Afternoon readers, Lethal Leprechaun here!
Occasionally something of import happens after we go to blog which we would have ordinarily included in an issue. Such is the case today. We have been following this story periodically since our Memorial Day Special Issue with periodic updates. Here is the next installment in the saga of the V.A. disrespecting Veterans and the families of deceased Veterans
Judge signs off on Houston National Cemetery settlement
By LINDSAY WISE, HOUSTON CHRONICLE Updated 10:37 a.m., Thursday, October 20, 2011
American Legion member Willie Beck discusses the federal lawsuit against the Houston National Cemetery and the VA.
A federal judge Wednesday authorized the settlement of a lawsuit over allegations of religious censorship at Houston National Cemetery.
Local veterans and volunteer groups had accused VA and cemetery officials of banning them from using religious speech – including the words Jesus and God – during services at the cemetery.
The parties reached agreement in the case through mediation last month, and Judge Lynn Hughes signed his consent Wednesday.
“This agreement preserves VA policy that families’ wishes are paramount when their loved ones – our nation’s heroes – are laid to rest,” Steve Muro, VA’s undersecretary for memorial affairs, said in a statement. “This agreement respects the important principle that the family’s wishes for religious observances at the committal services must be honored, which VA has fought to protect from day one.”
Under the settlement, VA agrees “not to ban, regulate or otherwise interfere with prayers, recitations, or words of religious expression absent family objection” and to let veterans’ families hold services with any religious or secular content they desire.
VA also agrees not to edit or control private religious speech by speakers at VA-sponsored ceremonies or events and pledges to return a Bible, cross and Star of David to the cemetery’s chapel, which must remain open and not be used for storage or referred to as a “meeting facility.”
The Bible, cross and star will be placed “on an open shelf within, but to the side of, the chapel, where they would be accessible and available for use by families,” the documents state.
Local members of Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 and Houston National Memorial Ladies will resign their positions as official VA volunteers. As private citizens, they will then be free to provide their own texts of recitations to funeral homes so that veterans’ families can decide if they would like these groups to provide any services at the cemetery.
Protesters had called for the VA to fire Houston cemetery director Arleen Ocasio. The agreement does not address her status, however, and VA officials said her future is an internal matter.
Personally I expect her remaining tenure in that post to be just long enough to escape notice by the media and therefore embarrass the V.A. even further. There are rumors that if the V.A. fails to remove her that “Pain & Suffer” tortes will be lodged against both the V.A. and her by members of some of the families whom her actions disrespected and traumatized during their bereavements. I would expect hat the V.A. sporting one fresh shiner over this would be loathe to put their chin out there for a second shot at it. Especially with the specter of further rulings not in their favor regarding their conduct at V.A. Cemeteries
As far as Arleen goes, I’m sure with her sensitivity, tolerance toward religion and rabid liberal attitude Obama can get here a job with some Muslim outreach center as a spokesperson for how friendly and tolerant towel heads are.
Specifically for Political Hacks such as John McCain who recently said he wants to reduce Veterans Health benefits and Governmental Administrative Weenies like Steve Muro & Arleen Ocasio who would seek to disrespect our memories and legacies.
After tasting combat and facing enemy fire doing our duty according to our oath:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God
if you think to mistreat us, disrespect us and call us terrorists for continuing to exercise that oath after ceasing active duty and expecting our elected officials do the same, you are gravely mistaken. WE VETERNS ARE A BAND OF BROTHERS, Squid, jarhead, dog face, Coasty or Fly~ fly Guy, it matters not. That bond was forged on the anvil of battle tempered in enemy fire, quenched in the blood of our wounded and the battlefield tears of our sorrow. IT CANNOT BE BROKEN EVER!
That disrespect, slight or disservice you do to the least of us you do to us ALL. Our numbers are legion, our memories long and our patriotism, was well as our belief in God and Country runs to the bone. We WILL come for you to redress these grievances, in perfect lock step heads held high and proud. We will come for you on your own turf, battle you with your own weapons and we WILL defeat and humiliate you publically. Should you fail to heed this graphic warning I SWEAR BY THE ALMIGHTY & ETERNAL you WILL fear the sound of our marching feet when we come for you our voices uplifted in The Star Spangled Banner!
God Bless the TRUE America and the REAL Americans!
SEMPER FI My Fellow Vets!