Photo of military dog tag

Flap Over Pardoned Warriors, Now This . . .

In Faith, Front Page, Military by Allen West

In the weeks since President Trump pardoned US Army Major Matthew Golsteyn, 1LT Clint Lorance, and US Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher, it is apparent there is a clear faction that does not understand who actually runs our military. President Trump’s decision seems to have ruffled the feathers of the so-called “civilian leadership” of our military. All of a sudden we have these suit-wearing individuals telling us about the “good order and discipline” of the military. We even have some retired military officers, mostly senior officers, who were clamoring about President Trump’s decision.

Amazingly, many of these recently retired military Generals and Admirals — who are the favorites of CNN, MSNBC, and other leftist media outlets — had little to say during the Obama administration. It was in the Obama administration that some of them rose to Flag officer status.

Where were these folks when Barack Obama, and Ash Carter, were decimating our military readiness but implementing all these social justice policies? Where were these senior leaders, or any rebuff, when decisions were being made by Obama to force females into combat duty positions? If anyone wants to argue that standards were not altered, lowered, or adjusted . . . you’re delusional.

Where was all of the back and forth when Obama said individuals with a mental condition called gender dysphoria could serve in the military? We could not keep combat aircraft flying but the American taxpayers were supposed to foot the bill for gender reassignment and hormonal therapy treatments? How many so-called “leaders” of our military stood up and pushed back? Yet when the Commander-in-Chief, President Trump makes the decision to reverse Obama’s decision, which he can constitutionally, folks went apoplectic. One of those folks who refused to implement that policy decision was the SecDef, General James Mattis.

Who is leading our military?

When the decision was made that a deserter, Bowe Bergdahl, would go free, there were no rantings from retired senior officers on the news. When a traitor, Bradley Manning, who divulged over 700K pieces of classified information, whined about wanting to be a girl, Obama released him from prison. There were no rantings. Are we supposed to believe that deserters and traitors are now a protected class in our military? If so, who made that decision? Have we devolved to such a point that our military is being run by a bureaucratic elite class? Have we come to a point where social justice warriors, masked as JAG officers, are now the ruling class in our military?

Who is leading our military?

Now we have this, as reported by Fox News:

“For the past 20 years, military members have been able to wear dog tags with Bible verses on them, giving them light and hope in some of their darkest times. For some Gold Star families, this is one of their most cherished possessions to remember their loved one who gave the ultimate sacrifice. But all this could be coming to an end.

After Fox News reported in July on “Shields of Strength,” the faith-based business that prints Bible verses on dog tags for military members and their family, complaints were raised to the Department of Defense by Mikey Weinstein, founder, and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). He demanded the military branches stop allowing the group to use the military emblem, saying it “poisons the constitutionally-mandated separation of Church and State…”

Soon after, each military branch then pulled or threatened to pull the trademark licenses that had been issued to Kenny Vaughan from Shields of Strength. The Army emailed him with the subject line, “Negative Press,” suggesting they were motivated by MRFF’s press release.  

“You are not authorized to put biblical verses on your Army products,” Army Trademark Licensing Program director, Paul Jensen, wrote to Vaughan in August, according to a letter obtained by Fox News. “For example, Joshua 1:9. Please remove ALL biblical references from all of your Army products.”

Vaughan told “Fox & Friends” he was “speechless” especially after the military initially approached him with the idea. First Liberty Institute, on behalf of Vaughan, sent a demand letter to the Army on Tuesday, calling on the branch to reinstate the trademark license for the faith-based initiative. “Your directive that SoS remove all Biblical references from its Army-licensed products is unconstitutional and violates RFRA,” Mike Berry, chief of staff and director of military affairs for First Liberty wrote in the letter to Jensen.”

So, let me get this right, we have “leaders” in our military or with oversight of our military who said little to nothing in all of the previously mentioned issues. Then, all of a sudden, they get their dander up over the pardoning of Golsteyn, Lorance, and Gallagher, the latter of whom is still being persecuted by uniformed Navy leadership. Now, these folks are kneeling and submitting to the insanity of Mikey Weinstein . . . again!

Joshua 1:9 is my favorite Bible verse, and yes, I once wore a Shield of Strength dog tag with that Bible verse, so this is personal. I remember having a Bible on my desk as a Commander, but I bet that would not be acceptable today. I carried my personal Bible into Article 32 hearing back in 2003 in Saddam Hussein’s Tikrit palace.

It would appear that according to Weinstein that I am some heretic to be burned at the stake. Why is it that the so-called “leaders” of our military give any audience to a deranged and disturbed individual such as Mikey Weinstein? And what is so damaging about the words, “Be strong and of good courage, for the Lord thy God shall not leave you, nor forsake you?” If there are any words I would think our men and women would carry with them daily, those are the words.

Who is this Paul Jensen? What the heck does the Army need with a “Trademark Licensing Program” director? My immediate recommendation is that Mr. Jensen be fired, along with all the many and unnecessary bureaucratic positions now plaguing our military. He needs to be replaced with a stellar warrior, an Army Spartan, who would have kindly told Mikey Weinstein to go “engage in strenuous self-copulation.”

So, now perhaps y’all understand why I ask just who is leading our military? It would appear that the cancer begun by Barack Obama still exists, and we need surgery to remove it, and laser treatments to guarantee all these cancerous cells are destroyed.

Good order and discipline . . . defined by who?

“It’s insane. It’s incredibly selfish. All we do is provide a reminder of God’s word. No one has to do this,” Vaughan, a world-class skier who has produced more than 4 million dog tags with Scripture on them, told Fox News.

His organization has donated hundreds of thousands to Department of Defense units and individual service members. 

“Virtually every unit has contacted us and said, ‘Would you make us a tag with our unit on it?’ We’ve seen the fruit of the mission. Literally thousands of soldiers, airmen, marines, telling us with tears in their eyes how much it’s meant to them, and many times the Gold Star families to be in possession of the dog tag they wore,” he added. “I don’t understand it.”

We do not understand it either, Mr. Vaughan.

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LTC West is running for Chair of the Republican Party of Texas! To support his efforts, please visit his campaign website!

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Photo credit James Paris