Hometown Patriot - July 24, 2013 - Leslie Kim Sias

Being a chaplain in the military is more than just conducting church services. It's following your unit wherever its assigned. Lt. Commander Leslie Kim Sias has been around the world, most recently in Afghanistan.

"We go wherever our people go," said Sias. "For instance, as a chaplain, when my sailors go out to sea, I go with them. If I'm serving with the Marines as a Navy chaplain, because Navy chaplains serve with the Marine Corps, I go out into the field with them."

While serving overseas, the Lake Charles High graduate saw how important care packages from home were to sailors and soldiers in the field.

"We used to be so happy when we'd get chocolate in Afghanistan. Number one, it survived the trip. We were so delighted to see stuff from home. For a lot of people it wasn't so much the stuff as the fact that people thought about them."

Currently serving at Walter Reed Hospital in Bethesda, Sias is a chaplain to all faiths.

"If someone comes to my office that's a part of a different faith tradition, whether I agree with that faith tradition or not...is not the question or the answer. The real thing becomes how do I help this person to meet their faith requirements?"

Sias will have 20 years with the military in September and plans to serve another eight.

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