In a widely reported incident, US Air Force Academy Superintendent LtGen Jay “Tonto”* Silveria took to the staff tower at the cadet dining hall (Mitchell Hall) to tell USAFA cadets that racial slurs had been written on message boards at the nearby Academy Preparatory School, essentially a junior college for those who will eventually join the Air Force Academy.
In a five minute speech in which he notes hundreds of staff and faculty are lining the walls, LtGen Silveria eventually boiled it down to a simple statement:
If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.
Then he walked away.
That’s a call with which anyone can agree. Treating a Read more
Tommy Vallejos, a local Tennessee politician, Bronze Star veteran, and care pastor with Faith Outreach Church in Clarksville, TN, wrote an opinion column in the Stars and Stripes in support of Air Force Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez entitled “Don’t persecute chaplain for practicing his faith“:
As a retired military veteran, a Hispanic, and a man of deep faith, I was shaken to my core after reading a recent story about Chaplain (Capt.) Sonny Hernandez coming under fire for sharing commonly held biblical principles with his fellow Air Force servicemembers…
Vallejos appears to note the often-missed observation that Read more
“Spiritually strong Airmen…tend to be strong assets to their units and commanders.”
An article out of Robins AFB, Georgia, highlighted an Air Force campaign called Faith Works, which focuses on “Freedom, faith, and ministry.” Amazingly enough, it promotes the virtue of religion — based on science [emphasis added]:
The campaign, Faith Works, is based on a body of research demonstrating the positive effects religion and spirituality can have on improving health in every domain…Faith Works offers a new perspective on an old technique, focusing on the tangible, earth-bound benefits associated with developing and practicing a strong faith, religion or spirituality…
Dr. Tyler VanderWeele…and Dr. Harold Koenig…have identified physical evidence linking the practice of faith and religion to individual resiliency.
[Their] research shows that Americans who attend religious services at least once a week have a 20 percent to 30 percent reduced mortality rate over a 15-year period. In terms of mental health, regular church-goers also demonstrate more optimism and lower rates of depression.
It is a fascinating — and bold — initiative that was led Read more
US Army Col Phil Deppert, commandant of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, recently selected St Jerome as the patron saint for military linguists:
The tradition of patron saints as guardians over areas of life, to include occupations, dates back to as early as the fourth century. Linguists now join with other military career fields who have followed in this tradition. St. Michael, paratroopers, and St. Barbara, field artillery, are examples of military occupations that have previously inducted a patron saint.
In an indicator of the times, the DLI Chaplain (Maj) Chan-young Ham said they went out of their way to say they weren’t trying to endorse Christianity: Read more
In an interestingly timed piece, the US Air Force highlighted Catholic Chaplain (Capt) Emmanuel Enoh, who hails from Nigeria but was drawn to missionary work — and the US Air Force:
“The patient was suffering from her experiences in the Iraq war,” recalled Enoh. “She just wanted to talk about her experiences, so we spent the whole night talking. I couldn’t relate to her experiences, but by being there and letting her talk, it gave her comfort. That experience drew me to serve as a military chaplain.’”
The article seems to almost painfully go out of its way to qualify the service Chaplain Enoh provides: Read more
Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s “charitable” Military Religious Freedom Foundation received an interesting endorsement from a serving Air Force Master Sergeant. The comment occurred in response to the recent Stars and Stripes coverage of Chaplain Sonny Hernandez:
Justin Blackwell These are the cases MRFF needs to focus on, not the usual clownshow of little crap that makes them look like zealots.
That glowing “endorsement” apparently came from US Air Force Master Sergeant Justin Blackwell. It would seem he supports Michael “Mikey” Weinstein’s efforts, even if Read more
…and other ways he wishes he was a fighter pilot.
McConnell AFB Public Affairs recently published an interesting story irreverently entitled “Renegades: Forging the philosophy of ‘What the hell’“. The article was about LtCol Joseph Markusfeld, who served as an instructor pilot for the Iraqi Air Force ten years ago:
It was 2007 at Kirkuk Air Base, Iraq. The base had just gotten a new ramp, and one of the C-208 Caravan aircraft there had a series of tire blow-outs on the runway. The foreign military commander believed it was because the ramp and aircraft had not been sanctified.
The next thing the major sees out his office window is the foreign squadron commander equivalent leading a goat on a rope out to the ramp.
“As an American, you can do one of two things: Sit there and have a cultural Read more
Tony Carr, a retired US Air Force C-17 squadron commander and blogger at John Q. Public, already took Chaplain (Capt) Sonny Hernandez to task for his article on Christians and the military (previously discussed). Carr updated himself with a post entitled simply “Idiot Under Investigation.”
Carr doesn’t often mince words, but the vitriol he has for Hernandez seems particularly strong — and almost Mikey Weinstein-esque:
[Hernandez’s] major beef? That certain “disloyal” military members would dare to put their oath to support and defend the US Constitution above their loyalty to the teachings of Christ.
This is among the most tortured and ridiculous notions in the annals of idiocy, placing Sonny in multiple pantheons of shame. It’s as though he set out Read more