Duke Field chaplain’s office expands team

  • Published
  • By Michelle Gigante
  • 919th Special Operations Wing

The 919th Special Operations Wing chaplain team recently welcomed a new member to provide resiliency support and counseling to Airmen throughout the unit.

Maj. Nathan Adkison settled in to his new role this summer after serving several years at the Wing previously.

“Chaplain Adkison is the right fit for our team,” said Lt. Col. David Daus, 919th SOW lead chaplain. “His prior experience as a communications officer at Duke Field gives him a good understanding of our mission.”

Adkinson grew up in Warner Robins, Georgia, where he immersed himself in his military community.

“I have loved the military ever since I was a little kid,” said Adkison. “My father was in the military, and I just knew I wanted to do something big too.”

Early on in life, Adkison faced tremendous pain and grief when his two brothers died from muscular dystrophy.

After bearing witness to his brothers’ failing health he experienced emotional guilt and shame, which later strengthened his resolve to join the military. “I struggled with, why me, why did both of my brothers suffer for muscular dystrophy, but I did not,” said Adkison.

His younger brother said in one of their conversations before passing, “You know, it sure would be cool if you were a soldier,” said Adkison. “This was a pivotal moment for me.”

Adkison first enlisted in the Army and later switched to the Air Force where he became a flight commander and later an interim squadron commander. He is now approaching 21 years of military service.

Adkison’s endeavors to help people later drove him to the chaplain corps in 2020.

“I love building relationships and hearing other people’s stories,” said Adkison. “I want members to feel comfortable to come around, share a laugh, have a good time, and realize they have a friendly face here to talk too.”

Additionally, the chaplain’s broad military background and personal hardships allows him to connect on many levels.

 “I can relate to people who are hurting and struggling after a death of someone close to them or missing important life events during deployments,” said Adkison. “Since I was eight years old my father and I have gone on an annual hunting trip and I missed this, Thanksgiving, my wife’s birthday, my 10 year anniversary, Christmas, and both of my oldest daughter’s birthdays.”

Adkison is married with three children and expressed his favorite activities with his family are hunting, fishing, taking his two jet skis on the water and telling dad jokes.

He shared one of his recent favorites from his dad-stash of funnies.

“A mushroom walks into the bar.”

The bartender yells to the mushroom, "Get out!"

The mushroom says, "Why? I'm a fungi,” chuckled Adkison.

Airmen do not have to be religious or be of the same faith to receive help from a chaplain or religious affairs Airman.

For more information about the services offered by the 919th SOW chaplain team, download the 919th SOW mobile app and look under the ‘IRON’ icon. Contact the chaplain’s office by phone at 850-883-6984. Walk-ins are also welcome.