Tariqa Sheffey is an Army private at Fort Carson in Colorado, who decided to skip out on flag salute one day last week, opting instead to lay down in the back of her car, and take an Instagram that would make hundreds of people hate her. Here’s what you need to know:
1. At the Time She Took the Selfie, She Didn’t Give a F*ck
Sheffey’s reclining selfie was accompanied by the caption: “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.”
After she posted the pic to Instagram, it went viral on Facebook, and was eventually sent to the Army Times, who first reported on the incident.
Sheffey is a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, at Fort Carson, Colorado.
2. Patriotic Americans Are Targeting Her With Racial Slurs and Death Threats
This Douchebag Soldier PFC Tariqka Sheffey Refuses To Salute The Flag… Shocked When People Have A Problem With It. pic.twitter.com/0dy8OtkPEi
— Infidel Justice (@InfidelJustice) February 26, 2014
According to the Army Times, many angry service members and Gold Star mothers and spouses called for Sheffey to be removed from service, one Facebook commenter writing:
“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. If they won’t salute it, they damn sure won’t fight for it.”
Other commenters showed less eloquence and restraint, AT reporting “the online outrage has quickly turned to hate, with a torrent of abusive comments, racial slurs, and threats being made against the young soldier.”
3. She Is Sorry
Sheffey posted a video on Instagram Tuesday, expressing regret for her actions without quite apologizing for them:
“I seriously just want to say thank you to everybody who stood up to me today, like seriously. That s— to me was not that serious. I am not a disrespectful soldier and I really appreciate you all.”
Sheffey’s Facebook page prominently features an adorable little girl who appears to be her daughter.
4. This Is the Third Time In Two Weeks Soldiers Have Gotten In Trouble Over Photos
In February, Army Times reported on the suspension of a soldier from funeral honors detail, after he posted the above photo to Instagram of his fellows striking comic poses around a coffin draped in the American flag, with the caption: “We put the FUN in funeral, your fearless honor guard from various states.”
Two days earlier, AT reported on an inflammatory Instagram taken by Staff Sgt. Cherish Byers of Fairchild Air Force Base, which showed Byers tongue-kissing the black silhouette of a POW in the iconic POW MIA poster:
5. If You Care About the Honor of Military Service There Are Way Better Things to Be Outraged About
For example, in December Congress passed legislation cutting back on Veterans’ pension benefits.
Also, the VA is denying healthcare coverage to Vietnam Veterans affected by Agent Orange, despite new scientific evidence published last week which suggests that even those soldiers who didn’t directly handle the substance, but merely flew in planes where it had previously been stored, were nonetheless exposed.
Additionally, some might argue it dishonored American military service, when we sent 5,000 soldiers to die in a war built on lies, taking 500,000 civilian lives in the process.
But I guess before we can reckon with the fact that the American economy is dependent on defense spending because there’s no bi-partisan support for major public investment in any other sector, thereby creating institutions and political constituencies with a profound interest in perpetual war, we really need to do something about this Colorado mother who sometimes doesn’t give a f*ck about pledging allegiance.