Army Master Sgt. Nathan Sommers first made headlines last year when he claimed he was forced out of the military due to his support of conservative social values. The veteran, described by Fox News as a decorated soloist within the Army Band Chorus, has since secured the services of an attorney to pursue a lawsuit against the Army.
“Congress has enacted laws to protect the free expression of religious beliefs in the armed forces,” his lawyer, John Wells, explained. “The Army Band broke those laws and they will be held accountable.”
Sommers, a 25-year veteran, “was the perfect soldier,” Wells noted, and received a commendation medal in addition to serving as the soloist during Betty Ford’s funeral service.
Nevertheless, when his superiors realized Sommers held certain religious and political views and was unafraid to openly express them, the suit alleges he faced retaliation culminating with his retirement from the Army.
For example, he was reportedly forced to remove bumper stickers from his vehicle deemed critical of Barack Obama and the Democrat Party.
“The Army took no action against those soldiers with pro-Obama bumper stickers,” Wells noted.
He was also reprimanded for reading books by conservative authors including Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.
“I wasn’t reading aloud,” Sommers explained to Fox News contributor Todd Starnes. “I was just reading privately to myself. I was told they were frowning on that and they warned me that I should not be reading literature like that backstage [before a choral performance] because it was offensive.”
As Starnes points out, the catalyst behind his forced retirement seems to have been his caterer of choice for a 2012 party celebrating his promotion to master sergeant.
“In honor of [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell] repeal, and Obama/Holder’s refusal to enforce [the Defense of Marriage] act, I’m serving Chick-fil-A at my MSG promo reception for Army today,” he posted to his Twitter account.
Even though the party was a private event, Sommers received a written statement from his superiors chastising his comment. Shortly thereafter, he was discharged from the Army, ultimately allowed to retire based on his years of service.
Reports indicate he filed his lawsuit the next day.
The soldier “did nothing to interfere with good order and discipline,” his attorney asserted, noting that just “because someone joins the military, they do not give up their rights as a citizen.”
Photo Credit: Robert Du Bois (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom