24 November 2011

Thank you

Thank you for family, for home, for Home. Thank you for good books and the Book. Thanks for sunshine and for rain, for ice and for snow.

Thank you for football and "little" brothers, for beer and card games, for rifles and pistols, airplanes and cars.

Thanks for phones and Facebook, dinner and walks, couches and wrestling matches.

And thank you for a beautiful woman and a life together. Thanks for her love and her faith, her touch and her laugh. Thank you for wedding plans and honeymoons plans, Air Force plans and Life plans.

11 November 2011

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
          Between the crosses, row on row,
     That mark our place; and in the sky
     The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
     Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
               In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
     The torch; be yours to hold it high.
     If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
               In Flanders fields.

-LtCol John McRae, 3 May 1915

04 November 2011

Another "controversy" at USAFA

Early this week, a first-class cadet sent out an email to the entire cadet wing asking for help with Operation Christmas Child. When I saw it, I thought, "I don't think they can do that," but deleted the email and moved on.

The email was approved by the Vice Wing Commander. I thought nothing of it until today, when I heard of the controversy it sparked. Apparently, 132 people emailed Mikey Weinstein of the so-called Military Religious Freedom Foundation about Operation Christmas Child. According to Fox News Radio, one cadet said, "This just shows how our military is supporting on religion - Christianity."

 "The military" isn't supporting Christianity. One or two cadets made a mistake; USAFA senior leaders were unaware of the project. By sending out a wing-wide email about the program and making a staff tower announcement, the cadets implied government endorsement of a Christian charity.

"According to the [endorsement] test, a government action is invalid if it creates a perception in the mind of a reasonable observer that the government is either endorsing or disapproving of religion" (Wikipedia). As firsties and leaders in the Cadet Wing, the cadets in question are government actors. Therefore, in the course of their duty, they must not endorse a particular religion. As Operation Christmas Child is clearly a Christian charity, they cannot endorse the charity - and now they know their mistake.

 So, let's leave it at that. This place is a leadership laboratory, after all.