USS John C. Calhoun (SSBN 630) Veterans Association
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Welcome to the Chaplain's Corner

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Our hearts and prayers go out to those who are in the cross-hairs of Hurricane Florence along the coastline of the Carolinas, especially our fellow Calhoun Shipmates and their families. I pray the Lord God Almighty will grant them wisdom and protection. In times of adversity, when things are at their worst, I hope that we, above all others, will shine, demonstrating our brotherhood's fortitude, resilience, and determination.

Please inform the JCCVA if you, or a shipmate and his family, suffer the negative impacts of this storm.

Best Regards,



James Bettison

JCCVA Chaplain

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Shipmates and First-mates and families -

We are in the midst of a week- long 2014 commemoration of the sacrifices men and women of our Nation have made to support and uphold our Constitution defending Freedom in our land.

I have found that some years I have allowed complacency and laziness to set in on previous Veterans Days, BUT I find this 2014 event to be very poignant and special.

We take the time on Veterans Day to reflect back on our knowledge of the founding events, the Revolutionary War in which we broke the hold of the British oppressors to gain our First taste of National Freedom, the World Wars, again to assure freedom from Foreign oppressors, and now, we are fighting a Domestic Enemy to keep our rights and freedoms once again. 

Who'd have thought that we would be concerned about our children's and grandchildren's future freedoms, but here we are. 

So, we'd like to thank you all for your family's contributions and sacrifices this 2014 Veterans' Day. Our Fraternal Organization, USSJCCVA, exists for you as a place to celebrate Freedom and remember the times during the Cold War when the Johnny "C" plied the depths, bounced off icebergs, and provided a formidable platform doing its part as a "Defender of Freedom."

Uncomfortably, now, we are charged by previous oath to return to action in our local areas.


As your Chaplain, please allow me to share the following with you. I trust it will re-emphasize how important it is that we strive toward the Goal together.

A Prayer for Veterans Day
We thank you, Lord, for our military veterans. Through them you have provided us with blessings that people around the world envy. But the presence of our veterans also remind us of your warning that wars and rumors of war will continue until the end of time. In your mercy, keep war from our shores, and frustrate the plans of all those who would cause us terror. 

Lord of the Nations, we ask that you would continue to bless our country with men and women who are willing to go to distant and dangerous places to protect us from those who would do us harm. We pray that you will continue to bless us with veterans who offer faithful and selfless service.

Be with our veterans as they return home and continue their march through life—especially those wounded in body or spirit. May they receive the support and care they deserve for their sacrifice. Protect them from the ambush of sin and the firepower of Satan. Give them the health and strength they need to carry out the missions in life that you have laid before them. Lord, be their shield and strength, their guide and their rearguard, Give to them the peace that surpasses all understanding as they place their trust in Jesus. 

When their tour of duty in this world is over, give them the order to come home. Bring them to where there are no more wars. Grant unto them this blessing: when we are listening to taps being played over their graves, may they be listening to the joyous trumpet call of God and the music of heaven’s choirs. Grant this for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

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December, 2010

 Merry Christmas, Shipmates,

A few weeks ago, our oldest girl had all her Christmas gifts stolen from her car trunk that she had purchased for her husband and our small grandson. Living in a small house, she didn’t have a place inside to store the packages, so the car trunk was, seemingly, her only option. Most people would have come apart when faced with such a devastating event, but, I am glad to say that her faith and her friends and family have helped her and her husband get through this experience. And, that family is going to be better for the challenge because of the ready response and prayers of loved ones and friends.

We’ve all been through similar life tests and this past year was no different for many of us. But, shipmates are family and I, like you, am grateful that according to His higher plan for us, we were called to serve together on board the finest of the 41 for Freedom missile boats years ago. Looking back, faith got us through and has brought us to this point together to once again celebrate and commemorate Christ’s birthday.

So, as you reflect on your many memories this Christmas Season, with loved ones and friends, take a minute to dwell on the many blessings you have been freely given, your health, your provisions, and future.

Marni and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas 2010 and Blessed New Year in 2011. We look forward to hearing from you throughout the coming year.



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Greetings Shipmates and Firstmates.

