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A soldier who posted a selfie of herself with a caption explaining that she was avoiding a flag salute has incited rage on the Internet. It’s the latest social media posting from a servicemember to cause controversy.
Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey, a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade at Fort Colson, Colo., posted a selfie on Instagram. In the image, she is reclining, with her right arm behind her head. “This is me laying back in my car hiding so I don’t have to salute the 1700 flag, KEEP ALL YOUR ‘THATS SO DISRESPECTFUL/HOWRUDE/ETC.’ COMMENTS TO YOURSELF cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF,” the caption read, Army Times reports.
That caused an instant angry reaction on the web, as the image was also posted on Facebook. “Any soldier who refuses to salute the flag is in the military for the wrong reason, and should be removed by dishonorable discharge with loss of all benefits,” one person wrote on Facebook, questioning her dedication.
“The chain of command is aware and looking into the situation,” post spokesman Dee McNutt told the Army Times Tuesday. “That’s really all I can say at this point.”
Sheffey, whose Instagram username was sheffeynation, later posted a video, saying that she regretted her actions. She also thanked anyone who supported her. “That s--- to me was not that serious. I am not a disrespectful soldier and I really appreciate you all,” she said.
As The New York Daily News notes, this is the latest controversial post from a servicemember on a social network. Members of the Wisconsin National Guard were recently suspended for posing in front of a flag-draped casket and posting them on Instagram.