By Rick Sallinger

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s been four years since President Obama addressed the cadets of the Air Force Academy. This Thursday will be his final speech to a military graduating class. Greeting him will be messages from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, not just on billboards, but also on TV.

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“Welcome Mr. President to our Air Force Academy” a commercial announces, adding, “Why is Jesus the commander in chief here?”

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The foundation is headed by Academy graduate Mikey Weinstein of Albuquerque who says his children who attended there were harassed because of their religion. He has claimed for many years the Academy promotes evangelical Christianity saying it was evident at an Academy football game last year.

“I was going through extensive orchestrated pregame Christian prayer rituals,” Weinstein said.

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Mikey Weinstein (credit: CBS)

Mikey Weinstein (credit: CBS)

The protest included a plane that flew over Colorado Springs on Wednesday with a banner carrying the same message — “Why is Jesus the commander in chief here?”

“Well the last time we checked the president is the commander in chief. He could do many things. He could order an investigation, he could order an outside agency to come, and inspector general’s investigation,” Weinstein said.

The day of joy for cadets will be a day of protest for others.

An image from a TV ad (credit: CBS)

An image from a TV ad (credit: CBS)

An Air Force Academy spokesperson had no comment.

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.