VFW Decries Harassment of Iraq Vet | Harper's Magazine

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VFW Decries Harassment of Iraq Vet

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As noted previously, the Bush Administration has a now well established double track policy on soldiers who wear uniforms at political functions, including rallies for or against the Iraq War. If they’re backing the Administration’s viewpoint, everything’s just fine. Indeed, in some cases, soldiers in uniform appear to have been detailed for this purpose. If they’re Democrats or critics, however, it’s a show-stopped. The soldier is subjected to heavy-handed threats and then disciplinary measures.

So the case of Marine Sgt. Adam Kokesh is a test case. Kokesh attended an anti-war rally in combat fatigues. When the Pentagon figured out who he was, tracking a photo that ran in the Washington Post, they threatened him with a dishonorable discharge.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, the nation’s largest veterans’ organization, has decided this farce has gone too far. Today VFW head Gary Kurpius issued a statement:

someone in the Marine Corps needs to exercise a little common sense and put an end to this matter before it turns into a circus … These Marines went to war, did their duty, and were honorably discharged from the active roles. I may disagree with their message, but I will always defend their right to say it.

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