Showing posts with label Hanscom Air Force Base. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hanscom Air Force Base. Show all posts

Monday, October 22, 2018

VA Security Guard sent away homeless veteran despite rules

Left in cold by VA medical center, homeless veteran finds kindness in strangers

Boston Globe
Brian MacQuarrie
Globe Staff
October 22, 2018
VA officials said they have no record of an encounter that night between Franks and VA security officers. Under the Bedford VA’s policy, any veteran who turns up homeless can be sheltered in the urgent-care area if no other beds are available, agency officials said.

CRAIG F. WALKER/GLOBE STAFF Navy veteran Norman Franks spent four months in a cramped tent in a campsite on the grounds of Hanscom Air Force Base. (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff)
BEDFORD — At 2 a.m. on a chilly May morning, Norman Franks sat slumped in a chair in a TV lounge at the Department of Veterans Affairs medical center, fighting for snatches of sleep under the glare of ceiling lights, he said.

A Navy veteran of the late 1970s, Franks had led a troubled life. His addiction to crack cocaine led to a long series of armed robberies, which led to 15 years in prison. Now, he found himself homeless.

Franks wanted a clean start, but first he needed a place to live. With no good options, he made his way to the Bedford veterans complex, an outpost of a sprawling federal agency that takes its motto from Abraham Lincoln’s promise “to care for him who shall have borne the battle.”

Instead, he spent the night in the woods, shivering under a tarp. He stayed there for four of the next five nights, then spent the next four months in a cramped tent in a campsite on the grounds of Hanscom Air Force Base.

As the weeks passed, Franks fell deeper into despair. But slowly, unexpectedly, he was reclaiming some of his life, thanks to a devoted group of strangers — members of an American Legion post, volunteers from a Catholic parish, even from a congressman’s staff — who felt obliged to aid a veteran in need.
read more here

Monday, May 18, 2015

Religious Freedom Group Doesn't Want Everyone to Use Freedom?

Group wants two-star court-martialed for speech
Air Force Times
By Jeff Schogol, Staff writer
May 15, 2015

An Air Force two-star general is being blasted by a civil liberties group for speaking in uniform about how God has guided his career.

Video posted on YouTube shows Maj. Gen. Craig Olson speaking at a National Day of Prayer Task Force event May 7. In the speech, Olson refers to himself as a "redeemed believer in Christ," who credits God for his accomplishments in the Air Force.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has called for Olson to be "aggressively and very visibly brought to justice for his unforgivable crimes and transgressions" by a court-martial, adding that any other service members who helped him should be investigated and punished "to the full extent of military law."

Olson is program executive officer for C3I and Networks at Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts.

During his 23-minute address, Olsen spoke of "flying complex aircraft; doing complex nuclear missions — I have no ability to do that. God enabled me to do that."

"He put me in charge of failing programs worth billions of dollars. I have no ability to do that, no training to do that. God did that. He sent me to Iraq to negotiate foreign military sales deals through an Arabic interpreter. I have no ability to do that. I was not trained to do that. God did all of that."

At the end of his speech, Olson asks the audience to pray for Defense Department leaders, who "need to humbly depend on Christ." He also asks them to pray for troops preparing to deploy again so they can "bear through that by depending on Christ."
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I just listened to the speech and very happy to say that this is not a place where free speech is not protected as much as it is practiced. Free, honest speech is a thing of beauty and that is the point that needs to be raised right now.

This was a group of like minded members of faith listening to a speaker talking about his faith. No one was forced to go to the conference or listen to the speeches. There is not a single place in this speech where Olson ever spoke out against the code of the military nor did he condemn anyone.

I come from Massachusetts and went to Hanscom every weekend and maybe since the freedoms we have were worth fighting for by the Patriots, we can acknowledge the right of everyone to seek their own faith or not, to practice their own faith or not as long as they do not try to take that right away from anyone else. There is a lot of that going on in this country and none of us should stand for it.

None of us should stand for a place where they were holding a prayer session silencing someone from participating willingly. None of us should stand for a group of folks claiming to be about religious freedom trying to take away everyone else's right to use that freedom to choose.

There have been times when Military Religious Freedom Foundation were standing up against forcing anyone in the military to participate in a religious service. No one was claiming they were forced to go or to listen to the speech. In this case, they are clearly wrong in my opinion but then again, I am free to still state what I believe because military folks stepped up to make sure that right was protected for me and everyone else!

Published on May 17, 2015
Air Force Major General Craig Olson speaking in uniform at Shirley Dobson's May 7, 2015 National Day of Prayer Task Force event on Capitol Hill, in violation of a slew of military regulations.

Members of the military are strictly prohibited from endorsing any "non-federal entity," religious or non-religious, by doing things like speaking in uniform at their events.

So this isn't just about the obvious issue of Olson violating the regulations regarding participation in religious events and the promotion of his personal religious beliefs; he's blatantly disregarding a whole bunch of regulations.

But the biggest danger of his very public Jesus speech is that it was streamed around the world by GOD TV, handing our enemies like ISIS some great material for recruiting propaganda on a silver platter.