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Mr. Weinstein:

I just made a $50 contribution and put another brick in the wall.  Just wanted to tell you my story as a military dependent and veteran.  My father was a fighter pilot and we moved 11 times and lived on 8 bases before I was 18.  At the time (1950s-60s) there was NO evidence of religion in the Air Force.  None.  We lived in Colorado Springs (Peterson AFB) in 1956-57 before Colorado Springs became a hellhole of religious extremism and bigotry.  I remember touring the AFA just before it opened and being awed by the spectacle of the Academy.  I am so sorry that you, your sons, and daughters-in-law had to endure so much prejudice at the Academy and in service.

 

I served in the Navy for 4 years (1965-69) and do not remember any major emphasis on religion.  My strongest memories of fighter pilots (my father was a squadron commander at Dow AFB in Bangor, ME and the only married guy) was about half a dozen young men playing ping-pong in the basement and drinking whiskey while my mother served up big plates of spaghetti.  Then a siren would sound all over the base, the “scramble” was on, everyone left in a cloud of dust, and the pilots were airborne in 5 minutes and headed for Goose Bay or Thule or the Artic Circle.  God was never invoked, nor was Jesus or Mohammed or Buddha or any other religious figure.  Airmen (no women flying at the time) were respected for their courage, skill, and dedication and religious beliefs were NEVER brought up socially or professionally.

 

You and your organization are performing an important public service.  Thank you for your efforts.

(name withheld)


 

 

 

 

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