From the Frontlines: Staff Sgt. William Daniels

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Montse Belleau
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
In a world full of chaos and confusion, many military members seek peace through spirituality, especially during a deployment.

Staff Sgt. William Daniels, 509th Bomb Wing chaplain assistant, is one such Airman. During a six-month deployment to Eskan Village in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, Daniels helped others cope with the stress of serving overseas and administered to Service members' spiritual needs.

During his time there, he performed many of the same duties as he handled at Whiteman, doing peer-to-peer support counseling and ministry of presence.

As a chaplain assistant, Daniels' responsibilities are to ensure the free exercise of religion in the Air Force by enabling the chaplain professional ministries to provide religious instruction, spiritual renewal, involvement and recognition, pastoral counseling, crisis and suicide intervention, and critical incident stress management, spiritual nurturing and pastoral visitation.

"I am the eyes and ears for our chaplains on our enlisted personnel," Daniels said. "Stripes speak to stripes."

Daniels said in the desert his days always started around the coffee pot.

"That was where most of the Airmen would gather, so we had an awesome coffee house ministry," he said. "It was great meeting so many new people and being able to use my skill set as a chaplain assistant!"

Daniels said the main difference at his forward location was that he had fewer additional duties, and therefore more visitation time with Airmen.

"My mission is for Airmen and their families to be able to worship how they want and make sure we are there for their spiritual aspect," Daniels said.

This was Daniels' first deployment and though he enjoyed the experience, he also learned a lot.

"It's important to always look out for your wingman," Daniels said. "Even if you don't know them, just make sure they are taken care of. Don't forget about our sister services either; they have a hard job, too."

"I know a lot of people don't know about what we do...but let me say that from the chief to the airman that was manning the entry control points or watching traffic, every one of them knew what they were there for, and [they] did our Air Force and nation proud," he said.

Daniels said he would deploy again in a heartbeat.

"Where we are needed, we will go," he said.