Oscar Rodriguez is a retired Senior Master Sgt. who, in military circles, is quite well known for his rendition of the “flag folding speech.” The flag folding speech is given at a variety of military and civic events, including retirement ceremonies. The speech explains the colors, the symbols, and the history of the flag and traditionally contains references to God. “Let us pray that God will reflect with admiration the willingness of one nation in her attempts to rid the world of tyranny, oppression, and misery. Is this one nation under God that we call, with honor, United States of America.”
The speech closes with, “God bless our flag. God bless our troops. God bless America.”
In 2005 – during the Bush administration – the Pentagon changed the speech. They removed all references to God substituting additional historical facts such as Neil Armstrong’s planting of the flag on the moon.
Many service members preferred the traditional version and requested that version at their retirement ceremonies.
Air Force Master Sgt. Charles Roberson retired from active duty in April of this year. He asked Rodriguez to give the speech at his retirement celebration at Travis Air Force Base. The squadron’s commanding officer, Lt. Col. Michael Sovitsky, learned that Rodriguez would be giving the traditional speech that mentioned God and expressed his opposition. He reportedly tried to block it.
Roberson asked Rodriguez to press forward and give the traditional speech. Here’s the video of what happened at Roberson’s retirement. HT to Breitbart for the story and the video.
Rodriguez took his position and began his speech when four uniformed airmen surrounded him, forcibly seized him, and dragged him out of the room. Those airmen were not military police and had no lawful authority to arrest or detain anyone, especially a private citizen like Rodriguez who was immediately expelled from the base.
The Air Force, arguably the most liberal of the services, has seemingly expelled God from their presence.
The First Liberty Institute, acting on behalf of Rodriguez, has filed suit against the Air Force demanding that the Air Force apologize to Rodriguez and punish those responsible for removing him from the room or face a civil rights lawsuit in federal court.
It’s important to note that Roberson’s retirement was a private ceremony. It was held on Travis Air Force Base, but it was invitation-only and was in no way a public event.
You can find out more about this outrage at the website set up by First Liberty Institute, www.standwithOscar.com.