According to a Pentagon survey, there are 1,800 Wiccans in the armed forces.  The Wiccan faith is mentioned in official handbooks for military chaplains and noted on each Wiccan soldier’s dog tags.

But until this month, they could not have the symbol of their faith, the pentacle, engraved on their military headstone.  That space was reserved for crosses, the Star of David and 36 other approved religious symbols.


Here’s a picture of the pentacle that signifies the Wiccan faith.  Still unsure of what Wicca really is?  Here’s the Wikipedia definition.  The photo is used with permission from Elizabeth Winterbourne of Pagan-Wholesale, which owns the copyright.

On Friday, April 20, The Department of Veteran Affairs settled a lawsuit brought by family members of fallen soldiers who were professed Wiccans. 

From the New York Times article:

The group attributed the delay to religious discrimination. Many Americans do not consider Wicca a religion, or hold the mistaken belief that Wiccans are devil worshipers.

“The Wiccan families we represented were in no way asking for special treatment,” the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United, said at a news conference Monday. “They wanted precisely the same treatment that dozens of other religions already had received from the department, an acknowledgment that their spiritual beliefs were on par with those of everyone else.”

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