Bronze Star Veteran Denied VA Memorial
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  1. #1

    Question Bronze Star Veteran Denied VA Memorial

    Bronze Star Veteran Denied VA Memorial
    Posted By Grim

    A decorated soldier, killed in combat in Afghanistan, is refused a memorial by the Veteran's Administration. The Washington Times picked up this UPI report.

    The problem is that he's a pagan, and the VA won't allow pagan symbols on graves or similar markers. The Washington Post reports that Sgt. Patrick Stewart died when his helicopter was shot down in combat in Afghanistan. He was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his actions that day.

    However a man prays, a volunteer who died fighting for his country should be recognized. If you're devoted to Christianity and worry about pagan influences, don't take my word for it -- take Christianity Today's. They recognize that this man lived and died as an American.

    Good for him. If only more were as ready to sacrifice for their nation. America should honor his grave.



    U.S. bars Wiccan sign on military grave

    Jul. 6, 2006 at 10:36AM

    Though one of the fastest growing faiths in America, the Wiccan symbol is barred from U.S. military gravesites.
    One major problem appears to be the misconception that Wiccans are devil worshippers, The Washington Post says, and their practice seen by some as a pagan ritual.

    A case in point is Sgt. Patrick Stewart of Fernley, Nev., believed to be the first U.S. Wiccan killed in action. He died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan. Stewart, 34, winner of the Bronze Star, is missing from the town's wall of heroes because his wife won't allow his inclusion without the Wiccan symbol, the Post reported.

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which has approved some three dozen religious symbols, refuses to allow it on U.S. military memorials or grave markers.

    More than 1,800 Wiccans are on active duty, the Pentagon told the Post. U.S. federal courts recognize the faith and his dog tags listed Stewart as Wiccan.

    Ellie


  2. #2
    Marine Free Member 10thzodiac's Avatar
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    Question What if he had a Medal of Honor, or would they give him one

    Wicca


    The pentagram within a circle; a symbol of faith used by many Wiccans.


    Wicca is a Neopagan religion and a religious movement found in many different countries, though most commonly in English-speaking cultures. Wicca was first publicised in 1954 by a British civil servant named Gerald Gardner[1] after the British Witchcraft Act was repealed. He claimed that the religion, of which he was an initiate, was a modern survival of an old witch cult, which had existed in secret for hundreds of years, originating in the pre-Christian Paganism of Europe. Wicca is thus sometimes referred to as the Old Religion. The veracity of Gardner's claims cannot be independently proven, and it is thought that Wiccan theology began to be compiled no earlier than the 1920s. Various related Wiccan traditions have since evolved, or been adapted from, the form established by Gardner, which came to be called Gardnerian Wicca. These other traditions of Wicca each have specific beliefs, rituals, and practices. Most traditions of Wicca remain secretive and require members to be initiated. However, there is a growing movement of Eclectic or Solitary Wiccans who claim to belong to the religious movement, but do not believe any doctrine or traditional initiation is necessary in order to substantiate the claim.


  3. #3
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    It's ironic that the very center shape of the wicca is a pentagon (Where have I heard that word before regarding military matters?) within a pentacle/hexagram.


  4. #4
    The symbol is not a pentagon, it is a pentagram. Different beast entirely.
    As to the memorial, maybe it is just me, but it sounds like they have not refused to memorialize the man, rather that the symbol is not included in the list of authorized symbols allowed on his memorial. We all know that the military has many lists of authorized and unauthorized items. Shall we break them all. Just because the wife has chosen that she wants the symbol included?!? I don't know. Seems to me that falls more on her shoulders than on the VA's.


  5. #5
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    You are right, HBD2ISDM. I meant to say a polygon of five angles and five sides (pen-ta-gon n.) but didn't. I stand corrected and in agreement.


  6. #6
    Phantom Blooper
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    I think this is a question that Samantha can probably figure out. A twitch of the nose and presto!


    How many religions does the VA recognize?

    If the Army put it on his dog tags ..recognized it and had not a problem with it the illustrious (SIC) VA should not have one. This country was founded on the freedom of religion as being one of the freedoms that our founding fathers signed into legislation hundreds of years ago. But when the Supreme Court rules against the 10 commandments in courthouses what makes me think that the VA would do the right thing and give a family a Wicca Pentagram to put on a memorial for a warrior that protected the very freedom that allows them to sit in Washington and decide who can have and who cannot.


