Was Firing Lindsey Stone Correct for Disrespecting Arlington Cemetery Graves?

When your son or daughter or other loved one goes off to war, there is pride in your heart as well as tears in your spirit. If they are called on to pay the ultimate price and are laid to rest in a place of honor like Arlington National Cemetery or local military cemeteries you understand in your soul that a grateful nation and its families appreciate their sacrifice as well as their noble service.

But what about those disrespectful Americans that engage in actions to attack the honored silence and solitude of the military resting place. What if instead , they decide to give the dead soldiers the finger or brazenly shout absurdities at those gathered to grieve at their loved one’s gravesite?

Lindsey Stone is such an American, who by birth can claim citizenship, but who by conduct certainly walks the line of needing to be stripped of it.

She decided in October to go to Arlington National Cemetery, according to published accounts, to engage in prankish behavior to disrespect the soldiers and their families. She then, to add insult to injury, had an accomplice take a photo of her conduct and posted the photo to her Facebook page a as badge of honor.

The photo, which went viral across the nation, shows Ms. Stone using an obscene gesture. In addition, Next to her was a sign at Arlington Cemetery which clearly displays, “Silence and respect.” Yet in the photo, Stone is depicted yelling. What was her purpose and what was she thinking?

Does this trouble you? Was Stone’s behavior juvenile for a 30-year-old woman, who seemed to seek social media approval by posting this shameful act on her Facebook page? Was it her First Amendment right to break the solemn rules of a hallowed place of dignity, because respect, discipline and decency are diminished institutional beliefs?

Lindsey Stone’s, now former employer Living Independently Forever (LIFE) initially placed her on suspension along with Jamie Schuh who joined her in the incident, according to Fox News. On Wednesday, Fox News reported that both Stone and Schuh were fired.

So where is the line in America? How far can a person be allowed to go to disrespect or infringe upon another citizen’s rights to grieve in peace? What about the right of the nation to insure that their honored war dead in any military cemetery, in any state, will not be dishonored?

Stone was on her company’s business in Washington D.C. when she made her infamous side trip to Arlington National Cemetery. She was of course fired, but was it because of national outrage or because these type of contemptible actions should never be tolerated by any employer?

Since the onerous display by Stone and Schuh, both have issued an apology, which according to Fox News, stated,

“We never meant any disrespect to any of the people nationwide who have served this country and defended our freedom so valiantly.”

Whether the two were truly sorry for what they did, or for having their hurtful actions blow up in their face, costing them their jobs and the outrage of a nation, is open for debate. Yet, more should be done to insure it does not happen again.

Congress recently passed the “The Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act of 2012” in August to, in part, protect the funerals of military soldiers from being disrupted by protesters.

So just where is the line in the sand? What should be done to prevent this type of openly, disrespectful behavior which is like spitting on the military graves of our brother, sisters, and loved ones?

Are employers obligated to penalize workers for conduct unbecoming of an American citizen? Most importantly, where do you feel your state, your employer, or you should draw the line?

The nation is watching!

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About Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs is the former community concerns columnist for 12 years with The Detroit News, covering community, family relations, domestic abuse, education, government relations, education, and dispute resolution. He was government and civic affairs director for Soul Source, a Christian news magazine, and host of The Kevin Fobbs Show. His faith-based Hearken The Watchmen column provides insight and answers on family, faith, and how to arrive at faith-based solutions to life challenges. You may contact Kevin with your comments and questions.
  • http://www.facebook.com/lily.roberts.796 Lily Roberts

    This is crap. Our society is founded on liberty, if liberty may now be conditioned upon whether some may be offended by content or expression, then we are no longer free. To fire people for expressing opinion excedes the contract of employment, generally speaking, and is an improper ground for termination. These people, who well may be wrongfully terminated employees, should seek legal counsel to determine if they may be entitled to compensation.

    • Sam in NC

      The only thing that those two women are entitled to is a good b!tch slappin'! You live in the wrong country. Lily.

    • sanlyn

      '... If liberty may now be conditioned upon whether some may be offended ...'

      Lily, where have you been lately?

      Do you speak up every time a Christian is criticized because someone is offended by their Cross, the Nativity, preaching in the park or similar? If a company is in danger of losing business (revenue, profits), that business has to find a way to ease its losses (costs). What better to cut expenses than by reducing pay & benefits --- eliminate the jobs of the employees that caused the potential harm?

      Problem solved!

    • 44rd11

      No, a person in a civil society does NOT have the right to do anything they please. You cannot yell fire in a crowded theater - just because you have "freedom of speech", and go ahead, go to the airport and talk out loud about hijacking an airplane - see how far that gets you. This was not "expressing and opinion" this was spoiled child like immature behavior. And NO employer needs to have immature people working for him or her. nor do they have to be associated with, nor their business associated with someone that acts so disgracefully. If she had written that the government was rotten, that Obama was a saint - or the devil - then I'd perhaps at least think of agreeing with you - but this is beyond the pale of "free speech" or "freedom of expression".

