MRFF Really Is For Real

The Situation:
I am a (U.S. Army rank withheld) stationed at Fort (U.S. Army installation name withheld). Our (U.S. Army unit name withheld) commander called me in last week and ordered me to be in charge of this year’s (U.S. Army unit name withheld) “Christmas Party”. I am Jewish and he knows that. He told me that he wanted the theme of this year’s party to be “Putting the Christ Back Into Christmas”. He said no more of this “Holiday Party crap”. He could see I was upset when he said all that. Then he asked me why I thought he had chosen that theme for our “Christmas Party”. I told him I didn’t know. He answered me by saying that the Army wanted to “Make Christmas Great Again”. I told him that doing this was wrong and probably illegal and would ostracize and isolate many of our soldiers. He said to me, “You mean soldiers like you.” At that point I asked to be dismissed. I was livid and confused. He didn’t care at all. He’s the commander though and what am I supposed to do?

The Search For Help:
I was extremely upset by what our commander had said to me. I spoke to our (U.S. Army unit name withheld and senior NCO title withheld) and others in our unit. I asked for advice. Two of them referred me to (U.S. Army rank and name withheld) who they said was the MRFF representative here at Fort (U.S. Army installation name withheld).

The Request For Help:
The MRFF representative, (U.S. Army name and rank withheld), was so nice. He told me what my commander had done was very wrong. He gave me Mr. Weinstein’s contact information and said to call him now. I called Mr. Mikey Weinstein but it was late at night. He answered the phone to my surprise. He told me not to worry anymore and to calm my wife down too. We are both Jewish and have had other issues like this before where our Jewish faith has been challenged by the Army but none so blatant and messed up as this. Mr. Weinstein asked me for my chain of command’s names and contact numbers. I got them for him. Now he told me to wait and that he would take care of this.

Other Soldiers Have My Back:
10 other soldiers in my (U.S. Army unit name withheld) became also MRFF clients to help support me. All of them are Christians but understand what the commander did was jacked up and counter to Army values of respect and inclusivity.

MRFF Gets It Done:
Mr. Weinstein called me earlier this morning and told me he had talked directly with our commander’s boss, (U.S. Army rank and title and name withheld), late yesterday and Mr. Weinstein had the best news ever. My commander is being called into his commander’s office to be officially counseled and possibly reprimanded. He is being told to apologize personally to me and our whole (U.S. Army unit name withheld). He has been ordered to ensure that our party will be a “Holiday Party” that will not be only about Jesus and Christmas. It will be one where all of our troops will feel welcome even if they don’t celebrate Christmas like my wife and me because we are Jewish.

Late this afternoon, our commander met with us and made the apology and announcement about the “Holiday Party”. He didn’t look real happy and I don’t know if I’m still in charge of this party now? Guess I’ll found out soon.

MRFF Promise:
Mr. Weinstein assured me and the other 10 soldiers that if there is any attempt at the slightest reprisal by our commander to let him know. He has already talked to our commander’s boss, (U.S. Army name, rank and title withheld), and has been told to be on the lookout and that none of this revenge stuff will be accepted.

Thank you Mr. Weinstein and the MRFF for doing all that you do! If you ever come to Fort (U.S. Army installation name withheld) we would all like to take you out on the town. (city name withheld) has some great restaurants! Thank you from all of us soldiers!  (U.S. Army soldier’s name, rank, MOS, title all withheld)

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