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Friday, October 27, 2017



After MRFF's Exposure of this Constitutional Violation and Questioning of the Exhibit's Historical Accuracy, Maxwell AFB (Gunter Annex) in the Air Force Enlisted
Heritage Research Institute (AFEHRI)
Removed Plaque Honoring
Rescue of Christian Flag
and Agreed that "Dates and Story Seem Inaccurate"


MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda's initial email to AFEHRI Curator William Chivalette regarding Christian flag exhibit:

To: William Chivalette, AFEHRI Curator
Subject: Inquiry regarding your Luke Holcomb / DMZ flag exhibit
From: Chris Rodda 
Sent: Wed, Oct 25, 2017 11:47 am

Mr. Chivalette,

A number of historians, including myself, are very curious about the photos posted last week on the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute's Facebook page of your exhibit about the story of A1C Luke Holcomb retrieving the American flag and the Christian chapel flag, which you are currently exhibiting, from an abandoned chapel in the DMZ in Korea in 1960.

There are a number of things about this story that make it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to believe, and we are therefore curious as to what documentation your institution has to support the story.

Could you please send me whatever documentation or other information you have regarding the origin of this DMZ flag story?

Thank you,

Chris Rodda

AFEHRI Director CMSgt Emily E. Shade's response email stating that the Christian plaque has been removed from the exhibit and Facebook page:

To: Chris Rodda
Subject: A1C Luke Holcomb/DMZ Flag Exhibit
From: CMSgt Emily E. Shade, AFEHRI Director
Sent: Fri, Oct 27, 2017 11:11 am

Good morning,

I apologize for the delayed response to your inquiries this week, as I have been out of town.

I appreciate your questions regarding the exhibit. The artifact was donated to the Heritage Hall between 1986-1996, but was not properly accessioned into the museum inventory until 1996. Therefore, our documentation on the artifact is sparse and well before any of our current staff members were employed at the Heritage Hall.

As a result of your inquiry and after looking at the framed wording, I concur that the dates and story seem inaccurate. We have removed the photo of the wording from the exhibit, as well as from our Facebook page. Our team will continue to research the story, the dates, and the donation process.

We strive to make the exhibits historically accurate and appreciate when inaccuracies are found, so that integrity of the displays is maintained.

Thank you for your assistance, as well as your patience in receiving a response.

CMSgt Shade

Director, Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute
Barnes Center for Enlisted Education, Air University

"Preserving yesterday, today, for tomorrow."

Email Communication Between
Air University Director of Communications & Outreach
W. Kent Davis and
Mikey Weinstein Regarding MRFF's Demand Email to USAF
Lt. Gen. Steven Kwast

Friday, October 27, 2017

Email from W. Kent Davis, Director Communication and Outreach at Air University, to Mikey Weinstein stating they are looking into the constitutional violation at AFEHRI:

From: W. Kent Davis, Director Communication and Outreach, Air University
Subject: Your concerns regarding a display at the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute
Date: October 27, 2017 at 3:05:39 PM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein
Cc: John Kongable, Civ. USAF AETC AU/JA; Lt Col Larissa Lanigar, USAF AETC AU/JA

Mr. Weinstein:

Air University has received the concerns you raised regarding a display at the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute. We are currently looking into the matters you mentioned. Thank you for making us aware of your concerns.

W. Kent Davis
Director of Communication and Outreach
Air University

Email from Mikey Weinstein to W. Kent Davis explaining that the "Christian flag" still remains in the AFEHRI exhibit, allowing for a continued church-state infringement:

From: Mikey Weinstein
Subject: Re: Your concerns regarding a display at the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute
Date: October 27, 2017 at 3:21:15 PM MDT
To: W. Kent Davis, Director Communication and Outreach, Air University
Cc: Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast, USAF; Gen. David L. Goldfein, USAF Chief of Staff

