Before I go to far into becoming a spokesperson for the US Military’s Pagan Population, I feel it might be necessary to speak about the responsibilities of each member of the US Armed Forces and their right to Freedom of Religion.
There are a few things that you have to realize:
1.) You are government property.
You go where they tell you, do what the tell you, and how they tell you to do it.
2.) Mission Comes First
Just because you have come out of the Broom Closet, does not mean the world stops for you. The Mission comes first. When in Iraq, I was allowed to go to the Pagan Meetings ONLY when my platoon was able to be at that location. Which was only once a month.
3.) You don’t need to fight every battle.
This is to those who do not have a thick skin. There will be comments and jokes made once you reveal to everyone that you are Pagan. This is just how the ignorant handle things they do not understand. Running to the your command every time someone does something minor is just going to leave you winded.
4.) Fight the battles that you will now be facing.
Contrary to the last point, you will be fighting everyday for acceptance. Everyday. Through your day to day actions, people will be looking upon you seeing just how Pagans live their day to day life. This is the time to really keep your nose clean.
You may even have to fight with the local chaplain, platoon leader, squad leader, etc, in regards to your right to practice your faith. (Mission Dependent) This is when you go to your IG (Inspector General) and file a complaint. This should always be a last resort, complaints like these can ruin both parties’ careers.
All in all, as a Pagan in the Military, you now will have everyone’s eyes on you. Let’s show the world that we are not all that different from them! Let’s break every stereotype about us and take this world by storm!