An Alabama man whose family owns a firearms business posted a volatile Facebook message trashing vets on Veterans Day, saying they never fought for his freedoms and are not real heroes.
"YOU WANNT MEET HERO's????" Michael Schuette's message read. "Well, shake hands with CIVILIAN EMTs, nurses, firefighters, lawyers and anyone in the ACLU."
Schuette's message began:
To all vets...you are NOT hero's. You got paid to learn how to fight and kill for profit. You "Served" your leader...You followed the rules and made it out of whatever country you terrorized alive...You got a check and a holiday. YOU NEVER FOUGHT FOR ANY OF MY FREEDOMS!!!!! You fought for corporate interests...You never sacrificed for this country...You did so for your government owners...
Schuette deleted the message, but Yellowhammer News posted a screen shot:
Schuette told WIAT-TV that he regrets posting the message and that his business, Outlaw Gun Repair and Hydrographing in Anniston, is suffering.
"Im so glad all us worthless soldiers are willing to fight to defend your freedom of speech," one commenter wrote on the company's website. "As you can see we also have freedom of speech. Whats funny is even though you spit in my face i would die for you if necessary. Why? BECAUSE IM A SOLDIER."
Schuette said he disagrees with war and the way veterans are treated when they come home, so he wanted to "de-glorify" their struggles.
"I’m staying up all night talking to veterans all over the United States," he said. "I’m very humbled in what I’ve been told and the stories that I’ve been told. I understand now the repercussions of what I said and I fully retract everything that I said hurtful to veterans because they’re the victims in all this."
Schuette said he received more than 20 death threats, and asked that anyone who is angry at him not take it out on his family or the family business.
"I’m sorry for what I said, but I’m taking responsibility for what I’ve said. If anyone is angry, please be angry at me," he said. "My phone has been open and everybody’s got my phone number."