Masons and the Military

Discussion in 'Freemasons in the Military' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm in complete agreement ;)
     
  2. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    From Freemasons for Dummies Where are our Military Lodges? Bro. Chris Hodapps’ blog site

    A commenter wrote
    And there it is folks; the same old, same old…
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

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    What if the Grand Lodge of Texas had "blanket" recognition of all Prince Hall Grand Lodges, similar to what Massachusetts has? Wouldn't this allow members of the glotx to visit military lodges overseas? It may also allow those who join PHA to visit "mainstream" lodges once they get back home.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  4. Traveling Man

    Traveling Man Premium Member

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    One would certainly think so. The provision should be full recognition with full visitation. Why, because it should be equal across the board, no?

    It cannot be separate but equal; we’ve gone down that road before. This, I would think should be done out of the respect for peers; not competition...
     
  5. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    There is a working lodge at Kandahar Air Field Afghanistan:

    http://www.grandchapter-bc-yukon.ca/canadalodge.shtml

    In addition, there is a Prince Hall lodge here as well. I belong to a Grand Lodge, that does not (yet) recognize PH Masonry. I can, however attend the Canadian lodge.

    I hope that USA Grand Lodges will take the initiative, and begin sponsoring lodges in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US Forces have been here, for over 9 years, and there will be a US Presence in Iraq/Afghanistan for many years. I would love to work with a USA Grand Lodge, and assist in getting a regular chartered military lodge here.

    If any Grand Lodge would like to work with me, please let me know.
     
  6. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The United American-Canadian Grand Lodge of Germany, sponsors English-speaking lodges in Europe and the Middle East. I have approached them several times, asking if they would consider sponsoring a lodge in Iraq/Afghanistan, and they have refused me. Please see:

    http://www.acgl.us/


    "If you do nothing, you get nothing", Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize Winner.
     
  7. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I would like to invite anyone interested in Military Masonry, to participate in our forum:

    http://forums.military.com/eve/forums/a/frm/f/1350075960001

    Discussion is open to ANYONE, Active Duty, veteran, retired, National Guard/Reserve. ANYONE interested in military Masonry, regardless of military service is welcome to participate.
     
  8. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    What a great saying!!! I love it.
     
  9. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Originally Posted by NickGarner
    I simply feel that military lodges are an idea whose time has returned and I think that Texas Masons should lead the way.



    ===

    Amen and Amen. There have been military masonic lodges, almost since the beginning of Masonry. The first working lodges in the American colonies, were British Military lodges. It is not like we are re-inventing the wheel. Military masonic lodges, operating in foreign contries, are part of our splendid Masonic tradition.

    I am not a Texas Freemason. Maybe Texas can lead the way. Most of the PH lodges here in Afghanistan/Iraq are sponsored by the MWPHGL of Texas and Oklahoma. The GL of Texas could form a committee, and promulgate rules to set up military lodges in foreign countries. They could invite other masons from other jurisdictions to work with them. Texas could assemble a "portable" lodge, and ship the lodge materials and charter to Iraq/Afghanistan.

    I will be more than glad to work with ANY F&AM jurisdiction (which is recognized by my home GL, the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, F&AM), to set up a military traveling lodge here in Afghanistan. There is a Canadian lodge here (at Kandahar Afghanistan, my duty station), but I will be transferring in early 2011.

    Maybe the GL of Texas could get advice and instructions from the MWPHGL of Texas and the Grand Lodge of Ontario, which sponsors the only working non-PH lodge in Afghanistan.

    Why let the Canadians lead the way? I always thought Texans did everything bigger and better.

    "If you do nothing, you get nothing" Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010
  10. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    Subject: Why is there no F&AM Masonic lodge operating in Iraq or Af?

    (Information removed, at request of author)



    ===========

    I am sorry that you have seen fit to close this topic. I will NEVER give up, trying to get a mainstream, F&AM, USA Grand Lodge sponsored, Masonic lodge in Iraq and/or Afghanistan. And I will never cease discussing this vital topic, with anyone who cares to listen.

