August 3, 2009 (Washington, D.C.) – Thirty-Six members of Congress have joined together to send a letter to the Department of Defense on behalf of Sikh soldiers. But in order for the letter to be effective, it needs to have no less than 50 signatories. We are asking every Sikh around the country to please approach your Congress person – via email, phone or in person – to ask them to sign on immediately.
We cannot do this without your help. The list on the right includes the names of every Congress member who has already signed on. Do you see your representative’s name on this list? If not, please reach out to your congress person and urge them to sign on!
The Sikh Coalition and the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery are jointly representing Captain Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi and Captain Tejdeep Singh Rattan. Both men were recruited as part of an Army program that pays for medical education in return for military service. At the time of their enrollment, military recruiters assured both men that their turbans and unshorn hair “would not be a problem.” Though both have maintained their Sikh identity throughout graduate school, the Army is now telling them that they will have to forsake their religious practices to serve.