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Marine Discharged for Facebook Comments Will Take His Case Federal if Needed
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Sgt. Gary Stein has been given an other-than-honorable discharge for his anti-Obama comments on Facebook; now he is seeking legal aid to protect his right to free speech.

Stein his served in the Corps for nine years, spending time in Iraq. “I love the Marine Corps, I love my job. I wish it wouldn’t have gone this way. I’m having a hard time seeing how 15 words on Facebook could have ruined my nine-year career.”

The words in question? “Screw Obama and I will not follow all orders from him,” a statement he clarified to mean, unlawful orders.

  
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Military commentator Tom Umberg said that Stein had been warned, but persisted:

“The Marine Corps gave him the opportunity to think about his actions, yet Sgt. Stein continued to undermine the chain of command. I think his purpose was to leave the Marine Corps in a dramatic fashion in order to begin a career in talk radio or what have you.

“I think 99 percent of the soldiers and Marines currently on duty understand the duties of supporting the chain of command and understand their rights of free speech are limited. To that 1 percent who don’t know their rights to free speech are limited once they take the oath, this is a loud and clear message.”

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The Pentagon limits military personnel rights to forbid them from sponsoring a political club, from participating in any TV or radio discussions regarding a political party or candidate, or to make any speeches at events regarding political movements.

Marine spokesman, Yoo, said that that the board that voted for Stein’s dismissal “was conducted in accordance with law and regulation, the findings of misconduct were supported by the evidence of record, and thus approved the board’s recommendation.” Stein stands to lose most of his benefits because they are not awarded those who are discharged without honors.



His attorney, Gary Kreep, anticipates taking this to the federal court, if an appeal with the Marine Corps fails.



 

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