    If you think there is a regular, F&AM, USA Grand Lodge sponsored, working masonic lodge in south-west Asia, (OTHER THAN Prince Hall or Canadian), you are wrong. Why do you think there are regular lodges operating in SWA? If there is one (other than Prince Hall or Canadian), please let me know. I get emails every day, asking me if there a lodge here.

    quote

    deleted

    end quote.

    I agree. I have done no such thing. I have made no request to any lodge, to change anything in any lodge. I cannot go to a USA lodge, I am in Afghanistan. This admonition is meaningless.

    I belong to three (3) Grand Lodges. Kentucky, New York, and Massachusetts. I have not made a request to GLKY to charter a lodge here.

    The Grand Lodge of New York, came to me, and asked me to take over the lodge project. Even though I was not a member of the GLNY at that time, I was delighted, and agreed. I later joined a NY lodge, so that I could contribute more directly, and also serve as an officer in LSA#1.

    The only direct request I ever made of a USA Grand Lodge, to set up a lodge in Iraq, was to the Grand Lodge of Nebraska. The GL Neb, has a program called "swisher kits", where they provide a complete "lodge-in-a-box" to ANY mason, (provided the requesting mason is a member of a GL in communications with Nebraska). The GL Neb ignored my request. I have found out, that no swisher kit, has ever been issued. I also found out, that no USA Grand Lodge will agree to accept any of the degree work, performed in any of these temporary lodges.

    Other than this one(1) request, I have NEVER made a direct request to any USA Grand Lodge, to charter a lodge in SWA.

    I did make a request from the United American-Canadian Grand Lodge of Germany, which charters lodges in Germany, and other countries (including Saudi Arabia). The UACGL charters lodges on USA/Canadian military bases in Germany (and elsewhere). They also charter lodges in Saudi, for the oil workers. The UACGL told me, they were not interested, and suggested that I try my home Grand Lodges. (When I lived in Saudi in 1991, I was a member of Arabian Lodge, Dharhan Saudi Arabia, chatered by the UACGL). The lodge uses Minnesota ritual.

    Masons from other jurisdictions, often work with other Grand Lodges, to get lodges underway. A group of Masons in Huntsville ALA, requested the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, to charter a lodge in Huntsville. (This was back in the early part of the 19th century, there was no Grand Lodge of Alabama). Huntsville Ala lodge , was chartered by GL of KY, until the GL of Alabama was formed later. Huntsville lodge became lodge #1, when the GL of ALA was established.

    A group of Masons in Hawaii, requested the GL of Calif, to sponsor a lodge in Hawaii. The early lodges in Hawaii were sponsored by the GL of California, until Hawaii got their own Grand Lodge in 1989.

    Freemasonry was formally established in Hawaii by Joseph Marie Le Tellier, Captain of the French whaling barque "Ajax" when he warranted Lodge Le Progres de l'Oceanie No. 124, of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of the Supreme Council of France on April 8, 1843, in Honolulu. This was a French lodge, operating in a Pacific island kingdom, which would later be an American territory, and then a US state. No one seemed to lose any sleep over jurisdictional lines.

    The first operating lodges in the American Colonies, were British military traveling lodges. During the revolutionary war, lodges operated on American military camps. Military traveling lodges have operated on military camps both in the USA, and overseas. Land, Sea, and Air lodge #1 (new York) operated in WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. It could operate anytime, if the GL of NY would issue a new operating charter. The charter now hangs in a museum in New York City.

    quote:

    Any member of the US military stationed there can enjoy Masonic fellowship in regular lodges.

    end quote.

    WHERE? Where are these lodges? I have been working in Iraq and Afghanistan since February 2004. I serviced computers at every base in Anbar province (Iraq), and I worked in Baghdad and Kabul. I have installed video cameras at every base in Khost province (Afghanistan). I have met masons all over these two countries, and I have made hundreds of inquiries. In six (6) years, I have never found an operating regular lodge anywhere in SWA (until I found the Canadian lodge, here, last week).

    I have lived in Kabul and Baghdad. I have flown about 130 missions to different bases all over SWA. I have never found an operating lodge, anywhere, other than Prince Hall or Canadian.

