VA Announces Policy Change That Will Protect Religious Freedom

July 19, 2019
VA Announces Policy Change | First Liberty

by Jorge Gomez • 2 min read

When First Liberty Institute gets involved, we get results.

Earlier this year, our legal team sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie urging him to issue a policy to allow all VA facilities to include a Bible in POW/MIA remembrance displays.

Our intervention came after the deceptively named “Military Religious Freedom Foundation” filed a lawsuit challenging a Bible that is displayed as part of a POW/MIA Remembrance table at a VA medical facility in Manchester, NH. Our client, the Northeast POW/MIA Network, is the organization responsible for maintaining that POW/MIA remembrance display.

Today, we’re happy to report that the VA granted our request.

Earlier this month, the VA announced an update and clarification to their policies and directives to protect the religious liberty of America’s veterans. Moving forward, the VA will permit religious literature, symbols and displays across facilities nationwide.

Read the VA’s letter to First Liberty

Protecting POW/MIA Remembrance displays is critical to commemorate our nation’s brave heroes, like WWII veteran and U.S. Army Air Corps Technical Sergeant (TSgt) Herman “Herk” Streitburger, who donated the Bible that’s currently on this display in Manchester.

The new VA policy is a welcome breath of fresh air and a positive action, particularly during the month of July when we celebrate our nation’s 243rd year of independence. Indeed, protecting the religious freedom of our veterans, as well as their families, is the perfect way to honor their service, their legacy and their sacrifice.

Watch First Liberty Institute’s Chief of Staff, Mike Berry, explain how the new VA policy change will have a profound impact on military religious freedom.

Give today. We need your financial support to stop attacks on America’s military service members, and to keep winning key victories that will protect their religious freedom.

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