The US Department of Veterans Affairs has been fighting AGAINST allowing the Wiccan pentagram on military gravestones. There is currently a lawsuit regarding SSgt. Stewart, who was killed in Afghanistan.
As part of delaying tactics the VA got the judge to delay the court case because the VA is issueing new regulations on the matter.
The proposed new regulations would make it illegal to have any new gravestone marker that members of any other religion would find objectionable -- and Christians are very vocal in their objections to the Wiccan pentagram.
The time period for making protests against the new proposed regulations are running out.
Act Now! Please go on record with your concerns right away, and urge others to do so as well.
See text of proposed procedures: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty/veteranpentacle/vaproposedrules.htm
See guide for making comments: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty/veteranpentacle/VARuleComment.htm
See how to view comments already submitted: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty/veteranpentacle/commentreview.htm
More information about the Veteran Pentacle Quest: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/liberty/veteranpentacle/
Your letters helped!!!
There has been an important development in the Veteran Pentacle Quest!
Although the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) still has not approved the Pentacle, Sgt. Stewart is getting the Pentacle on his plaque!
Sgt. Patrick Stewart is a casualty of Operation Enduring Freedom and George W. Bushs war on terror. Sgt. Stewart put his life on the line. He fought for freedom. He died serving the United States of America.
The Nevada Office of Veterans Services announced today that they have taken action to get Sgt. Stewarts plaque with the Pentacle on it produced and installed on the Wall of Heroes at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada.
This decision was made after the Nevada Attorney Generals Office determined that the state has sole discretion over state veteran cemeteries.
Tim Tetz, the Executive Director of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services, said in a press release issued today (September 13, 2006): I promised his widow and many others that we would diligently pursue every option to make certain Sgt. Stewart received recognition for his contributions as an Army soldier, a Nevadan, and an American hero.
Of course, there is still a need to send letters to your Congress person and to your Senators asking that ALL Wiccans who die in the service of their country receive the same first amendment rights as Christian soldiers.
Sgt. Patrick Stewart was shot down in a US Chinook helicopter on September 25, 2005. He was only 34 years old. He was not just a soldier. He was a beloved son, a husband, and a father of two beautiful children.
Sgt. Stewart wore military issued dog tags that identified his religion: Wiccan. When his widow, Roberta Stewart, asked the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to place the Wiccan religious emblem on his memorial plaque, she was told the Pentacle was not on the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) list of 38 religious emblems and could not be included.
There is still no government-issued Memorial plaque for him on the Wall of Heroes at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. His space remains blank. It continues to be blank and without the plaque because the VA continues its 9 year pattern of discrimination against the Wiccan religion and its emblem of belief.
Join others to raise a call for Religious Freedom for All to our elected officials on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Write and FAX letters to your US Senators and Representatives. Ask them to launch a Congressional investigation into the conduct of the US Department of Veterans Affairs regarding their on-going discrimination against the Wiccan religion and its emblem of belief. Ask your Senators and Congressperson to call, fax, and send letters to the VA demanding the approval of the Pentacle for use on government issued headstones, markers, and plaques for deceased veterans.
The VAs failure to honor a dead soldiers freedom of religion is an insult and it is symbolic of the disintegration of our Constitutional rights.
Do not give up your right to Freedom of Religion without a fight. Sgt. Patrick Stewart deserves the same respect any of us would expect if we ourselves or our loved ones were killed in an act of war, especially while fighting for freedom and justice for all.