Proselytizing Christians common sight at Air Force

Last month at the general membership meeting of Dallas Post No. 256 of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA, the guest speaker was one of its own members, a veteran like the others, but with a unique perspective, being the only West Point graduate in the bunch.
Ken Parker, class of ’57, spoke of his experience especially from the viewpoint of being one of the few cadets who were Jewish. “No anti-Semitism all the time I was there and no complaints by any of the other Jewish guys as well,” Ken reported.
As a devoted alumnus, Ken keeps up with developments and in a recent phone conversation with the Jewish chaplain at West Point, he was reassured that there were no signs of any anti-Semitism.
All well and good, I thought, but what about the other four academies? I went “Google crazy” checking back years for any complaints at Annapolis (Navy/Marines), Kings Point (Merchant Marine), New London (Coast Guard) … no issues, but when I reached the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, it was quite a different story.
Colorado Springs, at the base of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains, is not only a popular tourism center, but it is also the home of a large military establishment which includes the Air Force Academy, the North American Air Defense Command, and the Army’s Fort Carson, plus two nearby Air Force bases.
Since the 1980s, almost 100 Christian and evangelical Christian organizations have moved to the area, resulting in over 80 making their headquarters in Colorado Springs, now referred to as the “Evangelical Vatican.”
It appears that they are competing with each other, spreading their Christian zeal through the local civilian community, but primarily through the ever-present military.
Complaints that supervisors at the Academy pressure cadets to attend “training” sessions where they receive the “word” of Jesus as their one true leader were explained away as attempts to build cohesiveness.
Many investigations and review boards have failed to solve the problems that Jewish cadets face when they enter the Air Force Academy, but hope lies ahead.
Bulletin: On July 1, 2016, General David Goldfein, a battle tested command pilot and a Jew, will become the leader of the U.S. Air Force.
Story to be continued …

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