US troops stationed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, were recently given the opportunity to celebrate Passover:
Deployed Jewish service members in Afghanistan continue to celebrate their traditions by observing holidays, adhering to dietary laws, and practicing their faith…
The celebration was led by a chaplain from nearby Bagram AB, Army Chaplain (Capt) Karyn Berger, is one of only two female Rabbis in the US Army.
The article notes that Navy LtCmdr Mahmoud Ahmed, who is Muslim, also attended the Jewish Seder.
The US military Read more
Newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter held a townhall type “troop event” in Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. During the question and answer session, transcribed on the DoD website, a US Navy Lieutenant Commander asked Secretary Carter about his
…thoughts on transgender service members serving in an austere environment like this in Kandahar?
Given the pressing world events the Secretary of Defense for the United States could address, it was a somewhat surprising question. Secretary Carter gave what could best be described as an “ambiguous” answer, first saying he hasn’t looked at it much, then saying he’s “open-minded,” but also returning to the standard of “suitability for service:” Read more
The lengths to which the US military will go to protect the free exercise of its troops have been noted here many times before. From delivering fresh palm fronds at Easter to helping servicemembers build a Sukkah, the military generally does an admirable job of trying to provide religious resources to those it separates from those resources in the call to war.
Recently, the base chapel in Kandahar, Afghanistan, received its first Torah scroll, created in memory of fallen servicemembers. Chaplain (LtCol) Avi Weiss explains the significance of the scroll:
Capt Rubin at Jews in Green recognized this for the support of religious freedom that it is.
Military atheist Justin Griffith, on the other hand, Read more
The Baptist Press says US Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Kevin Humphrey’s report back to his sending agency
reads like the script of a Hollywood blockbuster.
Chaplain Humphrey is currently deployed to Kandahar and has been nearly constantly busy with rocket attacks, attending to the wounded, and serving the spiritual needs of all on the base, including US, British, Canadian, Pakistani, and others.
With challenges come opportunities: Read more