The Corner

On Chaplain Trainer

An item caught our eye the other day in the Dayton Daily News about Lt. Col. Jon Trainer, an Air Force chaplain, receiving the bronze star. It began:

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.

The piece went on to describe how Trainer’s PowerPoint on proper handling of the Koran led to him receiving the Bronze Star. Patrick Brennan wrote a post  linking to the Dayton story with a headline, Air Force Chaplain Awarded Bronze Star for PowerPoint Teaching Proper Sensitivity for the Koran,” that spread around the web (Pat also mentioned Trainer’s work training personnel in a suicide prevention program). Lt. Col.  Jon Trainer, a NRO reader, has been in touch and convinced me that this isn’t quite fair. He has explained that the Bronze Star was an end of tour award presented to him for meritorious service over the span of his deployment to Afghanistan, which obviously involved more than that PowerPoint. (This story gives a broader sense of his service during the tour.) So there wasn’t anything inaccurate in the Dayton story or Pat’s post, but they created a misimpression about the centrality of the PowerPoint to Trainer’s Bronze Star. I wanted to provide this fuller context and take the opportunity to salute Trainer for his service to our country.


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