  7. #7
    One other tho't for this subject. I just visited the VA's website and read a little on the policies. These "memorials" are the headstones placed at the gravesite. Who pays for the headstones? The taxpayers, not the family who has lost a member. If the wife is all fired up that the Wiccan symbol must be on the headstone, then she can pay for the symbol.
    It is not an arbitrary list. This list that the VA has, has been around for some time. It is not like they are deliberately picking on this serviceman. They have their rules, just like everyone else. Hence being a part of the beauracracy.


  8. #8
    Phantom Blooper
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    This list that the VA has, has been around for some time. It is not like they are deliberately picking on this serviceman. They have their rules, just like everyone else.

    Understand what you wrote. However,

    Rules in Washington are broke on a daily basis. The very own lawmakers that are writing the rules and putting them into policy are breaking the rules and then rewriting them to fit the agenda of the day.

    This serviceman and his wife without knowing their financial situation are suspected to be taxpayers.So they are virtually paying for a headstone like any other deserving veteran and should not have to inc cur this expense out of pocket. The blood the young man shed was shed serving a country that acknowledged his religion while defending the very same lawmakers that are denying this to his family.

    On the other hand the true reason not stated in the original article is that the Wicca religion is a controversial religion and always will be as long as time exists because the very nature of being associated with witchcraft. They said ..he said...

    The VA needs to clean their own house before they can say who deserves what.


  9. #9
    Rules in Washington are broke on a daily basis. The very own lawmakers that are writing the rules and putting them into policy are breaking the rules and then rewriting them to fit the agenda of the day.
    I do hope you are not implying that we all should emulate the fed. gov't and go around breaking rules. Especially, in order to accomodate one person as they so often do.


  10. #10
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    I think honoring the deceased is paramount, first and foremost. What sign he or she carries with them to their final resting place should be of secondary concern. I also believe that the gravestones should just show name, date of birth and death, rank and Armed Force served. That's how I see it but, then again, I am not the VA.


  11. #11

    Memorial rights

    It is stated that every service member that dies in combat is granted a resting spot in a Military Grave Memorial. That every Vet is granted this also. It doesn't state that you have to be a certain religion to do so. If it did then it would also state that if you are anything but a certain religion that you'd not have access to join the military. This young man died serving this great nation while enduring a dangerous situation. He probably dreamt, like every-one else, of returning home to his loved ones. But needless to say he isn't able to enjoy his return. Since he sacrificed so much and did give the ultimate sacrifice then he should be granted a Military Gravesite inside the gates of a Military Memorial Graveyard.

    The Difference between WICCAN and Satanism is the Diagram and the belief. Not just is both referred to as controvesual but also date back to a time before Christianity. WICCAN is the use of Powers for good and not for evil while Satanism is use of power for evil purposes and the sacrifice of the Two legged animal. Christainity is realtively a young and inexpreniced religion compared to other religions thru out the world. Also one of the most bloodiest and most demanding of the followers. A Christain is told that they will go to Purgatory and then if enough people pray for them they will arise to Heaven. A WICCAN believes something else and a Satanist believes that only in death can they truely be free to join the evil father adn crusade against the army of light. Christainity has forced those who do not wish to follow it into almost oblivion by the use of crusades and Inqustitions against any faith other than itself. While most other religions around were peaceful Chrsitians used religion to gain land and wealth since the days of Christ. It wasn't until Christ stepped forward and denounced these contempting individuals that there was a major change in Christianity. Wiccans were forced to the forest as thier druid ancestors were and the satanists were forced underground to continue thier belief. But the Christian Church was full of PAGANS even to this day and age. There are so many people that worship on Sunday in a church and hold mass and eat the " bread " and drink the wine and on other days worship something else while drinking the blood of another animal or molesting childern. But all they have to do is repent and confess to these sins for them to be forgiven inside a confessional booth to a priest.

    But this young man is not granted the very right of a Memorial Gravesite because he choose a different religios belief than that prescribed by some indulging lawmaker. Kind of makes one wonder just who is really making the rules and who is following them. He died serving, he gave his life for his country, and yet isn't deserving a gravesite inside of a Memorial Graveyrad because of his belief. Maybe they should state this on the contract before any-one signs up to join. I think that it would raise a little more than an eye-brow and would come to light as to who deserves a gravesite and who doesn't. If they can stick an atheist inside these gates and cover them with the same ground as a Jewish member or a Christain then they can also put this young man's body to rest inside these gates.


