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"I found out that the most valuable time was between midnight and 6 a.m., because that’s when the people down in the hole, the boiler room, that’s when they could talk." (Video interview, 12:18)

   Edith Rene Porter-Stewart
Collection image
Edith Porter-Stewart in uniform, San Diego, California [2005]
War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Mount Hood (AE 29); USNS Mercy (T AH 19); 2nd MAW (Marine Aircraft Wing)
Service Location: San Diego, California; Newport, Rhode Island; Cherry Point, North Carolina; South Carolina; Persian Gulf
Rank: Lieutenant
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Edith Rene Porter-Stewart began her third career as the first female chaplain to serve the Second Marine Aircraft Wing. Ever the pioneer, she went on to found and host on-base television shows, on-ship newspapers, and an airport ministry to bless departing and incoming soldiers. Included in her collection is a selection of the poetry that she wrote while on tour.

Interview (Video)
»Interview Highlights  (5 clips)
»Complete Interview 
Download: video (31 min.)
»Photo Album  (2 photos)
 Creative Works
»Poem by Edith Rene Porter-Stewart
»Memoirs of Edith Rene Porter-Stewart, "Journey With Discrimination"
 Other Materials
»Biographical information
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 Video (Interview Excerpts) (5 items)
All male chaplains deployed to Desert Storm, but not females; establishing a program for Key Wives without a budget; developing an on-base TV program on topics like suicide; extended counseling of a Marine accused of infanticide; developing an “airport ministry” to serve arriving and departing soldiers. (03:28) Service on USS Mt. Hood; gender tensions arising less because of gender than experience; running a newspaper and starting a TV show on board; informing sailors about deaths in the family; best time to counsel troops late at night. (03:06) The blackballing of eight Evangelical chaplains by Catholic senior chaplain; facing some gender discrimination at chaplain school, especially regarding uniforms; ultimately, support from colleagues outweighed any discrimination. (03:11)
Hosting Martin Luther King III on base during Desert Storm; “million-dollar check” mementos from service members grateful for her work. (02:44) Closes by reading her favorite self-written poem. (00:50) 

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  October 26, 2011
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