FORT DIX, N.J. — Members of the Army Support Activity-Dix community gathered at the Dix main chapel, June 21, to honor the ASA command chaplain on the occasion of his retirement.
Deputy ASA command chaplain, Col. Wayne D. Kirk, retired after spending 26 years tending to the spiritual needs of service members and their families.
“He is truly the epitome of an Army chaplain,” said ASA commander Col. Patrick Slowey, “He is always right there when you need him. He’s a great confidant, a great counselor, always there with the right words.”
Since 2007, Kirk has served as the mobilization chaplain at Dix. Prior to that, he deployed in support of Operation New Horizon in El Salvador and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Past assignments also include serving as command chaplain for the 244th Aviation Battalion and the battalion chaplain for the 17th Psychological Operations.
Words of praise for Kirk flowed freely during the retirement ceremony.
Col. Thomas Brouillard, ASA-Dix chaplain, said of Kirk, “Anyone who has heard him preach with energy and scholarship, anyone who has been counseled by him, knows what a man of God he is.”
Being a man of God runs in Kirk’s family, his father was a United Methodist minister.
Kirk graduated from Southern Methodist University with a Masters in Theology in 1978. In 1984 he entered the Army Chaplaincy (Reserves).
Kirk said that he liked being a reservist. He compared his experience as a citizen-Soldier to that of other patriotic militia members, the historic Minute Men. He said just as those early Americans gathered on the village green when needed to defend their nation and then returned there when done, the time had come for him to go back to the village green and do what God calls him to do.
Prior to being called to mobilize at Dix, Kirk was the senior minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Miami, Fla.
When Kirk first moved to New Jersey his family remained in Florida. Kirk felt the difficulties associated with long distance relationships and acknowledged that he and his wife Linda, faced some trying times. Kirk took time during his retirement ceremony to thank the woman he called his, “best friend, my wing lady, my battle buddy in life,” and presented her with a bouquet of flowers.
Though Kirk and his wife are still undecided about their future plans, they said wherever they find their next calling, they will go.