Navy chap­lain lauded for de­fend­ing re­li­gious lib­erty

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

A re­tired Navy chap­lain who stood fast by his bi­b­li­cal teach­ings, de­fended re­li­gious lib­erty and of­fered “ex­cep­tional min­istry to Amer­ica’s war­riors” was lauded and rec­og­nized dur­ing an awards ban­quet just out­side the na­tion’s cap­i­tal on Thurs­day evening.

Lt. Cmdr. Wes Mod­der, U.S. Navy re­tired, re­ceived the Free­dom Al­liance’s “De­fender of Free­dom Award” be­fore an en­thu­si­as­tic crowd which in­cluded the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s founder Oliver North and re­tired Army Lt. Gen. Wil­liam G. “Jerry” Boykin, an Al­liance board mem­ber. Fox News con­trib­u­tor Pete Hegseth acted as em­cee for the evening, which in­cluded a splen­did din­ner of ro­maine salad, filet mignon and salmon, plus choco­late mousse.

“We are pleased to rec­og­nize Chap­lain Mod­der for his dis­tin­guished mil­i­tary ca­reer as well as his min­istry to com­bat war­riors and those who serve our coun­try. Chap­lains are cru­cial to the emo­tional and spir­i­tual well-be­ing of our fight­ing force and Wes Mod­der was among the best in the mil­i­tary’s ranks. His courage in de­feat­ing po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated at­tacks on him and his faith en­sure the abil­ity of other chap­lains to min­is­ter ac­cord­ing to their be­liefs,” said Free­dom Al­liance pres­i­dent Tom Kil­gan­non.

“I’m for­tu­nate to have been able to serve my God and my coun­try at the same time and min­is­ter to coura­geous young men and women who wear our na­tion’s uni­form,” said Lt. Cmdr. Mod­der.

A for­mer Ma­rine who saw mul­ti­ple de­ploy­ments dur­ing Desert Storm, this is a man of the cloth who faced con­flict both in and out of the com­bat zone. Af­ter 21 years of dis­tin­guished ser­vice, Lt. Cmdr. Mod­der re­tired ear­lier this year from the Navy with an honor­able dis­charge and was awarded the Navy and Ma­rine Corps Com­men­da­tion Medal.

But the lead-up was not a peace­ful tran­si­tion. In 2014, he was forced to fight “un­just and po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated charges brought against him by sev­eral ju­nior sailors, su­per­vi­sors, fel­low se­nior Navy chap­lains, the Navy Chief of Chap­lains and of­fi­cers who took is­sue with bi­b­li­cal teach­ings Lt. Cmdr. Mod­der shared dur­ing pri­vate coun­sel­ing ses­sions with sailors who had re­quested them,” the Free­dom Al­liance noted in a nar­ra­tive of the events.

“The Navy threat­ened Mod­der with charges that could have ended his ca­reer. Be­trayal was the or­der of the day. Dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a very dis­tin­guished chap­lain, they would change the nar­ra­tive to false state­ments to at­tack this na­tional trea­sure. Af­ter a com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tion and a long le­gal fight — in which Mod­der at­tracted sup­port from nu­mer­ous mil­i­tary and re­li­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions, as well as elected of­fi­cials — the Navy fully ex­on­er­ated him. All charges were dropped and Chap­lain Mod­der was al­lowed to con­tinue his min­istry,” the nar­ra­tive con­tin­ued.

He was since be­come lead pas­tor of the As­sem­blies of God Stone Church in Chicago.

The Free­dom Al­liance is a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion which pro­vides help and sup­port to wounded troops and mil­i­tary fam­i­lies by way of col­lege scholarships, out­door recre­ational ther­apy trips, care pack­ages for de­ployed troops, mort­gage-free homes and all-ter­rain wheel chairs.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Re­tired Navy chap­lain Lt. Cmdr. Wes Mod­der was hon­ored Thurs­day by the Free­dom Al­liance for de­fend­ing re­li­gious lib­erty.

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