POW/MIA Tables at Al Udeid (Qatar)

From: U.S. Military Veteran/DoD Constructor’s E-Mail Address With;d
Subject: POW/MIA Tables at Al Udeid (Qatar)
Date: March 22, 2020 at 11:02:12 PM MDT
To: Michael L Weinstein

 

MRFF,

I’m a DoD Contractor stationed at Al Udeid AB. When I first arrived to the base, I noticed that each dining facility had an elaborate POW/MIA table, with a prominently displayed Holy Bible – all-caps, large font, big cross on the cover. I served in the Air Force for 7 years before transitioning into the private sector, so I have a deep reverence for our brothers and sisters gone but not forgotten. However, I am not a Christian, and I would be surprised if every troop taken POW or MIA was a Christian.

 
I reached out to the MRFF, saying that while I wasn’t a troop anymore, I had served. I was sure there were serving troops who felt that the existence of a Christian-only display was exclusionary, just like I did. It turns out that the MRFF has been engaged in a long discussion with the military about POW/MIA tables that recognized troops of all faiths. 
 
Recently, I noticed the displays were gone entirely. I haven’t found a notice, or policy change announcement. My assumption is that the DoD or base commander made the decision that, ‘if the display can’t have a Bible, there won’t be a display.’ It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a display honoring those gone but not forgotten, but I still feel that it’s better to have that empty space than an altar to Christianity in a military that has non-Christian members as a rising minority, especially among younger troops. 
 
Thank you MRFF for fighting for troops (and people like me who work with the troops in a khaki and polo uniform) who silently bear a culture that privileges Christians, and for pushing back against prominent displays of religion that exclude the rest of us. We fight for the right of freedom of religion, and your organization helps us enjoy that right.

A Grateful Veteran 


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1 Comment

  1. Grey One talks sass

    How ‘if I can’t have my way I’m taking the ball so no one can play’ of the DOD or base commander.

    Definitely not what Jesus would have done.

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