Jefferson Barracks chaplain set to retire

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JEFFERSON BARRACKS (KTVI) - It's a passage he knows all too well.

'Yea though I walk though the valley of the shadow of death I shall fear no evil for thou is with thee,' says Lt. Col. Andre d`Arden.

For the past 15 years, Missouri National Guard Chaplain Andre d'Arden has been with many military families as they said their last goodbyes.

But come February 27th the young d'Arden will retire as Jefferson Barracks chaplain.

'I have a mission,' says Chaplain d`Arden.  'I have to honor the dead.  I have a debt to pay and that's to honor the military personal whether it's Army, Navy, Marine, and Coast Guard.  Regardless, we honor those who have served our country.'

D`Arden knows the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery fairly well.

It's here's that he's presided over almost 1500 funerals.

'So it enhances your faith,' says Chaplain d`Arden.  'You look back on that person's career and you're just proud and say, 'I wish I had known that person.'  Because they had done this or done that.'

While he's heard so many stories of people he'll never get to meet, it's here at one of this nation's oldest cemeteries that spirituality and service meet.

'That's the bottom line,' says Chaplain d`Arden.   'We want to let the family know that your loved one was special to us.  Not just you, he's special to us as well and we want to show our appreciation.'

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