There’s a major shift in dress and grooming policies in place for those wishing to enter the military, but not compromise their faith.
The decision means big things in Sutter County, which is home to a large Sikh community. They say they are proud of their religion, proud to be an American and honored to serve.
“We are forever grateful for being accepted for who we are and what we believe,” said Karm Bains.
He’s a fourth-generation farmer and developer in Sutter County and is pleased to hear a few of his fellow Sikhs won’t have to compromise on faith or patriotism.
“One thing is we are all proud to be Americans,” he said.
For generations, military men have been required to be clean-shaven with short, cropped hair. Recently, three army enlistees and a U.S. Army captain won the right to wear beards and turbans for religious reasons.
Bains says for those in the Sikh community, the beard and turban are foundations of faith. He’s grateful to hear the government recognizes that.
“For the military to accept us in the way we look or allow us to practice our religion or keep our articles or our faith while serving this great nation is true honor and privilege,” he said.
He’s now challenging Sikh youth to take advantage of the open door.
“It’s with great pride and honor to see fellow Sikhs serving our great country,” he said.