An Air Force chaplain has been awarded a Bronze Star for his service in crafting an especially good PowerPoint about how to treat Islamic religious materials with sensitivity, according to Ohio’s Dayton Daily News. After U.S. troops in Afghanistan accidentally burned copies of the Koran, sparking riots that took over 30 lives, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Trainer came to the rescue:
After the accidental burning last year of Qurans by U.S. troops in Afghanistan sparked deadly rioting, an Air National Guard chaplain from Springfield stepped in and potentially saved countless American lives.
For his effort, Lt. Col. Jon Trainer received the prestigious Bronze Star — a medal given for heroic or meritorious achievement in connection with operations against an armed enemy.
And he did it with a PowerPoint presentation. . . .
Within 48 hours, Trainer developed a PowerPoint presentation on the proper handling and disposal of Islamic religious material that was seen by every American — military and civilian alike — in Afghanistan. The presentation then was distributed to the U.S. for use in all pre-deployment training.
The piece explains that Trainer also helped teach service members just how wide the breadth of their sensitivity had to be, covering what constitutes Islamic religious material in the first place. “When a Muslim writes down even a few verses from the Quran on a piece of paper,” he told the paper, “that immediately gets that same protected status.”
Trainer is a nondenominational Christian minister who has been in the Air Force for 17 years. He is also being recognized for his work running the Army’s suicide-prevention program, in which he’s trained more than 36,000 service members.
The Bronze Star is the U.S. military’s fifth most prestigious combat award, and can be awarded for acts of merit or valor in a combat zone (if the military deems it an act of heroism, the award is given with a “V” device).