Millions of Americans spent November 11th paying respect to the brave men and women who put their own lives second and put on a uniform.
They offered free meals, special deals, and their heartfelt thanks. But one person — one who wore the uniform as well — delivered a surprising take:
— Chelsea E. Manning (@xychelsea) November 11, 2017
It wasn't long before people responded, suggesting that Manning sit out Veterans Day considering her own personal history:
Coming from someone who was convicted of treason and dishonorably discharged. You need to sit this one out. You lost your right to voice an opinion.
— Ron Clements (@Ron_Clements) November 11, 2017
you are not a veteran....you have a Dishonorable Discharge....I am a veteran...I have a Honorable Discharge
— James Allen (@CalGuyin90740) November 11, 2017
You forfeited any claim to veteran status when you committed treason. Please STFU and STFD!
— Brian O'Kelley (@BrianOKelley1) November 12, 2017
You're a traitor and dishonorably discharged. This makes you not part of us. We were the ones who served with honor and held to the code and our oath.
— Roy Batty (@RoyBatty010816) November 12, 2017
And more than a few pointed out the fact that, because of the circumstances of Manning's departure from the U.S. Army, she doesn't even qualify to bear the name “veteran”:
You were dishonorably discharged. You are not a Veteran (by official definition) and have no right to that title.
— Dianne (@jdianne123) November 12, 2017
No.There is no “us.” When you are dishonorably discharged, you are a veteran no longer. There’s also the traitor thing.
— Cate (@ArmyofBlonde) November 12, 2017
To bad you dont fit into the category of veterans. You forfeit that right when you violate federal laws and bring harm to the troops#traitor
— BMK (@Blue_Mountaink9) November 11, 2017
And according to Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations, they have a point: “Except for persons who die during military service, status as a Veteran requires that he or she was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.”