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Paul Robbins Jr.

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In Fallujah, ‘The God Squad’ helps build troops’ morale

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Faith under fire
While on patrol in Fallujah, Iraq, Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron G. Neely, religious programs specialist for the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-1, peers around a corner to clear the way for Navy Lt. Matthew S. Weems, the battalion’s chaplain. Photo by Lance Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.
FALLUJAH, Iraq (BP)--A Navy chaplain and his assistant are helping Marines and sailors in Fallujah, Iraq, in the ongoing war against terrorism.
      Navy Lt. Matthew S. Weems, flanked by his religious program specialist, Petty Officer 2nd Class Aaron G. Neely, are key weapons in the effort to maintain good morale among the 800 troops in the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, Regimental Combat Team-1.
      "We're here to give encouragement to the Marines and sailors," said Weems, a graduate of the Arizona Campus of Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, "and to provide for the free religious expression of all in the command."