US Army paratroopers recently visited The Hill of Crosses during a six-month deployment to Lithuania:
Members of Able Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 173rd Airborne Brigade…
…were visiting the Hill of Crosses; a monument to the strength, pride and resolve of the Lithuanian people and everyone who has been repressed by tyranny.
Interestingly, the Hill of Crosses began as a war memorial, and it has Read more
With fires raging in southern California, US Marines based at Camp Pendleton took the time to rescue crosses memorializing their fallen comrades:
First Sergeant’s Hill in Camp San Mateo, California, is home to nearly two dozen wooden crosses memorializing fallen Marines from Pendleton, a sacred site created by and for Marines to remember lost comrades. When new Marines arrive at Camp Pendleton units, more senior troops will often take them to the site and explain its significance.
The fires ultimately overcame the hills, but Read more
A local campus of Rick Warren’s California Saddleback Church hosted special Memorial Day services on Sunday, including a visit from a local wounded warrior:
Machine gunner Sedrick Hay, who has been a part of 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and currently, the Wounded Warrior Battalion, will share his story that includes having been deployed three times, once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. He is a member of Saddleback Church and will lead those attending in a moment of prayer.
The article notes this is not a one-off ministry event for Saddleback. Rather, the church has partnered with the military at Camp Pendleton to provide a variety of support services for members of the military: Read more
Update: The Marine, who is not named, was convicted, receiving a reprimand and loss of pay.
The US Marine Corps is court-martialing a Staff Sergeant for adultery:
A Marine is on trial at Camp Pendleton on charges of committing adultery and then lying to investigators by saying she was drunk and had been raped.
Though “prosecutions are rare,” unnamed “officials” said adultery is bad for the military:
Adultery, officials said, undermines “good order and discipline in the armed forces and [is] of a nature to bring discredit to the armed forces.”
In a profession in which men and women are charged with the power to both protect and take lives, one would hope fidelity to morals would be a virtue to uphold.
Repeated at the Stars and Stripes.
Chuck Norris recently cited “36 examples of religious liberty assault” (in Part 1 and Part 2) to defend an assertion that religious liberty is under attack in America. About a third of his examples involved the US military, all of which have been discussed here before (amplifying remarks follow):
- Culture and courts are also trumping citizens’ First Amendment rights who are refusing on religious grounds not to support or participate with groups and events that run contrary to their faith and practice. As a result, wedding cake bakers, T-shirt makers, bed and breakfast owners, pastry shops, high-school teachers, military chaplains, restaurant owners, photographers, parents, churches and others have been harassed, bullied, suspended, fired and sued for merely exercising their Christian beliefs. [As described by CARL.]
- A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that a cross displayed as part of the Mt. Soledad Veterans Memorial in San Diego, Read more
An atheist thinks this is an illegal “Christian shrine.”
Multiple military war memorials are now under attack by atheists who consider the presence of a Christian cross offensive.
Former soldier and current atheist Jason Torpy, the one-man association of military atheists (MAAF), has previously lodged complaints with the US Marines over the Camp Pendleton cross (which has yet to be resolved). He is opposed to the cross in Arlington National Cemetery for the same reason.
This follows the national trend of several activist organizations that have been threatening cities and towns with lawsuits if they fail to remove memorials which contain Read more
Jason Torpy, the former Army soldier and atheist vicariously offended when he saw the Camp Pendleton cross on the internet, may have another target.
As noted previously, crosses are used frequently in US military memorials around the world. Torpy has already demanded that the Argonne Cross be removed from Arlington National Cemetery, and that the US Marine Corps remove locally raised crosses on Camp Pendleton — something he only knew about because he read a local (positive) news article.
Now, another memorial may face the same atheist anger. Four US Army Ranger trainees lost their lives in a training incident nearly 20 years ago, and their fellow soldiers remember them:
On Feb. 16, 1995, four young men training to become a part of the elite military force died of hypothermia after a river rose rapidly and flooded a swamp they were training in during a mission.
A modest wooden cross marks the spot…
Photo credit: DEVON RAVINE \ Daily News
Rangers make an annual trek to the location: Read more
A little-reported side story to the well-known controversy over the Camp Pendleton crosses was that a platoon was going to raise another cross on Pendleton, this time to honor Lance Corporal Benjamin Schmidt, who was killed in Afghanistan. The family and his unit had planned to erect the cross — near other crosses already in place — in connection with an April memorial ceremony.
However, the complaints by atheist activist Jason Torpy, who found out about the crosses on the internet, caused Pendleton to put a moratorium on further memorials. The Read more