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