[UPDATED] USAF Vet Forcibly Removed from Flag-Folding Ceremony for Mentioning God
See below for an update to this post.
A USAF veteran who has for years delivered a stirring “flag-folding speech” at military and civic events was recently forcibly removed from a retirement ceremony because his speech mentions "God." As Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez, Jr. (ret.) was about to begin his remarks, several uniformed airmen got up, surrounded him, assaulted him, and dragged him out of the room.
This is Obama's military now:
First Liberty Institute is representing Rodriguez and its lawyers are demanding that the U.S. Air Force apologize and punish those responsible or face a federal civil-rights lawsuit.
Master Sergeant (MSgt) Charles “Chuck” Roberson is a USAF veteran who retired on April 3, 2016 at Travis Air Force Base. A month before his retirement, Roberson saw Rodriguez perform the flag-folding speech at a friend’s retirement ceremony. Moved by the speech, Roberson personally asked Rodriguez to give the same speech at his own retirement ceremony. Rodriguez readily agreed. Read a script of the speech.
When Roberson’s unit commander discovered that Rodriguez would be delivering the flag-folding speech, which mentions “God,” during the ceremony, he attempted to prevent Rodriguez from attending. After learning that he lacked authority to prevent Rodriguez from attending, the commander then told Roberson that Rodriguez could not give the speech. Rodriguez asked Roberson what he should do, and Roberson responded that it was his personal desire that Rodriguez give the flag-folding speech as planned. Watch Roberson tell his story.
Roberson and Rodriguez tried to clear the speech through higher authorities at Travis Air Force Base, even offering to place notices on the door informing guests that the word “God” would be mentioned. They never received a response from the authorities. As an Air Force veteran himself, Rodriguez stood firm on his commitment to Roberson.
When Rodriguez stood up to perform his speech as requested by Roberson, a uniformed airman approached him and warned, “You’re really going to do this?" -- as if Roberson was about to something offensive like burn the flag or give a profane, anti-American speech.
Next page: Watch Rodriguez delivering a 2013 speech that Travis Air Force Base officials couldn't abide.