Family Research Council Submits 92,000 Petition Signatures in Support of Airman Forcibly Removed from Retirement Ceremony

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council and American Family Association sent the Air Force over 92,000 petition signatures in support of retired Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez. The petitions and cover letter were addressed to the leadership of Travis Air Force Base in California concerning an incident on April 3rd involving retired Sgt. Oscar Rodriguez who was dragged out of a retirement ceremony for another servicemember. Sgt. Rodriguez was forcibly removed from the event by military personnel for simply reciting a speech that mentioned God in his flag folding ceremony.

The letter signed by Family Research Council Executive Vice President Lt. General (Ret.) Jerry Boykin, read in part:

“I am writing to you as my organization’s representative to the Restore Military Religious Freedom Coalition, a partnership committed to reinstating and ensuring the religious freedoms of military men and women in all branches of the armed forces. With this letter, I am conveying petitions containing over 92,000 signatures gathered by the Family Research Council and American Family Association.

“The petitions condemn the April 3, 2016 ‘forcible eviction and assault of Senior Master Sergeant Oscar Rodriguez (Ret.) from the retirement ceremony of Master Sergeant Charles Roberson because he was reciting a speech that mentioned God….’  They ‘strongly urge’ Colonel Raymond A. Kozak, commander 349th Air Mobility Wing at Travis, ‘to apologize to Oscar Rodriguez for assaulting him and infringing upon his First Amendment rights, apologize to Charles Roberson for disrupting his ceremony, and hold accountable those responsible for this egregious action that violated the free speech rights of a service member and his invited guest. 

“Our country has enough enemies. Our military should be united in attacking the real forces that threaten our nation, not those who have served with dignity in protecting it,” concluded Boykin.

Click here to read the full letter.