......Acknowledged, Mr. Davis...we are now quite aware that the framed photo of the false wording about the apparently faux "heroic incident" has been removed from both the exhibit and its Facebook page because the AFEHRI agrees with MRFF that the facts cannot be verified...which is good........unfortunately, MRFF believes that your people have tragically left the "Christian flag" in that exhibit juxtaposed with the mannequin wearing the USAF uniform...which is bad....VERY bad, sir!.......thus, this church-state separation unconstitutional breach matter has only been exacerbated......while you all figure out what to do about all of this mess which your folks at the AFEHRI decided to splash all over social media a few days ago triumphantly, would you please at least immediately remove that "Christian flag" from the exhibit so that viewers do not have to see something that clearly creates a symbolic alloy out of "Christianity" and the USAF?!...just imagine if that was an "Islamic", "Jewish", "Satanic" or "Atheistic" flag left in that exhibit, the eyes of the U.S. Constitution and AFI 1-1, Section 2.12 there is no difference when compared to a "Christian flag".....Christianity canNOT have any superior elevation of respect or observance or celebration over ANY other faith or no faith...again, please see the Constitution and the AFI.........on behalf of MRFF's 21 USAF officer, enlisted, civilian and veteran clients at your installation, plz kindly advise ASAP, Mr. Davis...many thx, Mikey

MRFF's Demand Email
Sent to USAF Lt. Gen. Kwast, Commander & President, Air University, Maxwell AFB

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Click to enlarge & read Mikey's full email

Emails Sent to Mikey/MRFF from Outraged MRFF Clients Regarding the Christian Exhibit at
Maxwell AFB (Gunter Annex)

First email sent to Mikey regarding the exhibit at the AFEHRI to MRFF's attention from MRFF client:

From: MRFF Client at Maxwell AFB
Subject: Promotion of Christianity at Maxwell AFB
Date: October 24, 2017 at 5:37:52 PM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein

Mr. Weinstein,

I'd like to call your attention to a new religious display at the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute, the nature of which raises serious issues. The display in question, which has been heralded in social media, is a chaplain's field ensign being called a "Christian flag" along with attending text that resembles a religious homily. The folklore presented is that in 1960 Airman Luke Holcomb unnecessarily risked his life and ventured into the Korean Demilitarized-Zone simply to save the "Christian flag" as a tribute to his faith.

As an historian, I find the display and text particularly troubling and disappointing in terms of the historiograpical methodology involved, but more than that is the reality that the display is symptomatic of the religious "evangelical creep" that foments unnecessary controversy and even outrage within the ranks. Simply put, I see this display as a species of the military dining hall "Missing Man" Bible displays, which have proven to be a potent lightning-rod for religious discord.

On it's face, the story of the flag's provenance is suspect and demands more critical review, especially for a tax-supported military museum espousing close academic links to Air University. Until the flag story can be proven with any confidence and certainty the institute must weigh what the display of a "Christian flag" says and signals within a multicultural and multi-religious Air Force.

MRFF Client at Maxwell AFB

Second email sent to Mikey regarding the exhibit at the AFEHRI to MRFF's attention from MRFF client:

From: xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: AFEHRI display
Date: October 26, 2017 at 9:12:19 AM MDT
To: Mikey Weinstein


I am an American Airman; my rank, position, and location are not important. I have had the distinct pleasure of working beside wonderful fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Coastguardsmen, and Marines in my many years in the Air Force who have come from a variety of nationalities, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and faiths. This is what Makes Us Great (Always!), the fact that human beings from all different sorts of backgrounds come together for one purpose, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. And this is what makes it so important that we--as a service and as a USG entity--do nothing which would indicate any sort of bias towards anyone type of people or belief set. It's against our declared raison d'etre.

This is the reason that I am writing to you in dismay, along with others, regarding the Air Force Enlisted Heritage Research Institute's display of a "Christian Flag" in their Korean War portion of the exhibit. I have been to the AFEHRI recently and can attest that this particular display is quite out of place with the rest of the museum (which displays memorabilia from WWI through the present day, highlighting the many amazing achievements of the greatest enlisted Air Force service members the world has ever known). Nowhere else in the museum is religion highlighted, especially in a way that showcases the particular religious beliefs of certain Airmen rather than others. I would think that if the Chaplaincy were discussed at all, it would be in a more all-encompassing display of all the many beliefs represented in the Air Force, past and present. To do otherwise is against DoD policy, which prohibits supporting one faith over another. This display serves as a harsh reminder to those who do not adhere to the Christian belief set that their experiences and their very selves are less-valued, ignored, and second-class. Why would we want any of our brave men and women in uniform to feel that way?

As the AFEHRI is an official Air Force entity, I would strongly recommend that they alter the display to either eliminate the exclusive reference to Christianity or to broaden the scope of the display to more accurately depict the many belief sets representative in our service. This would not only be more "real" but also in the spirit of inclusiveness so necessary in today's diverse fighting force.

COMM xxx-xxx-xxxx
DSN xxx-xxxx

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