EDITOR’S NOTE: Exactly six years have passed since Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart’s military trial ended with him being stripped of his rank and Special Forces tab and sentenced to eight years in prison. Coincidentally, I received an email message this morning from Nicholas McLaughlin, a man who served with Stewart before Stewart advanced to join the ranks of the Green Berets. McLaughlin told me he had read this excerpt from Three Days In August, the book in which I chronicle Stewart’s life and wrongful prosecution. With permission, I share the crux of McLaughlin’s email message below:
I had the pleasure of serving with Kelly Stewart (a.k.a., “Doc Stewart”) in 1999-2001. He was our company medic (in) Alpha Company, 40th ENG. The man described in the excerpt was the same man.
He was an E-4, and I was an E-1 when we deployed to Albania. I was lucky enough to be in his class for Combat Lifesaver. His technical proficiency and professionalism were top notch. Even then, he always volunteered to go on missions with us. Sitting in the back of a 5-ton rolling through the small agricultural city surrounding the airport we had secured.
He took the chance to learn everything when other medics would reply, “I don’t need that, I’m a medic.” He would run drills with us every step of the way. String razor wire to working with explosives. He taught us as much as we taught him.
Most importantly though, he always had our backs, but he was always a humanitarian as well. Some things in this world can make you hard, but Doc Stewart always reminded us through his actions when to be caring as well.
He was the same way in his off time. Whether we were at a Fest in Germany or chilling at Bosen Lake. If your back was against the wall, he was there and, if you were out of line, he was (there) too.
We had a saying when we were in Germany: it doesn’t matter what happens, the American is always wrong.
More than anyone, Stewart knows all too well how much truth lies in that saying.
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Since releasing Three Days In August in October 2011, I’ve encountered numerous Soldiers who vouched for Stewart’s honor and integrity in much the same way as McLaughlin (See Fellow Soldiers Support Wrongly-Convicted Green Beret), and I expect to hear from others in years to come.
To learn more about Stewart’s story, read the other articles I’ve written and read some of the endorsements of the book. To fully understand why I remain so passionate about wanting to see justice for this TOP ONE PERCENT SOLDIER, you’ll have to read the entire book.