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American Legion article - timely

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  • Connie
    Hello Charles, http://www.legion.org/?section=publications&subsection=pubs_mag_index&content=pub_mag_feature This month s Anerican Legion Magazine has an
    Message 1 of 2 , May 1, 2006
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      Hello Charles,


      This month's Anerican Legion Magazine has an appropriate letter for a
      PHC-kinda-response. They are reporting on "A Place of Honor" for our
      Veteran (regarding availability of spaces in Veteran cemeteries) about
      about a "Mark for Honoring" (one's religion).

      contact page: http://www.legion.org/?content=help_contact

      >snip from article<

      “Adequate resources are vital to fulfill NCA’s mission to continue to meet burial needs and maintain
      its national cemeteries as shrines dedicated to preserving our nation’s history and honoring veterans’
      service and sacrifice,” says VA Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs William F. Tuerk.

      More than 3 million veterans – from the Revolutionary War to Operation Iraqi Freedom – are buried
      in state and national cemeteries in America and abroad. Their headstones, row after row, stand as
      breathtaking testimony to the cost of freedom and to the pledge that those who vowed to fight must
      never be forgotten.

      The new national cemeteries of recent years and additional burial capacity of state cemeteries created
      through SCGP will increase the percentage of veterans served at a national or state veterans cemetery
      within 75 miles of their residence to nearly 84 percent, NCA says. To families who now have to travel
      hundreds of miles to the nearest veterans cemetery, that’s a sign of progress.

      The challenge remains daunting in a time of scarcity both of land and of federal dollars, but Walsh
      says a final resting place of honor is a promise the U.S. government intends to keep.

      “We owe nothing less to these courageous military veterans than to bury them in places of honor at
      national or state shrines that testify to their country’s eternal gratitude,” he said. “It is our
      promise. It is our duty.”

      Monday, May 1, 2006, 2:31:37 AM, you wrote:

      CPA> Here is a letter I sent (with appropriate varioations) to six
      CPA> senators (PA, NJ, VT) and three congressmen using my current address
      CPA> and two old ones:

      CPA> Thank you for using GovernmentGuide Mail System

      CPA> Message sent to the following recipients:
      CPA> Senator Specter
      CPA> Message text follows:

      CPA> Charles Arnold
      CPA> Pagan Veterans Headstone Campaign, 114-490 Plaza Blvd
      CPA> Morrisville, PA 19067

      CPA> April 30, 2006

      CPA> [recipient address was inserted here]

      CPA> Dear [recipient name was inserted here],

      CPA> Senator Specter, you appear to be a fair minded may and I appreciate
      CPA> many
      CPA> of your stances but I have to ask you how someone such as you, with
      CPA> your
      CPA> moral convictions and committee assignments, can go along with the
      CPA> continued religious discrimination practiced by the Department of
      CPA> Veterans
      CPA> Affairs.

      CPA> Wasn't it bad enough when veterans were dying of impairment and old
      CPA> age
      CPA> and being treated as second class citizens by the National Cemeteries
      CPA> office? But now that we are starting to lose GIs on active duty,
      CPA> folks
      CPA> like SGT Patrick Stewart who died in combat in Afghanistan last
      CPA> September,
      CPA> how can you possible stop from attacking the status quo?

      CPA> At this moment there are thirty-eight different raiths and
      CPA> organizations
      CPA> with approved emblems of spirit. A number of these groups do not
      CPA> actually
      CPA> have a single member serving in the US Armed Forces. At the same time
      CPA> there are roughly 5,000 wiccan and other Pagans in uniform, not
      CPA> counting
      CPA> those in the National Guard (as was SGT Stewart). But the VA still
      CPA> refuses
      CPA> to grant, after nearly nine years, approval for the Pentacle as an
      CPA> authorized emblem of spirit.

      CPA> None of the Armed Forces has any problem whatsoever with members of
      CPA> our
      CPA> faiths and I should know being one of the very first to publicly
      CPA> announce
      CPA> such back in 1969 when I returned after an extended tour in Vietnam
      CPA> with a
      CPA> branch of Army Intelligence. Of the tens of thousands of Pagan
      CPA> veterans it
      CPA> is only a small percentage who have complaints about their treatment.
      CPA> But
      CPA> now, with US troops in Afghaniztan, Iraq and elsewhere, often in
      CPA> combat
      CPA> conditions, the one organization that is mandated with serving the
      CPA> needs
      CPA> of veterans decides that we are somehow second class citizens, if
      CPA> citizens
      CPA> at all.

      CPA> I would appreciate a detailed response from you either defending, in
      CPA> writing, your position to allow this situation to continue or a
      CPA> similar
      CPA> detailed statement noting what you are going to do to change the
      CPA> situation
      CPA> and when. I can then post this information, as we are posting similar
      CPA> statement from a few hundred other elected officials and allowing
      CPA> members
      CPA> of our community to decide for themselves whether or not to vote for
      CPA> Republican candidates or donate funds or time to lRepublican
      CPA> candidates.

      CPA> Sincerely,

      CPA> Charles Arnold
      CPA> 215-428-1045

      CPA> Yahoo! Groups Links


      Best regards,
      Connie mailto:qitty@...
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