    • sanlyn

      '... If liberty may now be conditioned upon whether some may be offended ...'

      Lily, where have you been lately?

      Do you speak up every time a Christian is criticized because someone is offended by their Cross, the Nativity, preaching in the park or similar? If a company is in danger of losing business (revenue, profits), that business has to find a way to ease its losses (costs). What better to cut expenses than by reducing pay & benefits --- eliminate the jobs of the employees that caused the potential harm?

      Problem solved!

    • becky

      Hmmm. I wonder why you people don't speak up just as indignantly when our Crosses are taken down, when God is taken out of the Declaration of Independence as that piece of Muslime filth 'bamy did. Where are all of you when the religion that built this country is debased? Where are you?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Warren-Anthony/100000736216869 Warren Anthony

    Firing her was to good for her. She should have been nailed to an old wooden shed by her boobs, handed a dull rusty knife and then the shed set on fire.

  • Marlin208

    You have to ask yourself, what kind of a person would do something like this? All the soldiers there died for our freedoms and should be honored for doing so. So it goes back to, just what kind of a person is she to do this? A typical liberal jerk that doesn't have an ounce of respect for the sacrifice of so many. The better people are buried there.

    • markinla

      This had nothing to do with the soldiers and was about the sign. She did something similar for another sign and put it on facebook. Stupid, yes, can the employer fire her, yes, should everybody grow up and realize it was a stupid prank that someone her age shouldn't do, yes, should she be fired for it, no.

    • atchafa

      Hang the lezbo

    • Combat Veteran Seabee


    • sarah

      This woman is not a child, so don't dismiss her action as a prank. She was disrespectful of the men and women who died for this country. If she had been my employee, she would have been dismissed too.

    • markinla

      She was not disrespectful to anyone she was responding to the sign in a childish manner.

    • axmickl

      Picture, if you will, a dirty exhausted soldier, fresh from a fire-fight in a horrible country. He is setting on a rock with his face buried in his hands , mourning his best friend who just died beside him. How would he feel if he knew how the people back home were desecrating the resting place of his brothers in arms. Shadows of Vietnam all over again.

  • Gman

    The point here is the steady decline of any morality and respect for others that so many people in this country embrace. The utter lack of responsibility and accountability of people like this POS of a brain dead fool goes to show that the idiots of America are running ramped. What ever happens to these two punks, they deserve it.

  • sha49tn

    I hope this new law that Congress has gotten passed will stop that Phelps bunch from Kansas from showing up at funerals & doing the same thing these women did. No matter WHO'S funeral it is, or grave site, disrespect is NOT acceptable, especially when it's hate filled. I agree with freedom of speech, but unfortunately, they only want it for those who do things like this, & not for those who stand for dignity & respect.

    • 44rd11

      Lying, cheating, and thievery is tolerated - why not disrespect.??

    • snowmaggedoned

      Don't forget election fraud!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/arleen.blackstone Arleen Blackstone

    While this woman of 30 years of age should know but, she is an immature, ignorant person that reflects the ME, ME, ME generation that chooses to "do it if it feels good" mentality. Giver her a penalty of cleaning graves and grave stones of soldiers.

    • 44rd11

      Thanks - but I wouldn't want her near mine or any other of the honorable dead.

  • sha49tn

    I agree with them losing their jobs. If they hadn't posted it on FB for everybody to see, then it wouldn't have been a big deal. By posting it, they were proud of doing it, so that tells me, as it would anyone looking to employ them, that they are not very reputable people. And, no one will hire either of these two for a long time. I hope they enjoy their ostracization!

    • axmickl

      I'll bet they get hired by a Obama supporter at a better salary.

    • http://www.facebook.com/teresa.rose.142 Teresa Rose

      Obama's administration probably has their eye on them right now to hold a federal job. After all, look who he has working for him now. All anti-americans who constantly disrespect this country, our military (Benghazi) and they call patriotic americans terrorists!

    • http://www.facebook.com/teresa.rose.142 Teresa Rose

      Oh, the liberal left are probably hiring them both now to be their poster children!

  • Stargazerlily17

    As a military wife, I was disgusted with stones lack of respect for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice so American like stone could enjoy all the freedom this great nation offers each of us. That said if you take away her right to freedom of speech and expression you start down that slippery slope until all of us have our freedom of speech rights taken away. That's just what the Marxist administration and czars want to do, duct tape all dissenting mouths.

    • Anthony Butler

      You make a good point, but there should be some punishment.
      I like Arleen Blackstone's suggestion of a sentence of cleaning and maintaining the gravestones in Arlington for a month or so.

    • Nadine

      She still should have to do that!

    • 44rd11

      How can you "punish" someone for "exercising their right of free expression"? And I repeat - don't let her near any tombstone that marks the sight of a person that died honorably serving his country. Let her go clean the toilets in the barracks.

