Humanists reach out to injured hero
Oscar Zavala & Grace Quiroz
Like many other atheists in foxholes, Oscar Zavala has served his country for years. Like few soldiers and fewer Americans, Oscar is an infantry squad leader serving during wartime with the Army’s 101st Airborne Division. Having served two tours in Afghanistan, he has shown his dedication to duty and personal conviction. On May 28th, Oscar was leading his squad on a foot patrol in eastern Afghanistan when he was injured by an explosive device in eastern Afghanistan. He was evacuated from the scene quickly and is currently recovering at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
Oscar is healing well from injuries to his left side and left arm and hopes his recovery allows him to return to his infantry unit. He has benefited from the support of his wife Grace who made the trip from their home near Ft Campbell, Kentucky. She has been active there, establishing the local group MASH Ft Campbell and helping to lead Students for Secular Humanism at Austin Peay State University. The two of them are leaders in the humanist community, with Oscar setting the example as an atheist patriot and Grace organizing locally.
Members of the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers and local DC organizations have made several visits to provide reading materials and spend some time thanking Oscar for his service. Mutual support for those of us in need shows that we are not only intellectuals or activists, but an extended family defined and inspired by our shared values. Others wishing to visit can do so by contacting MAAF at (202) 656-6223 or send letters of support to 1380 Monroe St NW PMB 505, Washington, DC 20010 or firstname.lastname@example.org.