I‘d like to thank Fort Gordon, GA leadership for the rapid about-face. Only a week ago American Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation demanded that the US Constitution be upheld for soldiers attending the Advanced Leadership Course (ALC). Hundreds of soldiers were ordered to clean up a Catholic organizations yard – also known as “area beautification.”
This was off-post, during the duty day and in uniform. The time period this was supposed to take place was over several months! An atheist soldier wrote to me asking how to deal with this issue. In reality, simply contacting me had already set the ball in motion. I reached out to FFRF, and together we issued a coordinated legal / media outreach.
To Fort Gordon’s credit, they acted pretty fast. Yesterday, I got this short message from a foxhole atheist stationed there:
NAME / RANK WITHHELD
That program with the Catholic Social Services has ceased.
I remember calling their Operations Center for a courtesy head’s up. The officer on the phone was a bit taken aback at first. I felt bad because he was in the middle of a shift change, and my phone call made him fill out all sorts of paperwork. We talked for 20 minutes and it was very cordial and I had a feeling that everything was going to work out fine by the end of it. Thank you, Fort Gordon for doing the right thing!
Lastly, I’d like to thank all of you who responded to my call to action. Plenty of you called / emailed press and others – and this certainly helped. The foxhole atheist community needs people like you to speak for them. You stood and delivered. I appreciate it every time you come through for us. I take out my megaphone when I’ve exhausted other means, and because of you it really works.