Posted on Feb 2, 2015
SSgt Security Forces
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I wrote this post to see how many people are part of an open circle, wanted to be part of an open circle, or was turned away from the base chapel for asking about an open circle (the last one is from personal experiences).

If anyone is interested in starting a group at their base, port or post, I would like to help.

One of the places to start is to find a sponsoring organization with formalized training. The place I went through is the Sacred Well Congregation. There are more groups out there to help be a liaison between the chaplains and your group.

This post is to see what other people deal with or the ease at which they have freedom of religion.
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SSG Kenneth Hammes
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I have been a part of Open Circles at Ft Campbell, KY, Fort Sill, OK, and Fort Bragg, NC.
As well as one at ADAB, UAE.
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SSgt Security Forces
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Thank you for your time helping out those Circles. I myself have been a part of Balad (JBB), Iraq, Kunsan, ROK, and WPAFB, Oh.
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SSgt Security Forces
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To start from the beginning, I joined in 1999. I was not able to get information on any Wiccan groups until 2008, while in Korea. I originally started out wanting to be a congregation member and to find a group that was local. I started where anyone would, the base chapel. I proceeded to ask if services were available on base, with the answer of” no.” Much to my surprise, I asked how to find out information. I was told “I have no idea. If you hear anything, let us know and we will see what we can do.” This of course was a colorful way of telling me they don’t want to get involved.

Over the next eight years (till 2008), I have been on seven deployments. Every location I asked the same questions, and go the same answers. After the first eight years of being in, I started to wonder what needed to be done to start up a group. If I wanted to be part of a congregation so bad, why would I not be ready to step up and lead a group? In hind sight, the chapel staff should have helped me find the information I was looking for. I did not have the time nor the resources to do something like that as an Airman during and after 9-11. I was a tool to complete my leaderships mission. I was one person trying to figure out the complex structure and political web the chapel deals with. If I remember right, they had 6 Chaplain Service Support members and 7 Chaplains. It would have been reasonable, when their mission is to support spiritual fitness, to help get this started. A thirteen person team with resources and knowledge verses one very new person to the military and already tasked saturated with 16 hours days (after 9-11).

In late 2008, I PCS’d to Korea. Shortly after arriving, I found a group that met once a week. I found the group leader leaving and decided to lead the group and gain experience to carry back with me. This was the first time I was able to see who to go through, what forms I needed, how to affiliate myself with a supporting organization and get heard for the request I made to make the group run better.

In 2009, I returned to the states and started my work on getting a group going. After getting the ground work laid out, I deployed to Iraq. I found a group under the same supporting organization as me and was asked to lead the circle over there. I continued to provide for the group and when I returned, I founded the Wright-Patterson Open Circle(SWC).

There are far too numerous events that I have dealt with during the past 15 years. If anyone needs help starting a circle or allocating resources to a group, those are the type of things I would like to help with and the meaning of this post.
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SMSgt Dr. G. A. Thomas
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What is this you're referring to?
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SSgt Security Forces
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This post is referring to military pagan circles, worship groups through the base chaplains office. I am looking for people that run their own groups or are part of an active group. This is mainly to see what they are doing and see some of the pitfalls they may have encountered.
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SSgt Security Forces
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SMSgt Thomas, here is an expanded version of my experiences. My hope to find out if others have ran into similar problems or help with someone going through it right now.
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