Can a Texan become a Freemason while in Afghanistan?

Discussion in 'Freemasons in the Military' started by wdavis, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. wdavis

    wdavis Registered User

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    I just registered and would like some help becoming a Freemason. I have a family history of Freemasons. My family in Fl. and my wife's in TX.

    I am a Reserve CW4 serving in Afghanistan as a contractor flying helicopters.

    I am currently in Afghanistan and trying to find out if it is possible to become a Freemason while in Afghanistan. (FOB Shank or FOB Sharana)

    I live in the Ft. Hood area in Harker Heights.

    Thanks for any help,

    Wayne Davis
     
  2. Benton

    Benton Premium Member

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    I merged your threads. I appreciate what you were trying to do in making two threads, to ensure that your thread is seen, but it also makes feed back clumsy as people could potentially be replying in two places. Generally speaking, duplicate threads aren't a good thing.

    That said, I know there are some lodges operating in US bases in Afghanistan, but they don't operate with a charter from the Grand Lodge of Texas. So while you could join, it would technically be joining another Grand Lodge, and you would have to become a member of the Grand Lodge of Texas once you return.

    I suppose it is within the realm of possibility that one of these lodges could be granted dispensation by the Grand Lodge of Texas to confer degrees upon you and receive work from you in lieu of a Texas lodge, since you can't make it back to Texas easily, but I don't know exactly how that process would work. I imagine it would be kind of complicated.

    There are some brothers on these forums in Afghanistan, and I have absolutely no doubt that they will pop in here in a bit and answer your question more succinctly than I did. :)

    EDIT: Also, welcome to the forums! You've come to the right place for information. A large number of brothers here with varied backgrounds. Ask any and all questions you may have.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  3. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Welcome to the forums Wayne!!

    I have a few questions that might help in getting you correct information. First, did you visit any lodges around Ft. Hood before leaving for Afghanistan? If so, did you petitioned a lodge before leaving? Do you know of any Masons that are stationed near you in Afghanistan? If so, do you know which lodge and Grand Lodge they belong to?
     
  4. wdavis

    wdavis Registered User

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    David,
    Thanks for the response. I have not visited or talked to anyone. I do know one Mason in FOB Shank. We fly together from time to time here. He is not from Texas.

    Wayne
     
  5. Dave in Waco

    Dave in Waco Premium Member

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    Ok, not having a petition started or having met anyone from a lodge in Texas beforehand, I don't think you will be able to join a lodge here in Texas until you return to the states. So these will probably be your options:

    1. Talk with your friend that you know is a Mason and see if he knows of an active travel lodge in Afghanistan that you could join. Please make sure that they do have relations with the Grand Lodge of Texas. We can help you there. If you are able to join a lodge there with relations to the GLoT, then once you get back, it will be a matter moving from one Grand Jurisdiction to another. Depending on which Grand Lodge has jurisdiction over the lodge that would dictate the rules and things needed to be done to move to a Texas Lodge or obtain dual membership. Some of that can get complicated. But the other Grand Lodge's lodge there can advance you through their degree system to Master Mason while you are there is they are authorized to confer degrees. Their work will have a few differences from our work here, but that will not affect you being able to transfer Grand Jurisdictions.

    2. You can go on the GLoT website and use the Lodge Locator tool to find a lodge near Ft. Food. I believe Belton and Killeen each have a lodge each and Temple has two. You can use the contact info from the GLoT website to contact those lodges and email with the Secretaries and explain your situation to them and ask them questions about their lodges. Then one of the secretaries can send you a petition to get started, so you'll have that done when you get back with the exception of all your recommenders. You will need 2 from the lodge itself, and then 3 other Master Masons.

    3. You can wait until you get back and have time to physically visit the lodges before moving forward.

    Brothers, please make sure I have not left anything out or given any incorrect information.
     
  6. S.Courtemanche

    S.Courtemanche Premium Member

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    Wayne, I currently live in Harker Heights, there are a few that are petitioning or are currently doing their degree work while deployed. You of course will need to be present for the petition and degrees though. Have you decided on a lodge yet? I am in Knob Creek (Temple) and the Belton lodge, both are great lodges. If you need assistance send me a PM.

    As Dave mentions there are two lodges in Temple one in Belton and one in Killeen.

