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THE NATION

Marines not moving to kick out protesting veteran of Iraq war

June 30, 2007|From the Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, MO. — The Marines won't kick out an Iraq war veteran who made antiwar statements in a speech and wore part of his uniform at a protest, the service said Friday, despite a recommendation to discharge him early.

The Marine Corps said in a statement that it would not proceed with the case, because it had "received sufficient indication" from Liam Madden, 22, that he would stop wearing his uniform in political activities.

"I think it's a total victory," Madden said, speaking on his cellphone from Columbia, S.C., where he was participating in a bus tour of East Coast military installations.

However, Madden denied reaching an agreement with the Marine Corps about his uniform. The corps later said its only action was to notify Madden of its intent to discharge him if he defied regulations.

Madden said he had e-mailed the Marine Corps that he would agree to stop wearing his uniform at protests if the service put in writing "that my statements are neither disloyal nor inaccurate." Madden said he never received the letter he requested on Marine Corps letterhead.

Madden is part of the Individual Ready Reserve, which consists mainly of those who have left active duty but still have time remaining on their military obligations. He is scheduled to be discharged in 2010.

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