Feb 26, 2013 - Rep. John Carney joked Monday that the new Dover Air Force Base chapel center should be called “the house that Senator Carper built.”
Indeed, the $8.7 million center, which includes a softly appointed reception area for use by grieving families in the event of a mass casualty event, was born when Tom Carper, Delaware’s senior U.S. senator, and former Sen. Ted Kaufman tagged a 2010 military construction spending bill with a $7.5 million add-on known as an “earmark.”
“This is a place of worship, a place of happiness,” said Col. Rick Moore, commander of the 436th Airlift Wing and the base. “On occasion, a place for grief. But more than that, it’s a place where airmen can come together as a community.”
The chapel center also provides for what officials say is an increasingly diverse set of beliefs among service members and families. An all-faiths room includes a white-tiled washbasin in one corner where Muslims can cleanse themselves before prayer.
But the generic room can be used by any religious group, said Lt. Col. Dennis Saucier, the 436th Airlift Wing chaplain. “Our mission is to provide for the religious accommodation of all Air Force members and their families,” he said.
A comfortable, welcoming lounge area takes up one-third of the center, set aside for grieving families who would be coming to Dover, the base where all overseas casualties are brought, in the event of a mass casualty event. read more>>>