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  • Tarotlaydee
    Top Veteran Official Joins Pentacle Debate By SCOTT SONNER, AP http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060527082309990015&cid=505 Pentacles should
    Message 1 of 4 , May 28 6:19 AM
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      Top Veteran Official Joins Pentacle Debate
      By SCOTT SONNER, AP
      http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060527082309990015&cid=505
      Pentacles should be allowed on tombstones, some advocates argue.
      Veterans Affairs officials have considered whether to allow Wiccan
      symbols on tombstones for nine years, a spokesperson says.

      RENO, Nev. (May 27) - Over the years, families have used religious
      symbols such as the Jewish Star of David, the Christian cross and the
      Islamic crescent and star to honor their loved ones on headstones and
      markers. For Sgt. Patrick Stewart's family, the symbol of choice was
      also from his religion: the Wiccan pentacle.

      But of all the symbols and faiths recognized by the U.S. Department of
      Veterans Affairs, Wicca and its emblem - a circle around a
      five-pointed star - are not among them.

      The department is reviewing a request to include the symbol, but when
      a decision will come is unclear.

      That has angered many. The state's top veterans official, Tim Tetz,
      said he was "diligently pursuing" the matter with Gov. Kenny Guinn,
      Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev.

      "Sergeant Stewart and his family deserve recognition for their
      contributions to our country," said Tetz, executive director of the
      Nevada Office of Veterans Services.

      "It's unfortunate the process is taking so long, but I am certain Sgt.
      Patrick will ultimately receive his marker with the Wiccan symbol," he
      said Thursday.

      Stewart, 34, had enlisted in the Army after he graduated from Reno's
      Wooster High School in 1989 and served in Desert Storm.

      After completing his active duty, Stewart enlisted in the Nevada Army
      National Guard in 2005 and went to Afghanistan. He was killed there
      last September when the helicopter he was in was shot down.

      Stewart, of Fernley, who was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and
      Purple Heart, was a follower of Wicca. Wiccans consider themselves
      witches, pagans or neo-pagans, and say their religion is based on
      respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons.

      The Veterans Affairs' National Cemetery Administration allows only
      approved emblems of religious beliefs on government headstones.

      Over the years, it has approved more than 30, including symbols for
      the Tenrikyo Church, United Moravian Church and Sikhs. There is also
      one for atheists.

      Stewart's widow said she's hopeful she will receive permission for the
      Wiccan pentacle.

      While Memorial Day services are scheduled Monday at the Northern
      Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Roberta Stewart plans an
      alternative service at Fernley's Out of Town Park. She's calling it
      the Sgt. Patrick Stewart Freedom for All Faiths Memorial Service.

      "This is discrimination against our religion," Roberta Stewart said.

      "The least his country can do is give him the symbol of faith as he
      would have wished," she recently told the Daily Sparks Tribune.

      The Rev. Selena Fox, senior minister of the Wiccan Circle Sanctuary in
      Barneveld, Wis., is among those who have been pushing the federal
      government to adopt the emblem.

      Fox said Veterans Affairs has been considering such requests for
      nearly nine years with no decision.

      "While this stonewalling continues, families of soldiers who gave the
      ultimate sacrifice are still waiting for equal rights," Fox said.

      "Sgt. Stewart was shot down by terrorists. He deserves to be
      recognized," she said.

      Veterans Affairs spokeswoman Jo Schuda in Washington, D.C., said
      Friday the request was under review and she did not know when a
      decision would be made.

      05/27/06 08:20 EDT

      Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. The information contained in the
      AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
      distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated
      Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
    • Charles P. Arnold
      ... Tim Tetz is, I believe, an employee of the State of Nevada, part of their veterans program and not an employee of the US Department of Veterans Affairs.
      Message 2 of 4 , May 28 5:27 PM
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        > But of all the symbols and faiths recognized by the U.S. Department of
        > Veterans Affairs, Wicca and its emblem - a circle around a
        > five-pointed star - are not among them.
        >
        > The department is reviewing a request to include the symbol, but when
        > a decision will come is unclear.
        >
        > That has angered many. The state's top veterans official, Tim Tetz,
        > said he was "diligently pursuing" the matter with Gov. Kenny Guinn,
        > Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev.


        Tim Tetz is, I believe, an employee of the State of Nevada, part of
        their veterans program and not an employee of the US Department of
        Veterans Affairs.
      • George Dunn
        ... From: Charles P. Arnold To: Sent: Sunday, May 28, 2006 7:27 PM Subject:
        Message 3 of 4 , May 28 5:55 PM
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Charles P. Arnold" <charlesparnold@...>
          To: <Pagan-Headstone-Campaign@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Sunday, May 28, 2006 7:27 PM
          Subject: [Pagan-Headstone-Campaign] Re: AWESOME--this is on AOL News...


          > > . The state's top veterans official, Tim Tetz,
          > > said he was "diligently pursuing" the matter with Gov. Kenny Guinn,
          > > Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev.
          >
          >
          > Tim Tetz is, I believe, an employee of the State of Nevada, part of
          > their veterans program and not an employee of the US Department of
          > Veterans Affairs.


          Right. Hence, his efforts are directed to Nevada's Governor and
          Congressmen. It would be for them to take the matter to a branch of the
          national government.
          >
          >
          >
          >
          >
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          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
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        • Tarotlaydee
          Perhaps someone should write or email the Associated Press author, Scott Sonner, of this article and ask him to clarify? He is the one that calls Tim Tetz the
          Message 4 of 4 , Jun 1, 2006
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            Perhaps someone should write or email the Associated Press author,
            Scott Sonner, of this article and ask him to clarify? He is the one
            that calls Tim Tetz the top VA official or some such title. Does Tim
            Tetz's current title (in government) give him jurisdiction over the
            VA? Just wondering.
            Anita

            Reffering to this article:
            Top Veteran Official Joins Pentacle Debate
            By SCOTT SONNER, AP
            http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060527082309990015&cid=505
            Pentacles should be allowed on tombstones, some advocates argue.
            Veterans Affairs officials have considered whether to allow Wiccan
            symbols on tombstones for nine years, a spokesperson says.





            --- In Pagan-Headstone-Campaign@yahoogroups.com, "George Dunn"
            <mindeditor@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: "Charles P. Arnold" <charlesparnold@...>
            > To: <Pagan-Headstone-Campaign@yahoogroups.com>
            > Sent: Sunday, May 28, 2006 7:27 PM
            > Subject: [Pagan-Headstone-Campaign] Re: AWESOME--this is on AOL News...
            >
            >
            > > > . The state's top veterans official, Tim Tetz,
            > > > said he was "diligently pursuing" the matter with Gov. Kenny Guinn,
            > > > Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev.
            > >
            > >
            > > Tim Tetz is, I believe, an employee of the State of Nevada, part of
            > > their veterans program and not an employee of the US Department of
            > > Veterans Affairs.
            >
            >
            > Right. Hence, his efforts are directed to Nevada's Governor and
            > Congressmen. It would be for them to take the matter to a branch of the
            > national government.
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > > Yahoo! Groups Links
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            > >
            >
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