Stuart Scheller, Sr., and Cathy Scheller, the parents of Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr., said Wednesday on Newsmax that they're still fighting for their son's rights and called on the military to hold up their end of the plea bargain it reached with him and to lift its gag order and allow him to speak out.
"Our son is a warrior," his father told Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "He's been in worse situations. He can handle it and he tells us he's going to come out stronger and I have no doubt and that's probably why our government wants to continue to hold him and not release him."
Scheller has pleaded guilty for posting videos online that were critical of top military commanders for the way they handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan. He was immediately relieved of command and last week, after court martial procedures, agreed to forfeit a month's pay of $5,000 and receive a letter of reprimand.
"The plea deal included them accepting his resignation, and his attorneys have tried to level our expectations," the elder Scheller said. "They said well, you know you're dealing with the government. This could take months. Well, I want to remind Americans it took them less than a day to relieve him of his command. It took them only weeks to release his medical and mental health records to the press. It took them only weeks to try to smear him and put him in jail."
Scheller's mother, likewise called for the gag order to be released, asking viewers to compare themselves speaking in their own professions, and what would happen if the punishment was as strict as what her son got.
Both parents asked that people read their son's statement on the website I Stand With Stu and contact the Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and demand that the military hold up to its end of the deal and discharge their son.
Mrs. Scheller also called for Americans to stand up and demand change.
"We have a strong military," she said. "We need a strong military. But we have 22 service members, that's the low estimate per day, committing suicide. There has to be more than just PTSD behind that, and I think we're starting to see it is the crushing culture, the culture of the military that doesn't allow you to speak up or if you do and your command some commands will take it up."
Her husband agreed that they don't want to hurt the military.
"We have loved the Marine Corps for the last 17 years," he said. "Obviously we're proud Americans, we're patriots. We want a strong military. We have loved the Marine Corps for the last 17 years until our son spoke up, and they decided to try and silence him and crush him and it's just deplorable."
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