    Me thinks that you cant sent PMs as you dont have enough posts, send me an email @ courtemanche.steve@gmail.com or steven.courtemanche@us.army.mil put in the subject line Mason so I can get it out of the spam in case it goes there thanks (o:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2011
  7. nwendele

    nwendele Registered User

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    I am a member of the Killeen Lodge, and we have a ton of active duty soldiers, deployed and homeside. If you need any additional info, PM me. I am sure between Steve and I we can help get you pointed in the right direction.
     
  8. VinnyC

    VinnyC Registered User

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    OK, let's say the the GLoTX approves to start a Lodge for Iraq and Afghan. The "Swisher" kits are sent and ready to get set up. My question is: How do you get the Officers for the Lodge? If there aren't any Freemasons with the background or experience for being an officer, who teaches them on how to become one?
     
  9. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    I was stationed at Fort Hood as well and got out of the Army in December 2009. My home lodge is actually in Copperas Cove. As I am sure that you have already gotten your answer from S. Courtemanche, I can offer a little bit of information on being down range and Masonry. He also might have touched base on a bit of this.

    I know that you might be excited to join the fraternity, but my advice would be to wait till you get back to Hood. Talk to some brothers and try to meet some that are in the lodge there in Killeen. You can do this via that internet through this forum, or by contacting the Lodge Secretary, which you can find that contact information from the Grand Lodge's website (if it is updated). I also have a friend of mine that is a member of the lodge in Killeen, so if you still need someone to make introductions, let me know. They will be more than happy to talk with you and correspond with you till you get back home and welcome you to the lodge once you are back.

    The reason I say it is better to wait, is a lot of the time there are guys conducting lodge when they shouldn't be (without a charter). And sometimes if they do have some sort of charter, it can be from a lodge or grand lodge that is not recognized by the Grand Lodge of Texas or even any other jurisdiction you may want to be part of in the future.

    When I was in Iraq, I was at a few different bases where guys would see my ring and tell me they had a "lodge" on the FOB and wanted me to come join them. I even had a few buddies of mine that had shown a big interest back in the states to become Masons but didn't have time before deployment. While down range, they attended these lodges and became "master masons", but I couldn't be there with them as I was still a "young" Mason at the time and didn't want to be where I wasn't supposed to be. From my understanding at the time, the Grand Lodge of Texas prohibited Masons from attending lodges that were not recognized by the GLoT and I still didn't have a clear picture on what to look for to know that they were recognized. I am not saying no lodges there are recognized, cause I don't know for a fact which ones are or aren't, but it's best just to make sure you are going about things the right way.

    I do think that it would be awesome to go through the third degree down range...lol If you have any questions at all, want to correspond about this stuff, or even want me to get you in contact with a brother out of the Killeen lodge, by all means PM me. Stay safe and I hope this helps out a little bit.
     
  10. VinnyC

    VinnyC Registered User

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    Hey Mike, I actually have been attending Mt. Hiram Lodge at Copperas Cove before I deployed. Have we met or crossed paths at the Lodge? I went there around Sept to Nov, until I left. Gary Paris and WM Randy told me to just wait until I get back because the whole process of petioning would take at least a minimum of 2 months; by then I would have been deployed. The guys at the Lodge are great guys. I have tried calling and emailing the Killeen Lodge, unfortunately I could not get a hold of them, circumstances unknown. If you have any information on how I can get a hold of them, please let me know.
     
  11. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    Vinny,

    I don't know if we have crossed paths or not. Maybe if I saw a picture of you I might remember the face. But I haven't been to Ht. Hiram in quite a while. I think the last time that I was there was back in early early 2010. Might have even been sometime in the later part of 2009. Haven't been cause I got out and moved to El Paso. What unit you with? If you want to be discreet about this, just send me a PM.

    Bro. Paris is a great guy. I really like him a lot. I just spoke with him a couple of times the other day on the phone. Yea, at that lodge they like to be able to have the new prospective Mason hang around coming to the meetings and dinners for a month or two to meet everyone and get to know them, then they vote on the petition. I have heard of a lot of other lodges doing that as well. I didn't have to do that cause the lodge that I got initiated in was in a small town that I grew up in and literally everyone knew everyone, so a lot of the guys had known me through my father since I was a little kid.

