Network Update: Enlistment support and Rally/RBB preparations
Only 30 days left, approximately. The Reason Rally is March 24th, in DC. The entire movement is coming. Rock Beyond Belief is March 31st at Ft Bragg. This follow-up event will have strong support throughout the region and from the military. Book your tickets and lodging now.
Local groups continue to spring up, even with only sporadic chaplain support. Only MacDill AFB, MCAS Miramar, and USAFA are providing sanctioned activities for atheists and humanists. Good for them, but hopefully the other 1000 installation and ships will follow suit soon, at least those with active presences from MAAF affiliates and military groups.
Gabrielle Nadine Harper, 4th child of the Harper clan
MAAF extends a welcome to new group at Dover AFB. Staff Sergeants Ron Harper and Brandon Crilley are starting with meetings on post. If you are in the area, stay tuned for new meetups. In the meantime, check out Ron with new baby Gaby. These aren’t just social groups, but extended families, and we’re happy to welcome a new member.
There is also a new section below regarding outreach at Military Enlistment Processing Stations. When atheists and humanists join the military, they should know as soon as possible that it’s ok to be atheist and that they have materials, communities, and “approval” to express their beliefs.
Local Affiliate updates:
- [CA] San Diego Area – – SD-MAAF: Jason Torpy, President of MAAF, addressed 40 members of SD-MAAF and the Humanist Fellowship of San Diego. Lay leader Petty Officer Thomas Permuy is leading events on post with the oversight of the installation chaplain. SD-MAAF gives a send-off to Major John Gilbert who is deploying.
- [CA] Travis AFB – – Travis MASH: Dan Rawlings and the local group are continuing with paperwork and outreach to the chaplains. Unfortunately, chaplains have not been supportive thus far. Plans are underway to develop a charitable activity, possibly with Fisher House or Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
- [DE] Dover AFB – – Dover Military Humanists: Staff Sergeant Brandon Crilley and Ron Harper are teaming up to make this new group a success. Congratulations to Ron and his new baby.
- [FL] MacDill AFB – – MacDill Atheists & Secular Humanists: MacDill ASH continues to have their regular activities. The next event is March 20th at the post chapel.
- [GA] Ft Stewart – – Ft Stewart MASH: A big thanks go out to Sgt Nathan Ash for getting things going at Ft Stewart. The events and Facebook group will be put up for next month.
- [HI] Hawaii – – MASH Hawaii: MASH Hawaii maintains a strong relationship with Hawaii Secular Society, sharing events and activities. The monthly meeting is March 18th.
- [KS] Ft Riley – – MAAF Ft Riley: The first meeting was held Feb 15th at the Warrior Zone conference room on post. Future meetings to be published.
- [KY] Ft Campbell – – MASH Ft Campbell: Great local potluck for Darwin Day. Next meetup March 4.
- [MO] Ft Wood – – MASH Ft Wood: Check out weekly Secular Sippin (Mar 4) and Munch with MASH (Mar 1) meetings in conjunction with local groups.
- [NC] Ft Bragg – –MASH Ft Bragg: Final preparations are under way for Rock Beyond Belief, March 31st. Upcoming events are a Fun Run on Feb 25th, a book club on Mar 22nd and other events.
- [TX] Ft Hood – – CENTEX – MAAF: Six members ran the Austin half-marathon Feb 19th. Congrats for that. The next meeting is Feb 25th at the Genghis Grill.
- [Germany] Kaiserslautern – – Kaiserslautern Military Community MAAF: The previous monthly meeting was Feb 12th, with the next meeting coming up in March.
- [UK] RAF Lakenheath – – RAF Lakenheath Atheists & Freethinkers: Newly established; currently coordinating with several UK Armed Forces local groups to establish regular meetings.
- Academy Updates (USMA, USNA, USAFA, USCGA): At the Air Force Academy, four brave freethinkers ventured into town for Darwin Day. Fourteen Naval Academy cadets heard Lawrence Krauss speak about his new book a Universe from Nothing. At the Naval Academy, West Point, and the Coast Guard Academy, plans are well underway for a group trip down to the Reason Rally. Army cadets and Navy midshipmen are still seeking official recognition and support from Academy administration.
- MEPS updates: Humanists at the Louisville Military Enlistment Processing Station will now have humanist materials to read. This pilot program between MAAF and local Louisville secular groups will be extended to other cities soon.
- Always check the MAAF Calendar for speaking engagements and events of interest.
MAAF has also updated the MAAF Network page with an interactive map and additional information on how to connect. Formal affiliates, related groups, lay leaders, and local points of contact are listed. If you haven’t already, take a moment to contact your local military atheist/humanist community.
Interested in starting a local group or making your group official? Check out information about local group setup, meeting ideas, and affiliate development, and then Contact MAAF.