Anti-war Marine won’t face an early discharge, June 29, 2007

KANSAS CITY (AP) - The Marines announced today that they won’t seek an early discharge for an Iraq veteran who made anti-war statements in a speech and wore part of his uniform at a protest.

An investigating officer recommended in May that Liam Madden, 22, of Boston, receive an other-than-honorable discharge, which could have meant a reduction in some of his health benefits. 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 eight-year military obligations.

He isn’t scheduled to be discharged until 2010.

Madden was accused of making "disloyal statements" during a speech in February in New York in which he accused President George W. Bush of betraying service members and called the fighting in Iraq a "war crime."

The speech was posted on the Internet.

Madden also was accused of a uniform violation for wearing a camouflage, button-down shirt and jeans at a demonstration in January in Washington, D.C.

The Marines said in a news release that they were dropping the case because they had "received sufficient indication" from Madden that he would no longer wear his uniform when engaged in political activities. They also determined that his statements did not warrant further action.

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