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USAFE: Airman’s ‘birther’ comments not reason for discharge

By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 18, 2011

KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Air Force officials in Europe said Thursday that Daryn Moran, the Germany-based staff sergeant who publicly questioned the U.S. citizenship of President Barack Obama, was not being discharged for either disparaging the commander-in-chief or for his views on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“We can confirm that Staff Sgt. Moran is not being discharged because of his recent public comments that have appeared on various Web sites,” U.S. Air Forces in Europe spokesman Mike Kucharek said in a written statement.

Citing privacy concerns, Kucharek said he could not provide the specific reason for Moran’s discharge nor confirm whether the dismissal was honorable, as claimed in an email attributed to Moran and posted Wednesday at BirtherReport.com.

“I am short on time to discuss much other than to say the Lord has allowed me to remain with my family and we are leaving Germany, and I am receiving an Honorable discharge,” Moran’s statement read in part.

Those receiving an honorable discharge from the Air Force would generally qualify for full veterans’ rights and benefits, according to information from the Air Force.

Moran’s announcement of his discharge followed nearly a week of comments that Moran made about Obama on various online forums, including a YouTube video showing Moran in his Air Force uniform criticizing the president and numerous posts on his Twitter account, in which he called Obama a “criminal” and an “enemy.”

But, according to his Twitter account, Moran was publicly vilifying the president well before this week. In a Twitter posting dated “about 1 month ago,” Moran wrote, “I just want to turn in my ID card and call the President an outlaw who should be arrested for lying about his birth document.”

He also tweeted about his displeasure with the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal — which will allow gay and lesbian troops to serve openly in the U.S. military — and said “I’m leaving military over gay issue.” In another tweet, he wrote: “My medical board to leave the military says I ‘can’t adapt and adjust.’ ”

Military members can be medically separated from military service for a mental health condition. Citing privacy rules, Kucharek said he could not disclose whether Moran was discharged as a result of a medical board evaluation.

In general, a discharge from the military usually takes weeks though under certain circumstances, “when deemed in the best interest of the Air Force and/or the service member,” it can be expedited, Kucharek said in an email. He said he could not disclose whether Moran’s discharge was expedited due to Privacy Act concerns. USAFE officials said Wednesday Moran’s commander approved his discharge Aug. 4.

For cases in which a medical board is convened, a discharge can take months, Kucharek said.

Moran, a member of the Air Force since 2002, was an ophthalmology technician with the 86th Airlift Wing.

Moran could not be reached for comment Thursday.

svanj@estripes.osd.mil

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