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NEWS | March 23, 2016

Astronaut speaks during National Prayer Luncheon, Wingman Day

By Airman Megan Munoz Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

Apollo 16 lunar module pilot, Retired Brigadier General Charles Duke, joined members of Joint Base Charleston March 17, 2016 for the National Prayer Luncheon at the Charleston Club.

The National Prayer Luncheon, or sometimes breakfast, is an annual event bringing community members and service members together for prayer and fellowship.

The event included readings from the Tanakh, Qur'an and New Testament. Attendees received a brief history of the National Prayer Lunch before the guest speaker was introduced.

Duke talked about his experiences on the moon and how going to space ultimately led to his spirituality. Duke challenged the audience to think about the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance and to reflect on their spiritual fitness.

"There's a phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance that says 'One nation under God,'" said Duke. "I started thinking about that phrase. If the nation is under God, our president, our military, our congress, our states and our school systems are all under God too. I also thought, personally, I am really under God also?"

Duke and his wife, Dorothy, spoke at the base chapel for a Wingman Day seminar. During Wingman Day, Airmen attended classes to improve morale in the workplace and stimulate a learning environment. The Duke's talked about the challenges in their marriage and how they were able to overcome them.

Dorothy Duke suffered from depression due to the high demands and stress of her husband's job. She overcame her depression by regaining her spiritual fitness.

Violet Skipper, a retired 628th Medical Group nurse, said hearing from a military family helped her relate to their story and Skipper found it inspiring.

"Having a military family can cause a lot of stress from the constant separation," Skipper commented. "The Dukes prove that marriages and having a family in the military can succeed, but its hard work."