Our Hearts Honor Our Fallen Brethren
On May 10th, 2013 we shared news about the Veteran’s Administration’s approval of Thor’s Hammer (the symbolic Mjölnir) for our heathen brothers and sisters. The official Veterans Affairs “Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers” list was updated on May 2nd, 2013 and included at least two new emblems; Emblem #55 Thor’s Hammer and Emblem #56 Unification Church.
The update was made with little to no fan-fair from the VA or news agencies in general. But to the pagan and heathen communities, this was BIG NEWS!
Everyone here at Springwolf Reflections and Spring’s Haven extend our thoughts, prayers and blessings to the family of the fallen soldier that initiated this fight. We are honored by their strength to take on this battle for all heathens and pagans alike.
We extend our thanks to all service men and women, and their families for the sacrifices they make for our freedom every day. And especially to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for those rights all Americans enjoy.
After many inquiries for more information, Guardian of The Northern Winds Hearth, AOR released the following statement.
Due to a number of inquires regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs approval of the Mjölnir – Hammer of Thor Emblem as one of the “Available Emblems of Belief for Placement on Government Headstones and Markers” I have decided to write the following statement to try and answer everyone’s questions.
Please note, that at the request of the Departed’s Family, I am withholding the last name and location of the grave markers.
The departed’s name is Shane, he was an Odinist and a Sargent in the United States Marine Corp. He was a Loyal Brother and Comrade to me personally for many years here in Midgard and although not a member of the OR, he was close with members of The Northern Winds Hearth and joined us in Blot and Sumbel on many occasions.
Shane had passed from Midgard in August of 2012. After his Bael and Burial Ceremonies were held, I discussed with his Mother about the gravestone marker Emblems and how the Mjölnir – Hammer of Thor Emblem was not on the approved list with the VA, even with the previous efforts made by others to get approved. It was then that her quest began to submit a request to the VA to get the Mjölnir – Hammer of Thor Emblem approved.
She had written a lengthy heart felt letter to the VA with the request for the approval so her son may have an Emblem of Faith representative of his Beliefs on his gravestone. At this time she also requested that her Husband Mark’s headstone also bear the same Emblem for he practiced and lived by the same core teachings and virtues of Odinism, as their Son did.
The VA required that she submit:
At that time I enlisted the assistance of Comrades within the OR who were more then willing to assist her with this request. After the VA accepted the image that was provided the waiting game began. She had made countless phone calls and sent numerous e-mails regarding the status of the request. Finally after all of her tireless efforts she received a letter from the VA dated May 2, 2013 advising her of the approval and that both Shane and Mark’s headstones that currently do not have any Emblem of Faith on them, would be replaced with new headstones inscribed with the Mjölnir – Hammer of Thor Emblem.
Although it is with sadness and a heavy heart that this came about, a great step forward has taken place for the Odinist and Asatru communities. From our loss a Great Victory has arisen that will positively affect us all for generations to come!
Hail to the Fallen, Hail Shane and Mark!
I’d like to add my personal thanks to Haakon Dowling of AOR for including me in his email that included this statement. We join many others who express their sadness for the loss of this brave soldier, but celebrate with them for their well deserved recognition for who they are as heathen solders. May the GreatSpirits bless them all, past, present and future.
© 2013 Springwolf, D.D., Ph.D. Springwolf Reflections / Springs Haven, LLC. All Rights Reserved.