Annually, our Nation celebrates Veterans Day during which we acknowledge the sacrifices individuals and families made in the past and make daily, on and off foreign soil, that we can enjoy the Inalienable rights that are given to us by God, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. We all know first hand that these rights and freedoms are often paid for at the supreme price of a precious life. Blood that is shed so that we sleep soundly at night; Limbs that are lost so that another may live to fight on; Sight that is sacrificed so that a buddy might see the sunset another day; Months away from loved ones, regular career jobs, and comforts of home and little ones so that America may live on.
Only a small fraction of our citizenry today recognizes the Price of Freedom. So, I want to thank you all this Veteran's Day for your sacrifice and for your families' contributions so that we all can look forward to this special observance every year to come.
This morning, I met a young soldier in the pews who, after rehabbing from a Taliban's bullets, came home to be with his Dad and Mom - to reassure them and us that the effort is worth the price. "Freedom is worth the price", were his humble words. To the surprise and question of many, he is anxious to return to the theater this week, on Veteran's Day 2009. Blushing, he pushed aside the usual accolades to thank us Veterans for walking the path seldom chosen before him, so that others may enjoy their full potential.We shared the Scriptures Jere 29:11-13. "For I know the Plans I have for you. Plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me  when you search for Me with all your heart."
I couldn't avoid the visual memory of the sign at the entrance of the Cheyenne, WY, VA Medical Center, "The Price of Freedom is on display here".
I've been reading the Founding Fathers a lot, lately, and came across one of the many dispatches recorded by George Washington, in May 1774 just after the Boston Tea Party, that has very timely application today. I wanted to share it with you.

On June 1, 1774, he wrote in his diary, "Went to church and fasted all day".A few days later, he wrote,"The British ministry may rely on it that Americans will never be taxed without their own consent; that the cause of Boston - the despotic measures in respect to it, I mean - now is and ever will be considered as the cause of America (not that we approve their conduct in destroying the tea); and that we shall not suffer ourselves to be sacrificed by piecemeal, though God only knows what is to become of us ...while those from whom we have a right to seek protection are endeavoring by every piece of art and despotism to fix the shackles of slavery upon us".

Our Country is at crossroads, again, and will again depend on its Veterans to navigate these heavy seas to protect our future generations from the "despots who would fix on us the shackles of slavery".
Shipmates, my message is to stay vigilant and stand up for what we know is right. Like the young man headed back to Afghanistan, find an opportunity to thank those who have walked the path seldom chosen before us.
Find another Vet to thank for his/her service - it's amazingly contagious.
Blessings and THANKS to you and yours on this 2009 Veterans' Day.

Jim Magin, Chaplain

USS John C. Calhoun, SSBN 630, Veterans Association

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Click a church pennant to see another Installment from Jim.







I want to thank all you for your support during this transition period as I assume responsibilities as Chaplain of our USS John C. Calhoun, SSBN 630, Veterans Association. It is an honor to be asked to shepherd such a distinguished assembly of mighty men and their loved ones. I accept it humbly and nervously. But with the certainty that the goal is worth pressing on toward. What an exciting "bond" we share as the Calhoun family, brought together from many small towns and big cities by Providential appointment, to have served aboard the mighty steel warrior , USS John C. Calhoun. Over her 30 years of dependable service to stealthfully protecting the Freedom that Our Country stands firm for and the basis on which it was founded, we were successful in deterring the aggression of the time. We helped win the Cold War.

It is that "bond" that has and will continue to link us still wherever we are and whatever the circumstances in this life. My purpose in serving you is to connect that "bond" we share to our future life's assignments, joys and sorrows, and on into eternity. I trust you won't let each other down as we continue to get sigs on lifes' Qual Sheets toward the ultimate Pinning - On Ceremony. Please feel free to use this connection to express your thoughts, needs, and feelings as we proceed.

So, let's get after the task at hand.

Let me first of all publicly express the appreciation and BZ's (do you think there'll be BZ's in heaven?) for a great job well done by our outgoing Chaplain, Kevin O'Brien and for his many years of faithful service. You have been the mainstay, the wind under the wings, for our group throughout its formative years. We sincerely thank you for your effort and dedication for this Watch and pray that your future assignments and duties will be smooth and according to the POD. I pledge the continued support and resources of our "bond of brothers" as you and your family sail new courses. Keep us posted, Kevin, as you venture forward in His service. We celebrate your service.

Here's an article that should bring encouragement to us, authored by Chuck Swindoll.


"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church...a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our attitudes."

Carry on!

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Magin
USS John C. Calhoun, SSBN 630 Veterans Association
(812) 878-1894(812) 878-1894 - (Cell #)