Air Force Commander’s Office under Fire for Sending Email in Support of Operation Christmas Child

Air Force Commander’s Office under Fire for Sending Email in Support of Operation Christmas Child

The office of an Air Force Lt. Col. is under fire for sending out an email urging participation in Operation Christmas Child.

The Blaze reports that Lt. Col. Donald C. Tasker’s office at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, sent an email urging individuals to help in Operation Christmas Child’s efforts to fill shoeboxes with gifts for children around the world.

However, since Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization run by Franklin Graham, Military Religious Freedom Foundation president Mikey Weinstein took issue with the email.

Weistein called the email “an absolutely unambiguous endorsement of [Operation Christmas Child].”

When the email was brought to his attention, Tasker claimed that it was not sent out under his authority.

“Recently an email … was forwarded to the entire 436 Force Support Squadron. The invitation included in that email also contained language supporting the Christian faith and encouraged participation in this event as an act of Christian faith. I want to be absolutely clear that the email in question was not sent at my direction and is not endorsed in any way by me or any level of command,” Tasker stated.

Weinstein is claiming a victory for his organization due to Tasker’s repudiation of the email and his agreement that emails coming from his office “cannot violate the Joint Ethics Regulation, which prohibits the endorsement of non-federal entity or even by a DoD employee in their official capacity.”

Some, however, do not consider Tasker’s repudiation of the email a victory.

“We should be commending members of the Air Force, not condemning them for wanting to serve orphans,” Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, stated. “The e-mail announcing a volunteer opportunity in no way violates any Air Force policy or regulations, especially since the program involved is a federally approved charity.”

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Publication date: October 22, 2015