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Four Chaplains service set Thursday

February 2, 2011

Veterans of the U.S. armed forces who died during the previous year will be honored Thursday morning during the Four Chaplains Memorial Service at First Baptist Church under the direction of the Big Spring VA Medical Center.

The memorial service — which is named after four U.S. Army chaplains who sacrificed their lives to save others when the U.S.A.T. Dorchester was sunk by a German U-boat in 1943 — will get under way at 11 a.m. In the main chapel at the local church, according to VA Chaplain Dean Thomas.

“During World War II, four Army chaplains — George Fox, Alexander Goode, Clark Poling and John Washington — went down with the U.S.A.T. Dorchester,” said Thomas. “These four men, all of different faiths, gave up their life preservers and stayed behind on the sinking ship to help comfort the men and women onboard. Although all four of them were from different faiths, that didn’t matter at that moment. They worked together to help people, and that’s such an important thing to remember.”

The four chaplains were posthumously honored with the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heath, and VA hospitals across the country use the anniversary of their sacrifice to recall recently passed veterans.

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