6/18/2012 - HOMESTEAD AIR RESERVE BASE, Fla. --
Sometimes, when times get tough, we need someone who is on our side to help overcome life's challenges. The good news is 482nd Fighter Wing Chaplain Capt. Ryan Ayers is here full-time to listen and help.
"I'm here to serve all South Florida military members and their families regardless of their branch of service and help people through life's challenges," said Ayers.
Chaplain Ayers is on base through the end of September, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and can be contacted through the 482nd FW Command Post. He's available to provide various services, including counseling, bible studies, worship services, weddings, baptisms, and other services available to all religious backgrounds.
Base leadership acknowledged the need for a full-time chaplain on base to meet the needs of the ever-increasing number of personnel. As a result, the base chaplains have positioned themselves to provide the same services as an active duty chapel would.
"We focus on doing all we can to offer the same services as active duty chaplains in the reserve environment," said Ayers.
Previously, without a full-time chaplain, the base had limited access to chaplains. With a full-time chaplain, military leaders and supervisors have another resource at their fingertips.
"Chaplains are important to the military because we serve in a role to advise leadership on issues of moral, ethical and spiritual matters that allow all members to worship, counsel and receive spiritual direction in a confidential environment," said Ayers.
Base chaplains and leadership recognize people of different religions and backgrounds need services they can relate to. Therefore, the base chaplains tailor services to meet the individuals' needs or facilitate an appropriate setting to do so, providing an environment for any religion to come and practice.
The chapel provides counseling services ranging from over the phone, couples, pre-marital, marital, family, grief, addiction and spiritual. In addition, chaplains offer total confidentiality for every person seeking help.
"Spiritual wellness can be the foundation of hope that an individual can use to build a strong physical and mental well-being," said Ayers. "It's just as paramount to the whole person as their physical and emotional well-being."
Chaplains stress the importance of bible studies and worship to maintain spiritual wellness. Taught by Chaplain Capt. Bradley Fink, the Spiritual Fitness bible study begins June 27 and will be held every Wednesday from 11 to 11:45 a.m. at the base chapel, located behind lodging at building 471. The program will focus on one's spiritual well-being and growth. Chaplain Ayers will begin Sunday contemporary worship services July 22 at 11 a.m.
"Spiritual fitness is about building a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God," said Ayers. "This happens through a process of exercising your faith and exploring who God is and how he plays a role in our everyday lives."
All services are available to any Department of Defense Identification card holder. There are no fees associated with services provided by chaplains, to include accepting donations for services.
"The best part about being a chaplain is the ability to help people through life situations and see them overcome the issue with success and confidence," said Ayers.
For more information on the Base Chapel, call 786-415-7093 or for emergencies call the 482nd FW Command Post at 786-415-7023.