12/24/12 The Van Gilder Funeral Home hosted a first-ever event on Saturday, December 15, 2012: the promotion ceremony for Air Force Chaplain, Major Alex F. Jack. Chaplain Jack was officially promoted from Captain to Major on October 1, 2012 but since he was geographically dislocated from his unit of assignment (the 502d Air Base Wing, Randolph AFB, TX) he requested that his new “unit” – the Van Gilder Funeral Home staff – conduct his pinning-on ceremony.
Chaplain Jack is from Russell, KY but recently moved to Plymouth after being released from active duty in 2011. His wife, Christine, is a native of Bourbon, IN and they decided to move back closer to family and friends after being on active duty for 8 ½ years. Chaplain Jack is a Reserve Chaplain and has been so since March 2, 2011.
During Chaplain Jack’s time on active duty he and his family were stationed at Laughlin AFB, TX in Del Rio from 2002-2005, Hill AFB, UT from 2005-2009, and Lackland AFB, TX from 2009-2011. He also served three tours of duty overseas, deploying to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates from September 2004-January 2005, Camp As Sayliyah, Qatar where he served as Staff Chaplain for the Joint Psychological Operations Task Force from April-September 2008, and Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan where he served as the flight line chaplain for nearly 2,000 airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines from July-November 2010.
After being released from active duty Chaplain Jack swore in as a Reservist on March 2, 2011. He currently fulfills his annual training requirements at Randolph AFB, but he also served a 40-day tour of duty this summer at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Co during the Waldo Canyon fires. While there Chaplain Jack helped the active duty staff provide spiritual support to the incoming class of cadets during Basic Cadet Training.
Chaplain Jack, his wife Christine, and their son Ben now happily reside in Plymouth. Chaplain Jack works at the Van Gilder Funeral Home and Christine works in the cafeteria at Riverside Intermediate School where their son Ben attends.