For the past few weeks you may have heard of the name Lt Col Stuart Scheller, the incarcerated Marine who called for accountability of top military leaders over the woefully carried out last days of the war in Afghanistan. I’m very proud to say that Stuart, or Stu as he is known by family and friends, is a cousin of mine.
I’ve been watching my aunt and uncle give interview after interview to various media sources. They have done a terrific job in getting the message out, while their son remains cut off from the public. It looks like they were successful in rallying support of their son, as charges, whatever they may have been, will be dropped. Nothing is official yet, though.
I have never met Stuart in person, though I’ve developed a good relationship with my aunt. She is my mom’s half-sister that my mom didn’t know about until her adult years.
My aunt Cathy and I are so much alike it’s mind-blowing. We’ve both noted that over the years, as we have gotten to know each other. Though we’ve never sat down and talked face-to-face, it’s clear that genetics plays a big role in our personalities and interests. She’s the same aunt that reached out and offered support to me, as I was going through a divorce. She’s fiercely defensive of her family members, as the country has recently witnessed.
She’s also a writer, and I highly recommend her book, “The Year of the Cicadas“. It’s written under her pen name, Catie Hartsfield. She originally used the pen name to protect her family’s privacy, but is now open about it. The book details the journey her family took after a tragic accident threatened a son’s life, his healing, their tested faith, and the family’s ultimate healing as well. Decatur is mentioned in the book, at least descriptions of it, as she grew up in Decatur.
After getting to know her, I definitely know which side of the family I take after the most. I’m a Hartsfield for sure. We have a very hard time keeping our mouths shut when something truly important needs to be said. Otherwise, we’re behind the scenes and by the book type of people.
But I don’t want to try to steal any of my cousin’s well-deserved respect just because we’re related. I’m truly just honored to be his cousin. Honestly, I don’t know if I could have been so willing to risk it all, like he has. He risked his life on the battlefields of Afghanistan multiple times, but he was also willing to give up financial security back at home, for the sake of his country.
After his very public calls for accountability, he has since lost his job and very much deserved retirement. His family is under enormous pressure, as you can imagine.
In one of his videos, he wondered if he would have done things the same way again. When you risk so much, you can’t help but doubt yourself. But I think he did a great thing, and said the things that needed to be said.
Our withdrawal from Afghanistan was poorly executed and planned. It’s inexcusable. What were they thinking? By choosing not to hold those in command accountable, we risk making the same mistakes again in the future.
I’m also very proud that he has chosen not to be political about it. He’s not blasting President Biden or pitting red against blue or blue against red. He’s no fan of either side. He just loves Americans. I deeply appreciate that, because it’s so rare to hear and see these days.
I’ve read comments on YouTube about Stuart’s stand, and many are confusing it with a rant against a certain political leader or political party. FoxNews, of course, has turned it into political fodder for their audience. They obviously have not listened to Stuart. On the other hand, liberal media has largely ignored the story, because it doesn’t look good for the President in power. If you read and listen to Stuart, you’d know that he’s not blaming one side or the other.
We can clearly see how the media picks and chooses what it thinks we should know. They don’t present news, but rather a narrative that fits their agenda.
The war in Afghanistan spanned several presidencies over the past 20 years. Mistakes were made across the board. There’s no one side to blame.
Some have encouraged Stuart to run for Congress, and I would be totally supportive of that. He’s intelligent, well-spoken, and most importantly has his priorities straight. He’s a good and honorable man. Boy, do those seem in such short supply today.
You can show your support for him here.