The parents of U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller Jr. told Newsmax Monday that they're asking Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro, as it's Veterans Week, to "do the right thing" and grant their son the honorable discharge he earned through 17 years of exemplary service.
"We have not heard a response yet, but we have been asking for an honorable discharge for his 17 years of exemplary service and for the many lives that he did save, Scheller's mother, Cathy, who appeared with his father, Stuart Sr., on Newsmax's "Wake Up America."
Scheller has plead guilty to posting videos online that were critical of top military commanders for how they handled the withdrawal from Afghanistan and was immediately relieved of command in October. After court-martial procedures, he agreed to forfeit a one-month pay of $5,000 and to receive a letter of reprimand.
The decision on how he should be discharged, which will determine his future, was to come from Del Toro but hasn't been announced yet.
"We are asking that it not be based on egos, anger, or a grudge but on his service record," Scheller's mother said. "He had 17 years of perfect service and one month of being upset and enraged over what happened with our withdrawal."
The Schellers have sent a letter, also signed by 12 members of Congress, to Del Toro asking for an honorable discharge to be granted.
Scheller's father told Newsmax Monday that he didn't know in advance that his son was going to post the critical video, which came after 13 service members were killed by a suicide bomber at the Kabul International Airport on Aug. 26.
"I think his wife didn't know," he said. "I don't even think he knew. He was sitting in his office that day on Aug. 26 and he heard about the bombing the same time you and I did, and many Americans did. It was just the last straw and something in him, it was a trigger."
The Marines have always stood for honor, integrity, and accountability, he added, but his son "just was not seeing it from our senior leaders, and that's why he did the video."
He encouraged viewers to visit a website established in support of his son and to read the statement he read at his court-martial proceedings.
Scheller's mother told Newsmax that it's not clear what the future holds for her son.
"It's been upsetting for him, but he's strong and he's holding strong," she said. "I want America to remember that he's still under a gag order so we, as his parents, are taking a turn talking until he's allowed to talk. He's holding strong, but it's not easy. His entire world has been turned upside down, and he has suffered a lot of loss, not just his retirement. But it's family, his brotherhood of Marines, his entire life has changed."
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