Marine Behind Obama Comments Speaks At Tea Party Event

Sgt. Gary Stein Spoke At Fallbrook Tea Party Event In Bonsall

A local Marine who could be discharged for criticizing President Obama spoke at a Tea Party event on Thursday about the controversy.

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Sgt. Gary Stein was invited by the Fallbrook Tea Party to speak at their meeting in Bonsall on Thursday. Though Stein was received well, not everyone agreed with his criticism of the president.

"He just needs to keep his mouth shut," said retired Navy Cmdr. Roger Johnson, who was one of many who attended the meeting to hear Stein speak.

Johnson said he is offended by Stein's criticism of Obama's policies while he is an active-duty Marine.

"If he doesn't like being in the military and being part of the weapon, then stop being the weapon," said Johnson.

Stein reiterated on Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

"I don't speak on behalf of the Marine Corps, but I do speak on behalf of myself," he said. "I believe that military men and women do not lose rights when they join the Marine Corps."

On Monday, Stein was served with a notice that his commanding officer had asked for an administrative discharge over his criticizing of Obama on Facebook.

"He wants it to be with other than honorable conditions, which is I'll lose my benefits and get busted down to lance corporal," Stein told 10News in a previous interview. "Of course, I'm concerned about it a little bit and I think anyone would be after nine years, you know, of faithfully serving."

Stein said Thursday that he feels he can beat the charges against him. He said he will meet with "a strong defense team" on April 3.

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