Almost seven months after being released from behind bars at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, former Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart reached out to his friends and supporters via the email below Oct. 17, 2011:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It seems strange that I am finally addressing what is going on with my family, and in my life. Throughout this whole ordeal, I have tried to protect my friends and family from the stigma associated with my trial and conviction. I have in no way been disloyal to the Army or my Regiment. I have not been outspoken about the mishandlings of my trial. And I will not begin today.
I am writing now because a book is being published with detailed information regarding my case. While still in prison, a manifesto of the book was written. After my parole, I gave the author my first ever interview with strict guidelines that the official trial transcript be included so readers would be fully informed about the events that had transpired. I wanted the book to tell the whole truth. I have exposed my entire life in detail to allow the reader to make their own assessment.
I am INNOCENT of the crimes for which I have been convicted and sentenced. I am guilty of betraying my wife and words can never express the sorrow I feel for what I have done to those that I love. I decidedly had a one night stand and thought getting caught would be the worst case scenario. At the time, I could never have imagined that the ripple effect from the stone I cast would touch so many people.
Throughout these past 2 years, the ripple hasn’t slowed. I am not referring to the loss of my career or my time spent in prison. Larger in scale are issues to include my parent’s daily struggles with finances and health during their golden years, my friends’ military careers being affected due to their support of me, and my children growing beyond what I ever knew of them. I yearn for the day that the ripple will stop negatively affecting those around me.
To date, my family and I have had a small group of reliable supporters; My mother, Father, Heidi, Spike, Credie, Darlene, Neil, Bob, Jim, Clay, Gerri, Feryat, Bojan and Michael. (There are more but they will remain anonymous per request.) Through it all, they have NEVER wavered. Many of these people have asked for your support in some form but until now, I personally have not; this was not because of my pride, it was because I was hopeless and lost. I have always prided myself on helping and giving to others and during this dark time, I have been fortunate enough to call certain people brothers, sisters and mothers, for the support they have given to my family. Unfortunately, there have also been many people making judgments based solely on hearsay and those who think ‘this is not directly affecting my life so why get involved?’ The book coming out will address the hearsay and I hope after reading it, you will see the injustices and be motivated to speak out against them.
I have remained quiet for a long time but today I am standing here before god and everyone acknowledging my faults, and making a promise to NEVER again betray my wife or bring shame upon our military or country. Today I ask for your help. I ask that you support this book. I ask and plead with you to stand by me in this fight. Every voice is more important than you will ever know. I have attached links below I hope each and everyone of you will do your best to support them. Either with sending it to our community, or to future supporters . Anything you do I am grateful beyond words.
I love our country. I love the Army. But mistakes have been made and not just by me. I hope what you read angers you. I hope it inspires you.
I hope the truth will finally set me free…
“Sure. Every convicted man claims he’s innocent.” If you’re thinking that thought, I challenge you to reach that conclusion about Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran, after reading the story of his life and court-martial, both of which are chronicled in the book, Three Days In August. Order a copy of Three Days In August.