Heard on the Hill

Take Five With Rep. Doug Collins

It’s Tuesday, time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress by asking five questions relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week, we talked with Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., about his time as a chaplain in the Navy and Air Force, as well as his ambitions to be an astronaut. Q: What do you miss most from home when you’re in the District of Columbia? A: My family. My wife and kids and the interactions with getting up in the morning and getting them all out. I’ve got teenage sons who are going to practices, and I make breakfast for them every morning when I’m home. Q: How did serving as a chaplain in the Air Force in 2008 affect your faith? A: Serving as a chaplain in the Air Force and being in Iraq in 2008 actually really strengthened my faith, just in seeing what I believe was God’s hand working in a lot of different areas. A chaplain’s job is to protect the religious freedoms of all the service members, no matter what their religious preferences or lack of religious preferences. We’re there to preserve that. From the highest ranking officer there to the lowest, I’m their chaplain, so I get to know a lot about what’s going on and see a lot of different and interesting stories. Q: Was there ever a decision in your life that at the time you felt sure was the wrong choice but ended up being the best thing you could’ve done? A: There was a time when I was pastoring. I felt it was almost time to leave the pastor — I’d been there for 11 years — and I was about to go back to law school. There’s that moment when you say, “Well, I’ll be full-time in school, no longer have a job, wife and kids,” and you look back and say, “Ugh,” but then it turned out to be exactly what I was supposed to be doing and worked out wonderfully. Q: As a child, what did you want to be or do when you grew up? A: When I was real young, I grew up with the space program. I grew up with the moon shots and the folks going to the moon, so I would sit at night and wanted to be an astronaut. I always thought that was the coolest thing in the world. I used to watch everything about the space program and in fact still am a big fan. The Apollo “failure is not an option” became my life’s motto, especially in my adult years. Space just always intrigued me, and it was the one thing that I found comfort in when I was in Iraq. I could always look up at the moon and know that it was the same moon that I saw back home. Q: What is your favorite sport and why? A: Football. I just love to watch, and I played growing up.
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