He’s a lawyer, patriot, Muslim and American

By Matthew Hansen, Omaha World-Herald  On the big day, Chris wore his Navy dress uniform. His wife, MiNika, had the tables set with red-white-and-blue tablecloths and plates and napkins. He […]

By Matthew Hansen, Omaha World-Herald 

On the big day, Chris wore his Navy dress uniform. His wife, MiNika, had the tables set with red-white-and-blue tablecloths and plates and napkins.

He hired a disc jockey who blasted “God Bless the USA” on the loudspeakers. She called the Make-A-Wish Foundation and pledged a donation and found a special 6-year-old named Grant to help with the celebration.

They held Chris’ Navy “wetting down” promotion ceremony on a veranda overlooking an Omaha country club’s drained pool, and it was American, so American, as American as Ted Williams eating apple pie.

As the sun set over the Omaha Field Club’s veranda, it was jarring to remember that the All-American man at the center of this ceremony sometimes feels compelled to explain the difference between his beliefs and those of the Islamic State. It’s jarring to think that the man of the hour doesn’t know a single other Navy JAG who also goes to weekly prayers on Friday, as he does.

Lt. Cmdr. Chris Fletcher is a 37-year-old with three college degrees. He’s a skilled lawyer who passed up big money to serve his country and became a cyberspace law expert for the U.S. Strategic Command near Bellevue. He’s the son of a steelworker from Steubenville, Ohio. He is all these things, and he is also Muslim.

That last thing makes a whole lot of Americans uncomfortable or suspicious or worse.

“There are certain individuals who have a certain perspective and don’t want to change that perspective,” Fletcher says when I ask about the fear and political fear-mongering around Islam.

Read more at Omaha World-Herald