    Why do you, who live in the USA, think there are regular lodges operating here, when I, who have been to about seventy different bases, in the past six years, tell you there are not?

    quote

    It is the same as trying to change something in or get something from a grand lodge when you are not a member of any lodge under their jurisdiction.

    end quote.

    This happens all the time. Masons who were living in Alabama, from many different jurisdictions, got the GL of KY, to charter a lodge in Huntsville ALA. A French Mason set up a lodge in Hawaii, and later the Grand Lodge of California chartered lodges in Hawaii, until Hawaii got their own Grand Lodge in 1989, thirty years after Hawaii became a state.

    Masons work across jurisdictional lines, all the time, for the benefit of Masonry. The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts charters Stability/Concorde Lodge number 19/42 in Paris France. The lodge meets in the building of the National Grand Lodge of France. The lodge uses the California ritual. If masons did not work together, across jurisdictional lines, there would be no American lodge operating in Paris France. ( I was a member of this lodge, when I lived in Paris, France).

    Please listen to me, and you can take this to the bank: I will NEVER give up trying to establish a working lodge in South-West Asia. I was stationed at Al-Asad Iraq, and a mason there was killed by a roadside bomb. He was torn in half from the crotch to the neck. We wanted to have a lodge of sorrow, but because our charter was hanging in a museum in New York City, we could not.

    I will continue to work with Masons both here in SWA, and in the USA, and in other countries, to establish a working military traveling lodge. I will work with any Mason, anywhere, from any jurisdiction, who is willing to extend the Gentle Craft, to our soldiers and civilians here.

    The soil of Iraq and Afghanistan, is red with the blood of Masons, who have died here in the war on terror.

    Traveling military lodges have existed on military camps and bases, almost since the beginning of Masonry. People attack me, like I am starting some radical new idea, that is contrary to the landmarks of Masonry. All I want to do, is to continue in our splendid tradition.

    I even dare to dream, that Masonry could take root in Iraq and Afghanistan, and remain here, and thrive, once the military action is completed. The establishment of working lodges on the bases here, even though local nationals are forbidden entrance to the bases, and cannot participate in the lodges, might help in the future, for masonry to have a permanent presence here.

    I am sad, that the forum has chosen to stifle discussion, on this important topic. No matter. I will continue to work to establish a masonic lodge in SWA, with anyone who cares to assist. I am continually astounded, that the Grand Lodges in the USA, choose to let Prince Hall Masonry and the Grand Lodge of Ontario, take the lead.

    You must realize, that not all Masons here in SWA, belong to Grand Lodges, that have fraternal relations, with Prince Hall masonry. If a mason (like myself) even goes to a masonic dinner, and does not attend a tyled meeting, he is in danger of being brought up on Masonic charges, and could get suspended or expelled from Masonry. If a KY mason attends a tyled meeting, he will be permanently expelled from Masonry. If a man takes the degrees here at a PH lodge, when he returns to the USA, he might not be able to join a non-PH lodge.

    Some have suggested that I request my own Grand Lodge, to get a charter. Well, I can tell you, that ain't gonna happen. I once set up a Square and Compasses club, just to have fellowship. The word got back to some Masons in my home state, and they were furious. I got word back, that I was going to be brought up on Masonic charges. .

    The Grand Lodge of New York, asked me to work with them to continue with their lodge in Iraq. Then they asked me to send the charter back, to be displayed in a museum in New York City. I sent it back in December 2005. The charter is still in the museum. I asked for a replacement, but it will never come.

    I have never requested a charter from the GL of Massachusetts. Maybe I should.

    So, in closing, I will continue to work, to establish Masonry here in SWA. (Outside of Prince Hall and Canadian). I believe that the USA Masons here, military and civilian, have the right to enjoy Masonic labor and fellowship. Of course, we can have our Square and Compasses clubs, and our cigar clubs, but it is not the same, as a working, chartered, degree-granting lodge.

    I have met several men of good will, both here, and on other forums, who have given me some good counsel and advice and assistance. I was once disciplined, just for making a phone call to a New Jersey Mason, to get some advice. I was accused of using the Grand Lodge of New jersey , to solicit money. The charge was ludicrous, but I got "spanked" anyway.

