Muslim-American Soldier Claims Harassment in the Army

When he returned base, he was ready to do something about the alleged discrimination, a problem he believes is widespread for Muslims in the military. The Washington Post published an article about his story, and other soldiers, perfect strangers, wrote to offer support.

One high-ranking officer wrote, "I want to let you know I would be honored to share a foxhole with you any day."

Another message came from Dorothy Carskadon, a captain in the U.S. Army Reserves, who herself was wounded during the Fort Hood shooting.

"Dear Specialist," Carskadon's letter said. "I am always sorry to hear about harassment and bigotry in the military. ... I would be proud to serve with you. I am sorry for the harassment that you have experienced due to me getting shot. It is unfair and unwarranted."

Klawonn hopes to use his message to help other Muslims in the military. He wants to see Islamic prayer services held on base on Fridays, and he thinks the Army could do more to prevent the kind of discrimination he said he's experienced.

"I'm not asking for a handout," he said. "I'm not asking for any special treatment. I'm asking for the bare essentials and the due rights that the rest of the soldiers have."

After all the hatred he said he's experienced, Klawonn has never regretted enlisting because he joined the Army with a higher purpose -- protecting the American dream.

"The constitutional rights that we have and the freedoms we take for granted are near and dear to my heart," he said.

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