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Patti Wigington

VA Approves Thor's Hammer for Headstones

By May 11, 2013

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Remember a few years back, when the Veteran's Administration approved the use of the pentacle on the headstones of Pagan soldiers? This came after Patrick Stewart, an American soldier, was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. Pat was a Wiccan, and his widow, Roberta, fought tirelessly to allow the symbol of her husband's faith to be placed on his government-issued headstone. With help from the folks at Lady Liberty League, the symbol was approved in 2007.

However, that left the issue of symbols to be approved for non-Wiccan Pagan soldiers. This week, Jason Pitzl-Waters at the Wild Hunt reports that the VA has okayed the use of Thor's Hammer on the headstones of Heathen soldiers. There's been no real fanfare about the topic, but the symbol has quietly appeared on the list of approved symbols.

Why is this important? Because there are plenty of Pagan paths that don't use the pentacle as a symbol. For the families of fallen Heathen soldiers, this is a big step. Typically, a symbol is not approved until a family member has requested one to be placed on a headstone. So although I don't know who the service member was that prompted this change, thank you for your service and your sacrifice, whoever you may be.

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