    Masonry will come to the troops and civilians here. If I can help, I will. Trust me on one thing, I will never give up. When my time is concluded here, I will continue to work with anyone, who wants to bring mainstream USA masonry to the heroes and civilians here.

    I have been pushing to get Mainstream, USA Masonry, to set up a lodge for our heroes, for almost six years. I have found some support and encouragement. Mostly I have met with indifference, discouragement, criticism, and outright hatred. Some even claim that I have "set back" the cause. These men never get specific.

    "Never Give up. Never, never, never, give up". Winston Churchill, Freemason

    "The opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference". Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, Nobel Prize winner.

    "If you do nothing, you get nothing" Aung San Suu Kyi. Nobel Peace Prize winner. (20 years under house arrest).

    "It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds." Samuel Adams, revolutionary.

    DO not ask me to give up. Do not ask me to be indifferent, Do not ask me to do nothing. Do not ask me to stop setting brush fires.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Charles E. Martin
    Kandahar, Afghanistan.

    PS You are well within your right to cut off this vital discussion. I am sad, but I accept it. I will continue to discuss this topic, with any one, pro or con, who chooses to discuss it calmly and reasonably.

    May I ask the favor, of sending me, any contact information of anyone who wants to help us?

    "It ain't over, until it's over" Yogi Berra, baseball player and philosopher.Charles E. Martin
    Kandahar, Afghanistan

    Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green KY.
    Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Massachusetts.

    Alexandria, Virginia Scottish Rite Bodies

    http://www.cemab4y.blogspot.com
    http://www.4jobs.com/charlesmartin
    http://www.linkedin.com/in/charlesemartintelecomm
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  11. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I hope I am wrong, but I do not believe that there will ever be an operating lodge in Afghanistan/Iraq, except for Prince Hall and Canadian. NO USA grand lodge is interested. I rest my case.
     
  12. david918

    david918 Premium Member

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    I have heard that the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario has opened a lodge in Kandahar.
     
  13. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    There is a lodge here at Kandahar, it is sponsored by the Grand Lodge of Ontario, Canada.
     
  14. VinnyC

    VinnyC Registered User

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    Byt he fact it's Chartered by Canada, would it be the same way as any lodge if someone petitions there at Kandahar, redeploy, then try to transfer a US hometown lodge?
     
  15. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    YES! A man can take the degrees of Masonry here (We have NINE men waiting now!). The degree work is the same as any regular lodge. Once he has completed the degrees, he can join a lodge in the USA (Providing that the USA lodge agrees to accept the degree work of the Ontario, Canada lodge).
     
  16. Albert

    Albert Guest

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    i don't know
     
  17. Armytjg

    Armytjg Premium Member

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    Iam new to this site and I saw the military forum I'm active duty army infantry sniper for the past eight years and they got me recruiting in texas where I just recently got initiated in lodge 201
     
  18. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    I am returning to Afghanistan, in a couple of weeks. I will be more than glad to work with the GL of Texas (or any other Grand Lodge) to set up a military traveling lodge in Afghanistan.
     
  19. LukeD

    LukeD Registered User

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    With membership in our fraternity dwindling, I think it would be wise for the GLoT to authorize a Lodge in Afghanstan. I'm not saying every military member is perfect, but they normally display maturity and good principals desirable in Freemasonry. This might address the quality not quanity issue some brothers argue when membership issues come up. Military Lodges have worked well for our PH and Canadian Brothers, I don't see why it couldn't do the same for us. I believe military Lodges have a rich history, and played several key parts in our Masonic history in the US.
     
  20. cemab4y

    cemab4y Premium Member

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    The first working lodges in the American Colonies, were British Military Traveling lodges. Prince Hall was made a Mason in one of them. The British Army spread Masonry throughout the world. That is why there are working lodges in English-speaking countries in Africa.

    Any USA Grand Lodge could sponsor a military traveling lodge in Afghanistan, any time it wants to. The Grand Lodge of New York sponsored a lodge in Speicher, Iraq.

    See: http://www.esmason.com Fall 2005 issue page 32
     

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