    I know a Brother from Killeen Lodge that is also a very great guy and is a very good example of someone that understands the word "brotherhood". I will send him an email and ask him if I can give you his email address, or vice versa. He travels a lot for work, so it might take a couple of days to hear back from him, but he will get back with me. I will also ask him if he can get me some sort of POC that you can be sure to get a hold of from the lodge there (I don't want to give out his contact info without his permission). That way you can make contact with someone there and they can be ready for you when you get back. Of course, if all this is alright with you.

    Also, I am originally from the Burnet/Marble Falls area which is not far from Killeen at all. On Monday, I will be going up to the DFW area and one of the ways that I can go is through Killeen. So, if I don't hear back from him before then I can go through there on my way up and back and stop both times to see if someone is there and get some contact information for someone for you.

    Take care. Let me know what unit you are in and when you are looking to come back.
     
  12. VinnyC

    VinnyC Registered User

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    If you were there in early 2010, we would not have met because I didn't start going to Mt. Hiram Lodge until after summer of 2010. My unit is F Troop 3rd ACR. That would be great if you can contact any of the Killeen Lodge members. There is no rush on the response back, I have until NOV. You can PM me his contacts. If you don't mind me asking, what unit were you with in 1CAV. I was with 2-12 since 1999 to 2005.
     
  13. S.Courtemanche

    S.Courtemanche Premium Member

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    Mike same here what unit were you in? I did time in the 20th and 91st Eng Bn's back in 92-94 and 98-01
     
  14. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    I was in B Troop 1-9 CAV, 4BCT I was a 19D

    And yea Vinny, I will fire off an email to one Brother that I know from there and another guy that I think is a member there. I'll get back to you with that information as soon as possible.
     
  15. VinnyC

    VinnyC Registered User

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    Thanks Mike. It so happens that I am a Cav Scout too. I remember last deployment when i was going on R&R, I was talking to a female soldier who was from 4BCT..Longknife? But ok, I will be waiting patiently.
     
  16. SSG_Morrison

    SSG_Morrison Registered User

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    wdavis,

    I became a mason on Dec 30, 2009 in Fort Worth Lodge No. 148. I was also deployed in Iraq. This is how it is done. You must fill out the petition for the lodge that you want to join and submit it. Once it is voted on the investigating committee will need to interview you. Then the committee will give it’s report. If you are elected to receive the degrees, the lodge can get special dispensation to put on all Three Degrees at once waiving your proficiencies. Once you have this the Lodge can schedule the initiation to be done on one of the days that you will be home during your Mid Tour Leave.
    You come home on leave, go through all three degrees, go back to Afghanistan a Master Mason.
    Most of the Lodges operating in Afghanistan are Prince Hall Affiliated Masonic Lodges. Not A.F.&A.M. Lodges. There are some A.F.&A.M. Lodges there that are recognized by the Grand Lodge of TX, but they are rare and hard to find.

    ---------- Post added at 09:41 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:35 AM ----------

    The Grand Lodge of Texas wouldn't approve to start a Lodge in Iraq and/or Afghanistan without first knowing that there where well informed brothers (officers) there to conduct buisness.
     
  17. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    This is very true and a really neat thing that the GL allows the local lodges to do. The only thing is that a lot of lodges want to meet the candidate in person. Some even want the candidate to be at the meetings to just mingle with Brothers a bit before the meeting starts so they can get to know him better. But if you can find a lodge that is willing to correspond with you and understand that you are downrange and get everything approved with the local lodge and the GL without you meeting any of the guys in person, then that would be really awesome. Good post, though. Thanks for typing it out like that.


    This was somethign that I noticed as well. Though, I never did find anything that was recognized by the GLoT. Would have been awesome to find one, though. Did you happen to find any? Oh, and awesome profile picture...lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2011
  18. SSG_Morrison

    SSG_Morrison Registered User

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    I did, but it was a traveling lodge not a perment one like most of the PHA military lodges. This one was an attachment to Union Lodge No. 7, A.F.&A.M., GLoKS.
     
  19. Michaelstedman81

    Michaelstedman81 Premium Member

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    GLoKS as in Kansas? Or elsewhere? Another guy was in a different thread talking about the Brits having some traveling lodges in theier regiments. Did you ever run into any of those guys downrange?
     
  20. SSG_Morrison

    SSG_Morrison Registered User

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    Yes, Kansas. No I didn't fight with any Brits. Mostly Locals, and some Canadians.
     

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