Navy Chaplain Louis Lee encouraged Christian sailors to share the gospel amidst the multiple suicides that happened in the U.S. Navy over the past two years while aboard the USS George Washington.

In an interview with CBN News, Lee affirmed that young sailors are at risk of having depression due to "extremely challenging circumstances in the armed services." He advised sharing the gospel among them to give them hope while away from their friends and family. He urged especially all men of faith serving in the military to minister to their colleagues and share Jesus.

He also encouraged friends and family to always pray for their loved ones who's been away for military service. They can also call them and encourage them to keep trusting God and read the Bible. He mentioned that passing gospel tracts could be an effective way to share the word of God with fellow sailors.

Confined And Long Working Hours

According to CBS News, seven navy sailors died of suicide while the aircraft carrier has been undergoing long years of maintenance in Newport News, Virginia. The U.S. Navy said the suicide incidents are under probe and findings are expected to be released the following year, as well as the living condition report of the navy.

The parents of late sailor Xavier Sandor remembered their son saying that he wasn't comfortable living in the carrier. Their son had worked for 12 hours at night on the aircraft carrier which he described as a "construction site." It was cramped and noisy, so he couldn't sleep during the day.

Sandor's father John recalled encouraging their son saying conditions would eventually improve, unaware of the real conditions of their son. He said, "It's going to haunt me for the rest of my life."

The parents of another sailor, Mika'il Rayshawn Sharp, are also grieving over the death of their son.

Also Read: Bioethicist Explains Why Suicides In Europe Rise

Possible Leadership Problems

Virginia Congresswoman and Navy veteran Elaine Luria said they'll look into possible leadership issues in the carrier, and whether they had offered adequate mental health services.

Master Chief Russell Smith said it's early to assume that it was a leadership problem, referring to the recent deaths. When he visited the carrier in late April, he said the situation prohibits the sailors to leave the vessel where they both live and work.

Many sailors are now allowed to move off the ship and live in Navy barracks at nearby Naval Station Norfolk, rather than being confined in the carrier. However, 184 sailors opted to stay aboard to avoid commuting to work.

Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro encouraged the sailors to be good shipmates. He said to never hesitate to seek medical help when needed.

The U.S. Navy also installed cell repeaters in the ship's skin to offer wireless internet. They also improved morale, welfare, and recreation program for off-duty sailors living on the carrier. They acknowledged that connection from home could boost the morale of the sailors.

Related Article: US Navy Reverses Decision to Remove Bibles from Military Quarters