Monday, 11 August 2014 14:40

Soldier Sues Army Over Reprisals for His Conservative Views

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A decorated 25-year military veteran has filed a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army, charging that he was drummed out of the service over his conservative and religious convictions.

The story of Master Sergeant Nathan Sommers, who was a member of the famed U.S. Army Band Chorus and a decorated soloist who sang at former First Lady Betty Ford's funeral, first gained traction after he served Chick-fil-A sandwiches at a 2012 celebration for his promotion to Master Sergeant, at the same time bringing to light his support for traditional marriage.

As reported at the time by The New American, Sommers' promotion coincided with the controversy that erupted over Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy's comments in favor of traditional marriage, which prompted homosexual activists to mount a failed boycott against the fast-food chain. Shortly after his promotion, Sommers received a letter of reprimand from his Army superiors, who took exception to his serving Chick-fil-A sandwiches at his party, along with his support of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Additionally, according to the Army Times, Sommers was targeted for displaying bumper stickers on his personal vehicle during the 2012 election season that were critical of Obama. The partisan bumper stickers, which the Army Times emphasized are permitted under Defense Department regulations, bore such slogans as: “NOBAMA,” “Political dissent is not racism,” “The Road to Bankruptcy is paved with Ass-Fault” (along with a cartoon of a Democrat donkey), and “Pray for Obama-Ecclesiastes 10:2,” referring to the Bible passage that declares: “A wise man’s heart tends toward his right, but a fool’s heart tends toward his left.”

Sommers said he was also targeted for his habit of reading books by neoconservative authors such as Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, and David Limbaugh, which his superiors said was offensive to other service members. According to Fox News, in one instance Sommers “was backstage before a performance reading Limbaugh’s The Great Destroyer when a superior officer told him that he was causing 'unit disruption' and was offending other soldiers.”

Sommers told Fox, “I was told they were frowning on that and they warned me that I should not be reading literature like that backstage because it was offensive.”

A group called Military-Veterans Advocacy, which is representing Sommers in his complaint against the Army, noted in a press release that although the decorated veteran of both the Air Force and the Army had enjoyed a sterling career with no hint of black marks, following the harassment “he found himself the victim of trumped-up charges and non-judicial punishment and was given a sub-standard evaluation.”

That evaluation prompted a review by the Army’s Quality Management Panel (QMP), and while the evaluation was still under appeal, the QMP ordered him discharged as of July 31.

Among the allegedly bogus charges against Sommers that led to his dismissal, he and his attorneys argue, were not obeying a lawful order, being absent without leave (AWOL), and making a false official statement.

According to the Army Times, Sommers insists that “the charges were false — that he had evidence to refute the AWOL claim, that the false statement was actually a mistyped date on an email, and that obeying the order, which related to the AWOL charge, would have required disclosing private family medical information.”

Retired U.S. Navy Commander John B. Wells, executive director of Military-Veterans Advocacy, said that Sommers is, in reality, a “true hero” whose career was harmed by higher-ups who were angry because Sommers dared to stand up for his convictions. He noted that “Congress has enacted laws to protect the free expression of religious beliefs in the armed forces. The Army Band broke those laws and they will be held accountable.”

Wells pointed out that both the 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Acts included specific protections for members of the armed forces, protections that the Defense Department wrote into its regulations in January of this year.

“Just because someone joins the military, they do not give up their rights as a citizen,” Wells said. “This has been repeatedly recognized by the Supreme Court, Congress, and the Department of Defense itself. Unfortunately, in this world of political correctness, some commanders believe they can force their will on subordinates. That is especially true in cases such as this, where the commander has no real operation or combat experience.”

Wells pointed out that in all of his activities and expression, “Sommers did nothing to interfere with good order and discipline. He was the perfect soldier. The actions taken against him were pure reprisal. The Army Band has betrayed the core principles of the United States Army.”

Wells, himself a 22-year Navy veteran and surface warfare officer, has been a vocal critic of the politically motivated agenda that has infiltrated the military during the Obama years. “The social engineering, so-called diversity, and the lack of leadership is undermining our military readiness,” Wells warned. “More and more heroes are leaving or being forced to the curb, and their places are being taken by those who have little, if any, true leadership experience. Soon we will be unable to react to threats from abroad, even assuming we had the political will to do so.”

