophic string of suicides aboard the USS George Washington while the aircraft carrier was docked in Newport News, Virginia, undergoing extended maintenance. Meanwhile, sailors stationed aboard the carrier are now being offered increased mental health services. Many are also now being allowed to live off the carrier such as in Navy barracks at nearby Naval Station Norfolk, rather than being confined to the carrier during the lengthy overhaul that’s been going on almost five years.
Sailors Need Jesus
Navy Chaplain Louis Lee told CBN News that it can be easy for young sailors to become despondent due to extremely challenging circumstances in the armed services. He says that’s why it’s critical they know Jesus.
“I would say the hope that we can give is the gospel message,” he said. “It’s Christ.”
Chaplain Lee encourages all people of faith to do what they can for our military.
“There’s chaplains,” he explained, “But more so, there’s good Christian sailors who can share the gospel or maybe somebody, a family member, a grandmother, who prays for them or every now and then when they talk to them, they encourage them to trust in the Lord and read the Bible and whatever it may be,” he said, adding, “I knew one sailor who would pass out tracts and only God knows how effective that is.”
Six, possibly seven sailors committed suicide in the last two years while the carrier was dry docked for maintenance. The Navy said the cause of one death is still undetermined but that “gunplay” was involved. Three of the suicides happened in April.
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