Apology of a Buddhist Soldier

Capt. Lawrence P. Rockwood

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Around the neck of every American soldier hangs a pair of “dog tags” on a metal chain. Their purpose is to identify the name, Social Security number, blood type, and religious denomination of the owner’s mortal remains upon his or her death. On the final line of my dog tags one finds a designation many find curious: Buddhist. I am one of the few Buddhist commissioned officers in the U.S. Armed Forces not of an Asian ancestry.

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