Sommers' lawsuit against the Army calls for his return to active duty with full pay and benefits, along with the removal of negative evaluations on his record.

7 comments

  • Comment Link Patriot57 Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:58 posted by Patriot57

    King BO and his criminal minions are purging the military of good officers who will resist tyranny. Let's hope we can undo the damage, assuming his majesty ever leaves office.

  • Comment Link Dick Tuesday, 12 August 2014 06:03 posted by Dick

    This activity has been going on in the military for about 6 years. Telltale signs like General Officers disappearing in great numbers, followed by Colonels/LT Colonels, and now with Majors. Being given the option to "retire" after being confronted with "pending unspecified charges". Where are we going here. Seeding the military for years to come with gay/lesbian, same sex marriage, non-religious sympathizers. If you're not vocal you may survive the purge. If you've made your views known, keep an eye open because they will be coming for your commission. Now we read shocking stories like this. The lack of leadership is outrageous. All military take an oath of office to "protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic". Those enemies CAN be "the superiors appointed over me", if they are ordering you deprive someone else of their Constitutional rights. I this case, if it's accurate, it is perfectly reasonable for a superior to request a soldier to put the book away. It's the soldiers’ right to respectfully decline. What should have happened is the superior goes back to the complainers and break the bad news to them.

    Comments such as "this is not political" or "not all about his politics" is a typical liberal/progressive/democrat response when someone points out the deprivation of someone else's rights. I've yet to see the passage in the Constitution giving someone the right to not be offended. Whenever I hear a liberal/progressive/democrat spew the scat I think of a scene from "The American President" when president Shepherd (Michael Douglas) says; "America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours...."

    It's rapidly becoming very plain that the American liberal/progressive/democrat is becoming the most intolerant, racist, and anti-American. The sad thing is they don't even know they are. I can only assume it's some sort of mass hypnosis or brain washing.

  • Comment Link Old Mullet Monday, 11 August 2014 23:16 posted by Old Mullet

    How in the world did our military manage to exist before the current leadership began handing out silk hankies and lacy undies? "Hurt their feelings" did he? Warriors who should be hardened enough to laugh at emotions such as these are what is needed to protect our nation. Man, woman, or palomino makes no difference. Grow up people. Carrying sniffling feelings on one's shoulder is for (small) children. Maybe the musicians need to be served Wheaties for a while instead of making them all into divas that swish when their pantyhose meet. They are right, get rid of all humans that have matured and can handle the "sticks and stones... words will never harm me" rhyme. Fill all of our power structure with wimps and cowards (who can't put up with others being different). Send all of us who give a whip about God, the Constitution, and our Nation, home in shame. Shame for what you are turning this country in to in the name of political correctness. Agenda 21 surfaces it's great ugly head again.

  • Comment Link Keith Simmons Monday, 11 August 2014 20:21 posted by Keith Simmons

    This had nothing to do with politics, except that the perpetrator used it as an excuse. This has nothing to do with Obama or the military taking a position. To be clear, the suspect was behaving in disruptive ways far beyond putting a sticker on his car and reading a book. He failed to show up for assignments. No need to make yourself sound mental over one man's antagonistic attitude. This had nothing to do with Obama or a shift in policy or political sensitivities. It's about irresponsibility and unreliability during a time of service, which cannot be tolerated. The guy probably had personal issues I hope he has reconciled. He should have fulfilled his commitments.

  • Comment Link Marilyn Calkins Monday, 11 August 2014 19:43 posted by Marilyn Calkins

    You're such an IDIOT Keith! People in this country have the right to read whatever they want! At least so far....we supposedly do. And bumper stickers on his car? What? you never heard of the FIRST AMENDMENT? Do you actually LIVE IN THE U.S.? Or are you just another blind FOOL that drools and genuflects every time you see Obama? It's ALL ABOUT POLITICS! If Obama wasn't the president NONE of this would be going on. Come back after you grow a brain.

  • Comment Link Keith Simmons Monday, 11 August 2014 19:17 posted by Keith Simmons

    This man was obviously being unprofessional and disruptive. It's not at all about his politics. He went out of his way in myriad ways to antagonize and disturb proper functioning of his unit. He was dishonorable, and he's lucky they've not come down on his shenanigans harder.

  • Comment Link S. TOBEY Monday, 11 August 2014 18:05 posted by S. TOBEY

    Go for it!

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