For some reason, I've always had a special penchant for the Air Force.
I'm not sure if it's due to their trendy recruiting slogans over the years, which include: "No one comes close," "Aim High" and "Cross into the Blue."
Maybe it's because of their awesome theme song "Wild Blue Yonder" - just hearing it makes me want to sign up for a stint in uniform.
Then again, perhaps it's the result of a good friend of mine from high school attending the United States Air Force Academy when I was still just a sophomore. I clearly remember thinking nothing could be cooler than that.
Several years later, I recall revisiting that same notion when a computer training trip for work landed me in Colorado Springs. The first thing I did when I got a break from data processing? Visited the famous USAFA chapel. It was love at first sight.
Yes, though I have a deep adoration for and devotion to all American military forces, I must admit to having always had a soft spot in the old ticker for the Air Force.
Which is why I, more than most, am so incredibly disturbed by the news that USAFA has decided to drop the phrase "so help me God" from the end of the final oath their cadets take when they complete their basic training.
Since 1984 - the very year my pal headed there, coincidentally- it has read this way: "We will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does. Furthermore, I resolve to do my duty and to live honorably, so help me God."
But, caving from pressure generated by Michael Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, USAFA announced last week that they were making the end of the honor code optional.
Hmm. Since when did honor become an option? Particularly for members of the U.S. military?
People, there isn't a HMPF big enough for me on this one.
I'm saddened, disillusioned and frankly, pretty disgusted that this gentleman, who apparently has made a career of targeting religion - and more specifically, Christianity - seems to be on a mission to eradicate it from as many places as is humanly possible for him.
I assume Mr. Weinstein to be an atheist, which, while foolish, short-sighted and plain old wrong in my estimation, is his prerogative. Spewing his anti-God bile and lathering up a controversy that results in removing the honor portion of an honor code from a national military institution? Well, that is so wrong it should be criminal.
I guess I'm just wondering what it is he finds so offensive about our young cadets - folks sworn to defend our country and put themselves in harm's way for her good - invoking the Almighty? I mean, what's the worst that could happen He could help?
I cannot describe my bitter disappointment in the USAFA powers-that-be; how could allow this to happen?
Well, all I can say is, it's now a tie between the Army and Marines as to which is my favorite military branch from now on - sorry, Navy. Again, I love you all - even the Air Force, still. But, some of my favorite peeps are in the Army and Marines - and they're still honoring God and country these days, to the best of my knowledge.
In fact, if I knew I could get away with it, I have a couple of my Marine pals hog tie Mr. Weinstein and help him see the error of his ways - so help me God.
Kimerer is a Tribune Chronicle columnist who doesn't like it when folks mess with the Big Guy. Contact her honorably at firstname.lastname@example.org.