Veteran Pentacle Gravestone now in North Carolina
- Circle Times <circletimes@...> wrote:
The latest pentacle gravestone issued by the US Department of Veterans
Affairs was placed today in a family cemetery plot in rural North Carolina.
This gravestone honors the life, service, and sacrifice of eighteen year
old Stephen P. Snowberger III who was killed in action in Iraq on May 11,
2006. Stephen was a Wiccan soldier and member of the Baghdad-based
Victory Base Open Circle, sponsored by the Sacred Well Congregation.
Stephen's mother and next of kin, Deborah Brown, of North Carolina, wished
to honor her son with a pentacle inscribed gravestone issued by the US
Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). She also wanted to have the
gravestone placed in a family plot on her land.
When Stephen was killed in action, the pentacle was not on the VA's list of
emblems of belief that could be included on the gravestones it issued.
Selena Fox brought this need to properly honor Stephen and his mother's
request to the attention to the head of the National Cemetery
Administration of the US Department of Veterans Affairs shortly after he
died and then again in her face-to-face meeting with him and other VA
officials on July 5, 2006 at VA headquarters in Washington, DC.
At last, Deborah's request has been fulfilled.
On April 20, 2007, Selena and Americans United for Separation of Church and
State filed Deborah's grave marker application and request with the US
Department of Justice representing the US Department of Veterans Affairs
just prior to signing the settlement agreement of the federal lawsuit,
Circle Sanctuary vs. Nicholson. This settlement resulted in the VA finally
putting the Pentacle on its list of emblems of belief that can be included
on the gravestones it issues. The pentacle was added to the list on April
Since Deborah wanted the gravestone placed with Stephen's cremains on
private family land, additional work was needed to make this possible.
Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary, Marci Drewry of the Sacred Well
Congregation, and JD Walker of the House of Akasha collaborated in
providing additional support to Deborah in making arrangements for this
private family cemetery plot option for the gravestone placement.
These arrangements were finalized last week, and the production of the
marker moved forward. In her phone call with VA staff last week, Selena
requested that the production and delivery be expedited, and if possible,
produced and delivered before Veterans Day. The VA did this.
Stephen's marble marker with pentacle was delivered this afternoon.
Deborah, assisted by her husband and a neighbor, placed the marker in the
family cemetery plot on her land just before dusk. A marker dedication
service is being planned by Deborah, Selena, Marci, and JD for early
This coming weekend, Stephen will be among those honored in a Veterans Day
parade in North Carolina and in the Veterans Day Circle at Circle Sanctuary
Nature Preserve near Barneveld, Wisconsin.
Please remember Stephen and the other deceased Wiccan/Pagan veterans who
have received pentacle markers this year as well as honor the living
Wiccan/Pagan veterans and those on active duty in your own Veterans Day
A photo of Stephen's pentacle gravestone, taken by his mother shortly after
the marker was delivered, is now on-line at our Veteran Pentacle Quest
A tribute page for Stephen is at:
Circle Times: Tuesday, November 6, 2007
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