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Another War Hero Is Dishonored

By Wyatt Earp | December 4, 2009

US Army FlagYesterday, I posted about Van Barfoot, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient who is being dishonored by his homeowner’s association. Apparently, this week is “Frak with Heroes Week.” Take this story, for example. You may want to wrap your head in duct tape beforehand.

CJ from A Soldier’s Perspective is currently dealing with a nightmare. Some quick background: CJ has been awarded the Bronze Star with V device, Meritorious Service Medal (3 oak leaf clusters), Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal (4 OLC), Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge amongst other awards. In short, the man serves his country with honor, and his reputation is being tarnished by some martinets at his children’s former school. They had to leave when things got ugly:

In September, my kids brought home a note from their school stating that the school would transition to uniforms beginning in January — midway through the school year. Naturally, this concerned me as the cost for each kid (I have two who would be affected) would be at least $400. A note home to parents assured us that the principal would entertain concerns during the upcoming “uniform fashion show.” However, the principal ended that meeting without answering a question, even though numerous hands were up. After that meeting, I organized parents with concerns and began a letter-writing and phone-calling campaign to members of the school board and media. We succeeded in getting the uniform issue tabled until next year. But parents still weren’t given a voice about whether we even wanted uniforms.

Instead of deal with me and other parents who disagreed with her new policy, the school’s principal began contacting the Army with fictitious complaints that I had threatened her. She pointed to posts on my personal blog about her behavior at the meeting as proof. However, after being referred to military investigators, they concluded that I had never issued any threats through email, blog or otherwise. I collected letters from other parents attesting to my behavior at the meeting.

Unfortunately, the Army took what the principal was saying at face value and formally counseled me. Suddenly, I was a trouble maker after 15 years of honorable service. The Army practically forced me to shut down my blog, though the decision was mine alone and no orders were given to do it.

Sadly, this is a common theme when it comes to bloggers. Someone files a complaint, and the blogger’s employer tries to shut him or her down. Freedom of speech, indeed.

At a PTA meeting a few weeks later, I again tried to present a motion to discuss the school uniform issue with the members of the association. It was shot down by the principal and the PTA president. I was harassed the entire evening by school security officials. Thankfully, I decided it would be prudent to record that meeting. When school officials again began contacting the Army about my supposedly threatening and disrespectful behavior at the meeting, I published the video on my blog to clear my name. This didn’t sit well with school officials and only emboldened them to step up their claims and use the military to force me to take down the videos — the only piece of evidence I had to prove my innocence.

The principal even used my PTSD to try and bolster her claims that I was a dangerous menace to her and her goals.

Because of these actions, I am pursuing a lawsuit to clear my name and force the school system to admit they overstepped their bounds by denying my right to participate in my children’s education and attempt to ruin my career. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to tackle this sort of lawsuit on my own. Because of this situation, my wife and I felt the need to relocate our kids after being singled out on more than one occasion by teachers and school staff. We took our kids to live with their grandparents until my orders allowed me to relocate in December. That trip cost us over $1,400, plus another $1,500 in maintenance on our elderly van, which completely wiped out our savings.

So, I’m asking if you’ll help me. I need to raise $7,000 just to pay for the retainer and initial filing of the lawsuit.

I am reaching out through various avenues to help raise the money. I’ve enlisted the help of local media, talk shows and blogs to help me raise the money. Fellow milbloggers are reaching into their pockets and tapping their readers as well. My neighbors and local Huntsville citizens are donating to a local fund at a bank where I’m stationed.

In one week, I move to Fort Hood for the next stage of my military service. I need to at least have the retainer and initial fees raised before I leave. Anything you can do is much appreciated no matter how small.

There are a few ways you can help. On my blog, there is a Paypal link that can used to send money instantly through a debit or credit card. All money sent through that link will go into this fund. You can also mail checks or money orders to:

Grisham Legal Fund
c/o Redstone Federal Credit Union
220 Wynn Drive
Huntsville, AL 35893

Please write “Grisham Legal Fund” in the memo line if you use this option.

I posted the majority of this lengthy story because it needs to be read. Far too often, our veterans are getting the shaft from the p.c. police, and someone has to take a stand. Thankfully, CJ is doing that, both for himself, and for any one of our servicemen and women who find themselves victims of an ungrateful segment of the population.

Code Monkey has a terrific post about CJ here.

Topics: The Troops | 14 Comments »

14 Responses to “Another War Hero Is Dishonored”

  1. RT Says:
    December 4th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Plain sickening.

  2. cbullitt Says:
    December 4th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    If I had any money, I’d give it too him.
    This is the kind of case a real civil liberties organization would jump at. Darrow would have done it for the pub alone.
    Sadly, the ACLU is not a real civil liberties organization. There is a conservative legal group that is usually involved in issues surrounding the Ten Commandments on courthouses, in schools etc. that might be interested, but I don’t remember who they are.
    Maybe your resident legal eagle at Blonde Sagacity has an idea????

  3. cbullitt Says:
    December 4th, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Alexthechick over at DPUD is an attorney, but she’s up here too. I don’t, I think, know anyone in Alabama. I’m going to send this Bubba. He’s an active vet working on the show of support for the SEALS. He may have an idea.

  4. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 12:01 am

    copying your post on some military feeds on twitter.. you may potentially see a surge in visits shortly.

  5. Wyatt Earp Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    RT – All because some p.c. principal wanted to exert some authority.

    cbullitt – Hopefully, someone has something good. Stuff like this cannot stand.

    Smite – Thank you, but it’s not about the visits. It’s about getting the word out on this travesty.

  6. Smite A. Hippie Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 1:43 am

    oh i know, I just meant because of the mainstream size of the mil support feeds, you’re site counter might be spike out of the usual norm.

    Travesty is definitely an understatement, this was an outright mission to destroy someone because of their warp politics and hatred… Hopefully some people will be losing their jobs over this. I’m sure it won’t change their views, but it’s a good punch in the face start.

  7. Code Monkey Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 2:22 am

    Wyatt – Thank you for helping get the word out.

  8. dragonlady474 Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Maybe we should send the people who criticize and dump on the military over to fight and see how quickly they gain respect for the military.

  9. Rick Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 2:28 pm

    This is outrageous.

  10. Wyatt Earp Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Smite – And another reason why some schools need a lot of help – from top to bottom.

    Code Monkey – You’re welcome.

    DL474 – It’ll take all of three seconds.

    Rick – Yes, it is. Our armed forces deserve so much better.

  11. marvin Says:
    December 5th, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Best defense against this is anonymous, though it is sad that in this country, that is a necessary one.

  12. Jason Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Fire mission: a letter writing campaign to the board that oversees the principle. What she did was reprehensible as the ARMY must investigate these claims (and she knows it).

    She needs to be out of work.


  13. Milblogs Go Silent For CJ | Support Your Local Gunfighter Says:
    December 16th, 2009 at 7:02 am

    [...] may remember this post, where I posted about CJ from A Soldier’s Perspective and the grief he is getting from his [...]

  14. Milblogs Go Silent For CJ Says:
    December 16th, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    [...] may remember this post, where I posted about CJ from A Soldier’s Perspective and the grief he is getting from his [...]