Western Iraq, April 3, 2003. A car bomb ended the life of Army Captain Russell Rippetoe while he was stationed at a military checkpoint.
When Captain Rippetoe’s body was recovered, he was found wearing an inspirational dog tag made by Shields of Strength, a family business in Texas. The dog tag contained a Bible verse from Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” the verse read.
During the Memorial Day ceremony that year at Arlington National Cemetery, then president George W. Bush made reference to the captain’s dog tag. Following the event, Shields of Strength was overwhelmed with orders and telephone calls requesting similar dog tags.
For over 20 years, this business has donated and sold a combined 4 million dog tags that carry official military branch logos accompanied by Bible verses.
For decades, soldiers have gone into battle with the reminder of Lord Almighty worn around their necks.
But everything changed in 2019 when the Military Religious Freedom Foundation discovered the religious dog tags and became furious.
Mikey Weinstein, the founder of MRFF, has become notorious as an anti-Christian who puts and end to all religious public displays within the military. Most notable, he’s stomped out the presence of Nativity Scenes from military bases during Christmas season.
MRFF demanded that trademark licensing for Shields of Strength be rescinded, arguing that it was unlawful for the mark to be used by a religious business. In less than 48 hours, the Department of Defense ended a 20 year tradition, sending the Shields of Faith a cease and desist letter regarding licensed items containing religious content.
Kenny and Tammie Vaughan, the owners of Shields of Strength, are working with First Liberty Institute to file a federal lawsuit against the Military for “quickly…. capitulat[ing] to the threats of a bully.”
Republican Representative Ronny Jackson (TX) said upon hearing the situation that “It just pisses me off to no end… all they care about is their social agenda.” He warned that the woke leaders at the Pentagon have literally said that the U.S. “is their big social experiment.”
Author: Justin Cook