Support for Military Marriages

A recent Armed Forces Press article notes the efforts by military leaders to stave off increases in military divorce rates.  According to the article, approximately 58% of military members are married, and there is an approximately 3.5% divorce rate.

While praising the benefits these programs offer families, officials said they recognize that strong marital and family relationships make better Soldiers.

It also has an important impact on a soldier’s decision to re-enlist…The Army recruits Soldiers, but it retains families.

There are a wide variety of programs, many of which are run by the Chaplaincy.  The article includes praise for the US Army’s “Strong Bonds.”  Strong Bonds is a Chaplain-run program that has come under fire Read more

Military Christmas Controversies

The relatively quiet ceremony on the National Mall stands in contrast to the Washington State Capitol, where a holiday tree became a Christmas tree which inspired the erection of a Menorah and a lawsuit installed a Nativity scene.  (The annual arguments are becoming so regular that the Seattle Times has called them the “holiday tradition.”)

More controversially, an atheist sign has joined the Christmas display.  While many have supported and even encouraged the free expression of the atheists, some have taken issue with the adversarial nature of the sign, which some say demeans the other celebrations present in the display Read more

National Christmas Tree Lit

President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush lit the national Christmas tree for the last time this year.  Notably, there was no attempt to obscure the “Christmas” nature of the Christmas tree.  During the ceremony, which takes place at the tree planted on the Ellipse of the Washington Memorial, President Bush said

The simple story we remember during the season speaks to every generation. It is the story of a humble birth in a quiet town, and the story of one life that changed millions more. For two millennia, the story of Christmas has brought joy to families, comfort to communities, and hope to hearts around the world.

He then turned his attention, as he often does, to the men and women in the Armed Forces: Read more

Church Sponsors Prayer for Military Members

A Del Rio, TX, church has created an interesting concept in “Operation M’Brace,” in which people are encouraged to purchase a metal bracelet with the name of a US military member as a “daily reminder” to pray for them.  The bracelets appear to be fashioned in the same way as the POW/MIA bracelets worn by many as a a way to remember the POWs during the Vietnam War.

Del Rio is the home of Laughlin Air Force Base, one of the primary pilot training bases in the USAF.

As noted at OneNewsNow.

Merry Christmas from

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 Read more

National Day of Thanksgiving

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.

Generals, Combat Stress, and Chaplains

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 Read more

Atheists “Reach Out” to Others

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.

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