I hear stories from time to time about the problems religious conservatives are causing within the American military: proselytizing to recruits, harassing nonbelievers in uniform, etc.Â Here’s an email I got a couple of months ago from an NCO who I’ll just call “Dennis”:
This is the type of stuff we get from church groups supporting “christian warriors”.Â These actually all came in the same package from a church in Jacksonville, FL along with quite a few expired snacks.Â The rule about care packages that many people don’t seem to get is: a bunch of a few. Instead we get one of several equally tiresome stuff that doesn’t get used.Â Intention is one thing but what are you really saying when you send instant oatmeal?Â We have that by the ton in the chow hall–even in remote, poorly supplied outposts, they have oatmeal in abundance.Â I know because the last time I was in Iraq, I was at a remote outpost and we had tons of instant grits, oatmeal, coffee, and that damn fool ass spiced apple cider.
I digress.Â The fact that Billy Graham, Guideposts and Guns and Ammo would seem an appropriate combination is disturbing and reminds me of some of the nut jobs in my hometown in South Mississippi.Â This type of stuff has a very Charlton Heston or Ted Nugent feel to it.Â Just send chocolate chip cookies and S’mores Pop Tarts and we’ll write back a bunch of “thank-yous”.Â Send expired stuff with a healthy dose of conservatism and we probably won’t reply to prevent receiving another package of “christian warrior” support with a side of the runs from the expired contents.Â Even the churchy guys would rather have a copy of Sports Illustrated and Country Time raspberry lemonade.
It’s interesting to see what the rest of the “support” community assumes about us contrary to what is posted all over cyberspace.Â Fortunately the word seems to have spread that we have so many Bibles over here that we could replace sandbags with them and have some left over.Â Your tax dollars are providing numerous copies and versions with camouflage covers and unit logos/patches printed on them. I take one every time as a souvenir and in the event the crapper runs out of paper (not that uncommon). Nothing handles dingleberries like Psalms.