I am deeply troubled by the allegations that were brought to my attention when I met with members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in Houston. The director of the Houston National Cemetery, Arleen Ocasio, allegedly has engaged in aggressive hostile censorship of religion at the second largest cemetery for veterans in the United States.
The First Amendment is a sacred right of all Americans, especially those who have honorably served--and given their lives--in the name of protecting the United States. Denying their families their constitutional right to the free exercise of religious freedom is disgraceful and shows blatant disrespect for Americas veterans. If these allegations are true,I formally call for the termination of Arleen Ocasio as the director the Houston National Cemetery. This display of authoritarian behavior and religious discrimination should not be tolerated.
List of Accusations
1) Director Ocasio and other Cemetery Officials instructed Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 to remove prayers from its burial rituals and to no longer utter remarks when handling the discharged shell cases from the rifle salute to the family of deceased veterans.
2) Cemetery Officials instructed American Legion Post 586 to remove prayers from its burial rituals.
3) Director Ocasio told the National Memorial Ladies that it could no longer include God Bless in its condolence cards or speak a religious message to veterans families.
4) Director Ocascio shut down the Cemetery chapel; it is now a meeting facility