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Chaplain wins Indiana American Legion’s Military Person of the Year

  • Published
  • By Amn Elise Faroute
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Serving others is usually a selfless act that often goes unrecognized – but not always as one Grissom chaplain found out.

Chaplain (Maj.) Blake Campbell, a chaplain with the 434th Air Refueling Wing, won the Indiana American Legion’s Military Person of the Year in the Reserve Category, on July 8, 2023. The American Legion considers a military member’s professional career, community service, and family, as well as letters of recognition to decide who is most deserving of the award.

Campbell joined the Air Force Reserve in May 2015, seeing an opportunity to serve others and his country. Already on his way to becoming a pastor in his civilian life, he decided to pursue ministry in the military as well. He said his to desire to be a part of something bigger than himself and to serve the country is what drew him to become an Air Force chaplain.

As an Active Guard Reserve chaplain, Campbell serves full-time to provide spiritual care and ensure religious freedom for Airmen and their families. He and the chapel team provide religious accommodations, run chapel services during the Unit Training Assembly weekends. The chapel team also provides counseling and 100% confidentiality so Airmen can have a safe place to talk and discuss whatever is on their mind.

During his military career, Campbell has worked with AFROTC cadets, wounded warriors/veterans, and served as an Individual Mobilization Augmentee for two active-duty wings, before arriving at Grissom.

Campbell defined service as putting the needs of others above and before oneself. “Giving not just of your time,” he said, “but a part of who you are for the sake of the betterment of other people.”

Campbell is a father to three girls, and he and his wife are expecting twin boys soon. He enjoys spending time with his family and is very involved in his community as a pastor in his church. More recently, he has begun to get involved with his local American Legion.

Being involved with the American Legion has allowed him to interact with veterans from different generations and mindsets, and connect with people who have the same shared experience, he said.

`Campbell said he is humbled and honored to receive the Indiana American Legion award. He has made some great friendships and encourages service members to reach out to their local legion to volunteer and participate when they can.

Campbell said he has enjoyed the people and experiences here at Grissom and loves being an Air Force chaplain. He hopes to continue to serve for many years.

“I’ll serve the Air Force until one day they tell me I’m too old,” Campbell laughed.