MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The crowd’s heads bow as the guest speaker leads a prayer. He speaks upon the Bible, religion and how he came to faith while he served as a Navy SEAL. Chief Petty Officer Remi Adeleke, reservist, SEAL Team 17, gave a testimonial for the "I Am Second" movement at the Combat Center’s Protestant Chapel, May 21, 2014.
The movement is a series of testimonials from athletes, service members, musicians, and others who look back on their lives and choose to follow a different path.
“As a SEAL, I felt like all the things I was doing on my own time were okay,” Adeleke said. “With ‘I Am Second,’ I not only followed a new lifestyle with religion, but it helped relieve a lot of stress I had in my life.”
The presentation began with a cookout and was open to service members and their families. The testimony covered the struggles Adeleke experienced while on active duty and how he could relate to many situations young service members go through today.
“It’s easy for service members to relate with him because he knows what we go through, and he’s been in our position,” said Cpl. Nicholas Frausto, rifleman, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment. “For me, following a faith helps my mind be at ease and teaches me a lot of morals that are needed in the military.”
Approximately 80 service members and family members attended the event. "I Am Second" travels across the nation spreading gospel to military bases, college campuses, and other communities.
“The goal isn’t to get more people to follow God,” Adeleke said. “We want people to have a relationship with Him and learn the morals in His teachings.”
Combat Center Marines volunteered to serve food and help set up the event.
“I also work the sound board at the chapel, but I was more than happy to help for this testimonial,” Frausto said. “Religion is important for many families and service members on base. If I can do something to help make their experience better I made sure to have it done.”
According to Adeleke, hope becomes an important thing for the families of service members. Hope is what they need when their loved ones are deployed or become injured. For many, religion gives just that.
“I felt like God was always with me,” Adeleke said. “It’s so relieving to know that no matter what I’m going through whether it is a deployment, ambush or enemy fire, I can find peace by knowing there’s someone watching over me. For me, religion provides hope in many things, and that’s something that nothing else on this earth can provide. That same hope is something I want to share with other service members and people where ever I can.”