Every day millions of people across the nation criticize the U.S. military, but the numbers show that less than 1% of the population are willing to serve.
Rear Admiral William Lee made this point to criticize the fact that so many armchair quarterbacks think they know what’s best for the men and women serving our country.
During the National Day of Prayer service on Capitol Hill, the admiral brought attention to the Pentagon’s policy of “checking your religion at the door”, stating that there aren’t enough chaplains to truly help those in need.
“Right now, as I speak, leaders like myself are feeling the constraints of rules and regulations and guidance issued down by lawyers that puts us in a tighter and tighter box regarding our constitutional right to express our religious faith,” he told the crowd. “The expect us to check our religion at the door. Don’t bring that here.”
“Leave that business to the chaplains [they told me],” he continued. “I’m here to tell you there aren’t enough chaplains to go around.”
Admiral Lee then brought up the fact that “every 65 minutes” a veteran attempts to end his or her own life, and wondered whether he should do something to help, or follow the strict guidelines put forth by the Pentagon.
“Who can tell that young man who is downtrodden, and on his last legs, who has no hope, to make an appointment to go see the chaplain? Go get in line and wait, when the opportunity right now exists. Yet if I do something, such as I did just several weeks ago when I was looking in the face of a young man, 20-something years old, who 18 months before put a gun to his head and pulled the trigger, and survived.”
“When I looked at that young man, and I heard his story, the rules say ‘send him to the chaplain’. My heart said ‘give this man a bible'”.
Admiral Lee went on to say that “the higher you are, the more vulnerable you are” to being “put in the cross-hairs” of those wanting to come down on military leaders for sharing the love of Jesus Christ.
“I am here to tell you right now that I am not going to run from my religious freedoms, from my right under the constitution to tell a young man that there is hope,” he said as the crowd rose to a standing ovation.
Thank goodness our country has leaders like Admiral Lee, who are willing to speak his faith boldly to those in need, regardless of what the rules say.