FOR IMMEDIATE DISSEMINATION
TO: All Philadelphia and Bucks County, PA media outlets and selected national outlets
FROM: Pagan Veterans of the United States of America
RE: History Was Made on Veterans Day 2009
DATE: November 10, 2009
CONTACT: Charles Arnold, National Commander, PVUSA – 609-651-7079
A seemingly small but important historical step was taken in Yardley, Pennsylvania this Veterans Day when a member of a new, national veterans organization, Pagan Veterans of the United States of America, was asked to be an active participant in the Yardley, PA, Veterans’ Day celebration.
Charles Arnold, wearing the black and purple of the Honor Guard of Pagan Veterans USA, participated as a member of the Rifle Squad which fired the traditional twenty-one gun salute to honor veterans. His participation was at the request of this year’s Master of Ceremonies, Commander Christopher Desmond of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6393. Arnold, a Vietnam veteran and Life Member of the VFW is no stranger to veterans events in Yardley and Lower Makefield Township. In past years he has served as a member of the Rifle Squad, firing salutes; as well as the Color Guard, but always representing the local VFW Post. This was the first event where Arnold or any other member of his organization has represented PVUSA in an official event.
Pagan Veterans of the United States of America, which began forming in March of this year, is a veterans’ service organization offering camaraderie, support and other services to its members and is involved in educational and patriotic activities as well. It came into being as a result of a successful campaign which convinced the US Department of Veterans Affairs to offer veterans the families of deceased the option of having a headstone with a recognizable Pagan symbol, the Pentacle. Often confused with a motorcycle club, the term “Pagan” in the name actually refers to a grouping of religious faiths to which the organization’s members subscribe. But officials with the group go to great lengths to point out that it is completely secular and is affiliated with no particular religious sect, as well as similarities it shares with other focused veterans organizations such as Jewish War Veterans, Catholic War Veterans, and Native American Veterans.
One of the more surprising outward features of the organization is its lavish use of the color purple which is found not only as the background color for its flag but its uniform hats and other regalia. Pagan Veterans USA chose purple because, as its written material states, “When you take the blue of loyalty and fidelity to be found in all who have served this country in uniform and combine that with the red of blood, often shed, the result is purple, a color that rightfully recognizes the true spirit or patriotism and sacrifice which personifies not only out membership but all veterans.”
For additional information contact National Commander Charles Arnold at the phone number given above. Alternatively, you may email questions or comments to charles.arnold@PaganVeteransUSA.com or his personal email account, charlesparnold@Yahoo.com. Whitten request for information or interviews may be sent to PVUSA, 490 Plaza Boulevard, Bldg. K, Suite 114, Morrisville, PA 19067.