A letter campaign

EDITOR:

For the past few months I have heard rumblings about covering of the cross in the local VA Chapel with cloth and the stained glass windows being curtained.

I didn’t want to believe that could happen in our VA in small town USA.

Well, veterans, friends and neighbors, it is true. Thanks to Patty Norton for informing us in her news article. Pictures and TV news and Facebook have picked up on it, too.

My question for all the powers that be are these.:

How is it that a Christian non-denominational chapel built as part of this hospital some 60 years ago should suddenly need to have the cross covered and stained glass windows curtained? Who complained about the chapel and Christian symbols being there after 60 years to be in compliance with a federal VA mandate? Is that what our veterans have fought for?

Oscar G. Johnson, the name of the Iron Mountain VA, was not just a local Purple Heart veteran and hero. He was a man who believed in God.

He showed that not only as a veteran, but also as a Christian who regularly worshiped God in the Lutheran Church. I was privileged to know Oscar in his later years. He was a quiet and gentle man with a big heart that showed by the life he lived. If Oscar were alive today, I’m sure he would quietly act in opposition to what the VA or federals are doing at this time.

My family remembers assisting veterans to chapel for Sunday morning worship. We recall many Christmas afternoons helping to push a piano down the VA halls to sing Christmas carols on Christmas day, a day that could be lonely for those in the hospital.

The late Stella Carlson played the piano for us. Her husband, the late Rev. Frank J. Carlson, was the VA Chaplain then. (Also Military Chaplains not being replaced as they retire, is another federal decision that all should be concerned about.)

The chapel needs to remain as is with the cross and Christian symbols exposed and for all to worship, as they believe.

Friends, what is happening here is quietly happening in every VA Hospital across the nation.

Some years back, a letter writing campaign helped save our local VA from closing. I am suggesting that a letter campaign along with phone calls and emails begin ASAP. It is my hope and prayer that every veteran, family etc. who has ever prayed or attended a worship service at a VA chapel anywhere contact their congressmen, the VA Armed Service Dept., and the USA President.

Voice your thoughts. Here are some addresses.

-Senator Carl Levin

United States Senate

269 Russell Senate Office Bldg.

Washington DC 20510-2202

-Senator Debbie Stabenow

United States Senate

133 Hart Senate Office Bldg.

Washington DC 20510-2204

-Congressman Dan

Benishek

House of Representatives

514 Cannon House Office Bldg.

Washington DC 20515-2201

Orice Walters

Iron Mountain