Chalk up another win for my friends at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. They successfully got the higher ups to stop an officer who essentially giving a sermon when talking to his men about safety over the 4th of July weekend. 13 soldiers, most of them Christian, asked MRFF to intervene and they did. The email one of the soldiers sent thanking MRFF:
Mr. Weinstein of the Military R.F.F.
First off thank you all so much for everything! I am a pretty new Army troop. I am a (very junior enlisted rank withheld) stationed at Fort (name withheld) which is one of the biggest bases in the world by square mile size of it and troops at it assigned here.
I am also a Christian who has been raised in a (Protestant denomination withheld) family. Where my dad is deacon in our church and my mom teaches Sunday school every week.
But I know when wrong is wrong. And it just happened. And a OFFICER did it all.
At yesterdays July 4th safety briefing for our (unit name withheld) the Safety Officer kept reminding all of us “to be safe on this 4th July holiday weekend” for which most of the post is on leave to celebrate.
This briefer who again is a OFFICER and should know better then told all of us that July 4th is Independence Day. But that “none of you should be independent from Jesus’ and that ‘the only real permanent safety in life is to accept Jesus as Lord and savior.”
Even though some of my fellow soldiers in the (unit name withheld) thought nothing of it me and a bunch of my battle buddies knew it was bogus and jacked for this officer to do this. We were angry but what are we to do? We did not know. Personal telling that officer seemed like suicide.
I went to my (senior NCO rank and title withheld) about what happened and to my surprise he agreed with us that this was total messed up trash. He gave me the M.R.F.F. phone number to call you. And you actually answered yourself. And with what we could do.
Thank you for helping me and the other 12 members of my (unit name withheld) to file a EEO complaint and a IG complaint too. One of my buddies who is with us on this is Jewish. He had his great grandfather who was murdered at a Nazi camp in WW2. And another one of us had his cousin killed while working in the Towers as they fell in NYC on 911. And they whole family are Muslims too. They are hurt by this all like me and the others in our group who asked for your help.
None of us knew how to file a EEO or IG complaint or what to say in them. But you did and thank you from all of us Mr. Weinstein and the M.R.F.F. We will need you to help us along the way with these complaints. And if anyone in the chain does anything to punish us for doing this we know you will help us!
I called home about this and my mom and dad thank you all at the M.R.F.F. too. God Bless all of you at the M.R.F.F.
(Active Duty U.S. Army soldier’s name, rank, MOS, assigned unit and military installation all withheld)
Non-officers take a real risk complaining about situations like this. The officer could easily retaliate later over it, but if they do MRFF will intervene again. Kudos to my pal Mikey Weinstein and everyone at MRFF for their work protecting the rights of soldiers not to have their officers use their position to proselytize and influence those under their command to become Christians, or the right kind of Christians.