Sgt. Gary Stein has right message, but wrong medium

As the single mother of a Marine and a fallen Navy SEAL, I raised my boys to stand strong in the face of all adversity and to exercise discernment in both their personal and professional lives. 

Both my sons served honorably, and my youngest son Marc gave the ultimate sacrifice…his life. As a Gold Star Mom, I have dedicated my life to the same principles I worked to instill in my children. I will exercise discernment so that I can face adversity from a strong footing. It is with those principles in mind that I pen this article. There may be some who disagree with what I say here. I only ask that you use the same discernment to review the facts of the situation.

I was recently asked to review the case of Sgt. Gary Stein who criticized Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and referred to President Barack Obama as a “domestic enemy”. As a result of his actions, Sgt. Stein is facing serious charges. 

The rally cry I continue to hear is that any punishment of Sgt. Stein will be a violation of his First Amendment rights.

While compelling, nothing could be further from the truth.

To fully understand the issue, I researched Sgt. Stein’s case and read various accounts of his story from different media outlets. I knew that the best source was to go directly to the Universal Code of Military Justice. I found numerous directives that referenced what Sgt. Stein had done. Article 89 states:

“Any person subject to this chapter who behaves with disrespect toward his superior commissioned officer shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Directive 1344 4.1.2. A member of the Armed Forces on active duty shall not: Participate in partisan political fundraising activities (except as permitted in subparagraph, rallies, conventions (including making speeches in the course thereof), management of campaigns, or debates, either on one’s own behalf or on that of another, without respect to uniform or inference or appearance of official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement. Participation includes more than mere attendance as a spectator. Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.

A member may Write a letter to the editor of a newspaper expressing the member’s personal views on public issues or political candidates, if such action is not part of an organized letter-writing campaign or a solicitation of votes for or against a political party or partisan political cause or candidate. If the letter identifies the member as on active duty (or if the member is otherwise reasonably identifiable as a member of the Armed Forces), the letter should clearly state that the views expressed are those of the individual only and not those of the Department of Defense (or Department of Homeland Security for members of the Coast Guard). 

When I first started speaking at rallies and events after Marc’s death I would always invite Marc’s teammates when I was near Coronado. I always wondered why they didn’t come and then I learned they were not allowed to. This is something that Sgt. Stein would have been taught in his boot camp days and took an oath to uphold.

I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Our men and women in the military are allowed to voice their opinions but not in uniform and following the conditions of the UCMJ. Sgt. Stein crossed those boundaries and broke the code and this wasn’t the first time. 

If Sgt. Stein truly felt that he could no longer abide by the UCMJ he should have left the military and used his voice to bring attention to the issues. I know many of our troops who ended their careers in the military when Obama took office as they refused to serve under the new Commander-in-Chief and his radical views and socialist direction he purposed to take our country.

Our troops have a responsibility to not obey an unlawful order but until confronted with that your loyalty as an active duty service member is to your teammates, your unit, your country, your government and those in command over you.

Researching this issue has brought a renewed light to the “Quiet professionals” who proudly serve and sacrifice so much in the military and their inability to speak out. It is another bold reminder that our military needs us to be that voice and speak on their behalf. 

I agree with Sgt. Stein’s comments and do feel that President Obama is a domestic enemy. I watch Obama as with his words he promotes his campaign with Michelle and Jill Biden encouraging everyone to support our troops and to “raise awareness of the sacrifice they and their families make.” 

The actions of the Campaigner-in-Chief reflect a different side as he cuts their pay, their benefits, increases their premiums and co-pays for health care. He refuses to give them Rules of Engagement or equipment that allow them to successfully complete their mission and drastically decreases their budget. Yet he has no problem apologizing to the terrorists and spending 750,000.00 on a soccer field for them at GITMO.

I too am concerned that Obama is setting up our troops to not have a voice and be used as his personal army to be used to disarm American citizens. I’ve heard numerous times from troops who were asked verbally or by a questionnaire “Would you follow a direct order to disarm American citizens of their 2nd amendment rights.”

Since Marc’s death I have dedicated my life to defending our military and our rights from the adversaries who actively work to diminish our men and women in uniform. I am not bound by the Uniform Code of Military Justice and I am legally and honorably able to use my voice. I will do so boldly, loudly at every opportunity and expose and confront injustices in America. Our Founding Fathers and our military deserve no less and we will be their voice as they honorably carry out their oath while we still have a constitution.