Remember our troops. Around the world, men and women in uniform will celebrate Christmas in whatever way they can. They will do so with those that are closest to them—for our deployed troops, that may be the soldiers next to them.
For some, it will merely be the continuation of an annual tradition that will remind them of friends and family. For military Christians, it will be the celebration of the birth of their Savior. Some will sing Christmas songs and sit in Christmas services; some will have no ability to mark the occasion other than a private thought between tactical maneuvers. Many will celebrate Christmas while in uniform Continue reading →
President Bush issued the annual Presidential proclamation of the “National Day of Thanksgiving:”
We recognize that all of these blessings, and life itself, come not from the hand of man but from Almighty God…Our Nation’s first President, George Washington, stated in the first Thanksgiving proclamation that “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
With regard to the military this Thanksgiving, President Bush said
Our Nation is especially thankful for the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who protect these rights while setting aside their own comfort and safety. Their courage keeps us free, their sacrifice makes us grateful, and their character makes us proud. Especially during the holidays, our whole country keeps them and their families in our thoughts and prayers.
USA Today has published an article that discreetly (or perhaps inadvertently) highlighted the value of Chaplains in today’s military. General Carter Ham, one of 12 four-star generals in the Army, made news with his admission that he sought counseling from a Chaplain to deal with combat stress.
Talks with a chaplain he trusted helped Ham understand that his mood swings and trouble sleeping were normal responses to the stress…
Talking to a Chaplain is by no means required. In the same article, Brigadier General Gary Patton had “an ‘in-depth’ talk with a counselor” to deal with his combat stress. Still, for those to whom faith has a particularly strong value, having the ability to speak with a spiritual advisor who shares one’s faith–and one’s military lifestyle–may be invaluable to recovery. In addition, the Manual for Courts Martial Rule 503 Continue reading →
In an ironically titled piece, the Wall Street Journal lists recent efforts of atheists or non-theists to “convert” others to their views. Stephanie Simon’s “Atheists Reach Out — Just Don’t Call It Proselytizing” addresses many of the recent mainstream attempts non-theists have made to make their perspective more well-known, and to win others to their cause.
As noted several months ago, while some groups have complained that religious groups “target” the military for conversion, military atheists have done much the same thing. Military atheists also recently called on President-elect Obama to install military policies to protect non-believers.
An article by Spc Jodi Krause documents the baptism of several Army soldiers while deployed to Balad, Iraq. The article includes photos of the baptisms, which occurred in the base pool. Their Chaplain, Chaplain (Lt Col) Joel Severson said:
As a pastor, [my] calling is to make believers and baptize them. In a sense, I am fulfilling my calling to the Lord to baptize them and continue to build them up in their faith.
A retired Marine working as a civilian at Camp Lejeune has sued the Marines for their demands that he remove bumper stickers from his vehicle in order to be allowed on base. Jesse Nieto is represented by the Thomas More Law Center.
According to press reports, Nieto’s son died in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. The bumper stickers were described as disparaging to the Islamic faith.
Military policies on bumper stickers are not entirely clear, though court rulings have upheld bans on those disparaging Continue reading →
When they say ‘there are no atheists in foxholes’ it’s slanderous…
As noted at the Stars and Stripes, the Secular Coalition for America held a news conference demanding new regulations to “protect young military members from…rampant religious discrimination in the services.”
In their press release, the Secular Coalition notes that one atheist military officer was “thwarted” in his attempt to lodge a complaint against a General officer who “opined that there were ‘no atheists in foxholes.’” The officer “contends this statement qualifies as unlawful discrimination under current Army regulations.”
As with some other complaints of religious issues in the military, the Coalition maintains that the perpetrators are Continue reading →
Veterans’ Day (in America, Armistice Day to the rest of the world) is designated as a time to honor those who have served and currently serve in the Armed Forces. America’s military men and women sacrifice their families, liberties, and even their lives in defense of the liberties of others–even those with whom they may disagree.
Our country is forever indebted to our veterans for their quiet courage and exemplary service. We also remember and honor those who laid down their lives in freedom’s defense. These brave men and women made the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit. On Veterans Day, we remember these heroes for their valor, their loyalty, and their dedication. Their selfless sacrifices continue to inspire us today as we work to advance peace and extend freedom around the world.
While one UPT graduate became the first assigned directly to a Predator, the first class of pilot training students assigned directly to Raptors (after a short detour in F-16s) has graduated from the F-22 basic course.
Like the much cheaper and rugged A-10, there are no 2-seat F-22s; unlike the $30 million F-16, when new pilots climb into the $140 million Raptor for the first time, they do so solo.