  12. #12
    Phantom Blooper
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    I do hope you are not implying that we all should emulate the fed. gov't and go around breaking rules. Especially, in order to accomodate one person as they so often do.

    I am not implying anything. The federal government makes rules and doesn't follow the procedures to wit. The federal government makes rules according to who has the biggest pull and purse strings. I would not emulate or ask anyone to emulate any procedures or doctrine that comes out of Washington or any federal agency in the U.S. or it's territories. Accommodation of the law makers is common practice. A man or woman who fought and died and or bled for this motherland should be afforded all the amenities and then some that the head shack in DC see fit to pass into law on a daily basis for themselves or their cronies.


  13. #13
    It's his wife who will not allow it with-out this symbol of his faith. As most of us would do is let the gov't erect it then apply it themselfs. it would be like letting go of all her resentment...let the sleeping cat lay, The Govt only have certain religous emblems for grave markers...as the gov't is the only way to change is...you change it.VA Offices can provide you a form(va form 40-1330)with the only emblems that can be and will only be imprinted on govt headstones. Use # 3 then put a circle around it later. EAsy to Do just look at it with a circle


  14. #14
    now i know i'll get alot of flak..but i really don't give a rats A$$.. # 3 is six points and theirs is 5 points; but with the emblem there you (family) can take your own emblem use a little gorilla glue(i mean a little it foams up and spreads easily) a place your wiccka design. There the problem is solved..you may have to return several times till some govt worker gets tired of replacing it ...But as time goes many who follow change his placement as one of the few laid here!! will be just one of many in formation!


  15. #15
    This "wife" will not let his name go ona a town memorial. This has nothing to do with the VA. This is what the government will/will not allow. The VA allows the following on gravestones and markers: (a vet can get a free gravestone and marker if elligible)Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers


    EMBLEM
    01
    CHRISTIAN CROSS
    02
    BUDDHIST (Wheel of Righteousness)
    03
    HEBREW (Star of David)
    04
    PRESBYTERIAN CROSS
    05
    RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CROSS
    06
    LUTHERAN CROSS
    07
    EPISCOPAL CROSS
    08
    UNITARIAN CHURCH (Flaming Chalice)
    09
    UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
    10
    AARONIC ORDER CHURCH
    11
    MORMON (Angel Moroni)
    12
    NATIVE AMERICAN CHURCH OF NORTH AMERICA
    13
    SERBIAN ORTHODOX
    14
    GREEK CROSS
    15
    BAHAI (9 Pointed Star)
    16
    ATHEIST
    17
    MUSLIM (Crescent and Star)
    18
    HINDU
    19
    KONKO-KYO FAITH
    20
    COMMUNITY OF CHRIST
    21
    SUFISM REORIENTED
    22
    TENRIKYO CHURCH
    23
    SEICHO-NO-IE
    24
    CHURCH OF WORLD MESSIANITY (Izunome)
    25
    UNITED CHURCH OF RELIGIOUS SCIENCE
    26
    CHRISTIAN REFORMED CHURCH
    27
    UNITED MORAVIAN CHURCH
    28
    ECKANKAR
    29
    CHRISTIAN CHURCH
    30
    CHRISTIAN & MISSIONARY ALLIANCE
    31
    UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
    32
    HUMANIST EMBLEM OF SPIRIT
    33
    PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (USA)
    34
    IZUMO TAISHAKYO MISSION OF HAWAII
    35
    SOKA GAKKAI INTERNATIONAL - USA
    36
    SIKH (KHANDA)
    97
    CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST (Cross & Crown) Not shown because of copyrights.
    98
    MUSLIM (Islamic 5 Pointed Star) Not shown because of copyrights.

    No graphics (logos, symbols, etc.) are permitted on Government-furnished headstones or markers other than the approved emblems of belief, the Civil War Union Shield, the Civil War Confederate Southern Cross of Honor, and the Medal of Honor insignias.

    Last edited by CAS3; 07-07-06 at 11:16 PM.

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