FORMER CATHOLIC CHAPLAIN AT BARKSDALE AFB
LOUISIANA GETS TEN YEARS IN SLAMMER FOR
MOLESTING YOUNG BOYS - MAJ GARY UNDERWOOD
SENTENCED IN CIVILIAN COURT FOR CRIMES HE
ADMITS TOOK PLACE IN ARIZONA PRIOR TO JOINING
THE AIR FORCE - PRIEST HAD BEEN SHIFTED TO
OFFICE JOB AT 2ND BOMB WING AFTER FIRST SEX
INDICTMENT IN 2006 - MILITARY PERSONNEL
HE MINISTERED TO SHOCKED AT REVELATIONS

To the military families he ministered to at Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, he was "Father Gary," a kind, compassionate "servant of God" who provided comfort and spiritual counseling to parents and loved ones of dead service members in their time of grief. But to young boys back in Tucson, Az., where Maj. Gary Underwood began his priestly duties in the 1980's at St. Odilia Catholic Church, the man wearing a clerical collar was a creepy molester.

Defrocked by his church, the onetime Air Force chaplain will just be another prison inmate now. He pled guilty earlier this year to six counts of abusing two young boys and was sentenced to ten years imprisonment by Pima County Superior Court Judge Richard Nichols. Underwood will also face lifetime parole as a registered "sex offender" if he survives his prison stretch.

"He was a wonderful priest," cried the wife of an Air Force officer stationed at Barksdale. "I can't believe he could be capable of doing such a thing!"

But she was sadly wrong. Underwood lived a lie, hiding his past sins with good deeds. However, his crimes finally caught up with him.

PERVERT PRIEST HAD BEEN BARKSDALE'S SENIOR CATHOLIC CHAPLAIN

Maj. Underwood was indicted in November 2006 on nine counts of molestation and sexual contact with a minor under 15. The incidents, court documents revealed, occurred in 1983 and 1984.

Authorities at Barksdale did the right thing by removing the chaplain from all priestly duties and transferring him to a "desk job" in the 2nd Bomb Wing to keep him out of trouble until such time as the law could take its course.

On loan to the Air Force as a chaplain from the Diocese of Tucson, with the prison sentence handed down to Underwood, he ceases to be a priest or military officer. Now he will have to watch his back in the lockup. The prison at Florence, Az. is not known as a "friendly" place for folks like him.

 

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