Continued from page 1

This time around, organizers of the secular festival raised $50,000 for the event, which will pay for speakers and entertainers and other expenses.

“There is no going back in to the ‘atheist closet,’ ” said Sgt. Griffith, who has also organized a local chapter of Military Atheists and Secular Humanists for like-minded soldiers and veterans.

Fort Bragg, home to the U.S. Army Airborne and Special Forces, is one of the military’s largest bases.

It has about 58,000 uniformed military personnel and roughly 13,000 civilian workers.