Soldier/chaplain serves as role model

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Chaplain assistant Technical Sgt. Sheldon Milligan, 28, of the Air Force reaches out to those who need it the most. As a chaplain assistant, he provides spiritual care and helps patients in the hospital because warrior care is one of their top priorities, he said. As patients come in, depending on their injuries, he meets, spends time with them and makes sure they are cared for.

“Our presence is very important,” Milligan said. “I enjoy the ministry of caring for the men and women in the military.”

For two years he has served as a chaplain assistant to help people in the best way he can. In a recent story as told by Master Sgt. Jun Kim, Milligan was on duty when a U.S. soldier was injured. The injured soldier was at Bagram’s Craig Joint Theater Hospital and asked Milligan specifically for anything of St. Michael. Milligan found a rosary and a St. Jude medallion, but it wasn’t what the soldier wanted. The injured soldier told Milligan he had St. Michael medallions with him when he was injured, and Milligan went to hospital administrators to find them. They had no record of the injured soldiers’ belongings so they sent him to the Contingency Aeromedical Staging Facility. Miiligan eventually found the St. Michael medallions and carefully placed them in a plastic bag and gave it to the injured soldier when he was fully awake. The injured soldier was grateful when Milligan found his medallions and thanked him for what he did. Milligan said when he handed the soldier his medallions, the expression of the man’s face in that moment was a reminder of why he serves in Afghanistan.

“It has brought me closer to my faith; it is a blessing that it’s my job,” Milligan said.

Milligan joined the Air Force eight years ago on Nov. 29, 2004. He held the previous title of Aircraft armament system technician for six years and retrained for chaplain assistant. He was born in Socorro and lived in San Antonio for 11 years. He graduated from Socorro High School in 2003 and his mother, Doreen Fowler works at New Mexico Tech as an administrative assistant. Being a chaplain assistant of the Air Force has brought him closer in his faith and he supports everyone in their faith as well.