Some years ago I shared in a brief story to you and your organization of my experience while in the U.S. Army being forced to choose from several religious denominations for imprinting on my dog-tags. When I had enlisted (ca. 1980, primarily due to a poor economy with little prospect for good work), I was already a reasoned (and reasonable) young man in spite of having been indoctrinated my entire life in a fundamentalist christian home and church family. They too had early designs towards creating from our United States a Christian nation (fitted with all the condemnations that could be wielded against “others”). Even as a child I recognized that this was counter to our Constitution so I never could reconcile the clear differences between their nationalistic goals, the “teachings” of “Jesus” and the founding principles of our nation. I had been, and remained an atheist.
I was quite disappointed that, at that time, neither “atheist” nor “none” was an option to me. I had to choose “no preference.” Such a choice was degrading, demoralizing, and disrespectful of my right to declare my allegiance to my country without requiring me to lie about it. I shared that story with you because of my appreciation for the work you and MRFF have taken on. You called me the following day and spoke to me for a few minutes and explained to me the MRFF mission and the reason for your passion to continue. That meant a lot to me then, and still does, especially so because I see the good that you and MRFF do for service members, their families, and ultimately – our country.
We’ve never met, but still I tend to consider you a friend – along with the other fine people at MRFF. I very well recognize that your broad and tireless support – protecting EVERYONE in uniform and their families – is critically important. Thank you again!
P.S. I’ll be submitting my donation of support shortly. Cheers