Source: Veteran asked to leave courtroom for wearing Army uniform
POCATELLO — Lt. Col. Fred Flynn, a disabled veteran who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was asked to leave a courtroom by a judge at the Bannock County Courthouse earlier this month because he was wearing his Army uniform.
Flynn retired from the Army in 1998 but was recalled after that to serve three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served for a total of 24 years, most recently as the commanding officer of the Army National Guard in Pocatello.
Flynn complied with the order to leave the courtroom, but he said he felt humiliated and disappointed that the judge would ask him to leave because he was wearing his Army uniform.
“I had to leave a courtroom that is based on the very Constitution that I served to protect,” Flynn said.
Sixth District Judge David C. Nye said he ordered that Flynn leave the courtroom during the jury trial of another military veteran because Nye felt Flynn’s uniform could influence the jury.
Flynn currently resides in South Carolina, and he was in Pocatello to attend the jury trial for Dustin Sweeney, a local veteran of the war in Iraq.
“I wanted (Sweeney) to know that his fellow veterans were behind him through thick and thin,” Flynn said.
Flynn said that immediately after entering the courtroom, a court marshal approached him and told him that Nye was not comfortable with him wearing a military uniform during Sweeney’s jury trial.