    • 44rd11

      NO, Freedom of Speech - you should study why that was put into the Bill of Rights - it was NOT so that we could do or say anything at anytime using whatever language, vulgar, that we pleased. Freedom of speech was put in expressly so that citizens could speak out against government abuse without the fear of being imprisoned or fined.

  • Markus Reborn

    In case they didn't realize it, those dead soldiers died protecting their right to be moronic jerks.

  • Mickey

    Stone and Schuh have the right to voice their opinion and their employer had the right to decide they are not the type of employees the company wants representing them. The American people at large have to right to voice their disdain of these two scoundrel's behavior. Free speech cuts both ways and society has the duty as a civil society to shun such reprehensible behavior.

    • Barbie

      RESPECT is what she failed to learn. These people died so she can enjoy her freedom and what does she do? She flushes it down the toilet. This is a tough lesson for her to learn and better she learn it now than later.

    • http://twitter.com/author5555 John Patrick


  • Randy Gaiser

    Why don't you just print my comments you cowards, or take me off this mailing list.

    • 44rd11

      You can always take yourself off. I would imagine it's your language, rather than the fact that the whoever owns this thread are cowards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/donna.f.douglas Donna Frakes Douglas

    I LOVE how I was called out for "Blatant Racism" yet another person was never mentioned for thier blatant racism and hatred of old men. I see this site is also run by Obama Bin Laden and the Black Panthers and Muslims. That would be just too funny if it weren't so freakin sad.

  • fliteking

    Sure was, she represents the company she works for.

    She is lucky some disabled vet didn't smack the ŜhiŤ-eating grin off her face.

    • TLady62

      Yep, just like the buffoon from Arizona who was fired from his company after being completely disrespectful to a Chick-fil-A employee at the drive through window.

    • fliteking


    • relayman

      I am sure this cowardly POS looked this way and that to make sure no one but the dildo holding the camera, could see. Especially any vet.

    • fliteking

      Bet you are right.

    • 44rd11

      I disagree - she does NOT represent the company she works/worked for. She stands all alone in her disgrace - the very symbol of what is happening in our country. A culture that has no respect for others, no respect for property, and no respect for their country - or of those men that died, unknown, to give her the freedom that she could enjoy.

    • mtncrusr

      She displayed low moral standards. Her employer does not want employees with low moral standards. I hope she learned a lesson.

    • jorgaone

      She was in DC on her company's business. She was SUPPOSED to be representing her company WELL; clearly that didn't happen. Yes, she IS a symbol of where the younger generations are heading--down the toilet.

    • Bubble Burster

      Hmmm .... do you really think this is the FIRST disrespectful act she did?

      I don't. She certainly isn't a bright person so yes, this does reflect back on the company she worked for. Each company has it's own culture. She obviously fit in well with it. Birds of a feather flock together.

  • A. Levy

    I don't think firing her was correct. I think hanging her next to that memorial would have been far more correct.

  • becky

    This is a very simple issue. Back in the days when people KNEW what respect was and used it, unless someone did not deserve it, this type of person would have been stripped of citizenship and deported for being a communist sympathizer. It is long past time to go back to these consequences.

    • 44rd11

      Right up to the point where you said "deported for being a communist sympathizer" I agreed with you. but you have no reason to assume she sympathizes with communists. That she is a "dirt bag" - that is our opinion. IF she were my daughter or my relative - I'd almost wish to be a Muslim for a day - dishonor isn't tolerated.

    • becky

      44rd there were only TWO kinds of people before the libs/commies/progressives started redefining everything (think the simple word "Marriage"). Americans who loved America - and those who didn't. They were defined as communists and WERE actually deported, usually to Russia. Do you really not know this? That was not an attempt to be judgmental. I'm trying to get a real grasp on the state of our education.

    • Combat Veteran Seabee

      Probably young, and lack of a true one!!

    • becky

      Dear Combat Veteran: may God bless you and smile on all your days.

    • Combat Veteran Seabee

      Are you hinting towards an "Honor Killing?" hehehehehehe

    • Bubble Burster

      " I'd almost wish to be a Muslim for a day "

      Tell me you don't really mean that ...

    • The Reader

      Certainly you know that the communists are the ones that teach our children in the communist public schools. William Ayers has been at the White House visiting O'bama every year that he has been in office--they are working out a plan to re-educate the children.

    • Bubble Burster

      The problem is kids are forced to respect "gays", abortion, the secularization of our county, situation ethics, relative values/beliefs and to believe that our country EXPLOITS other people in other countries when it comes to free trade or capitalism. They are taught to disrespect our military,flag,hard work, God, family and parents. She is simply acting out on what she has been taught and of course we can't forget unbridled "fun" and "pleasure". So what is to be respected is DISrespected and what is to be respected is DISrespected. THAT is what public schools and LIBERAL private schools are teaching them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/teresa.rose.142 Teresa Rose


    • http://twitter.com/gabbing Carol

      Thats the truth. They feel they have free reign, anything goes, and that is a LIBERAL view.

    • becky

      Yes all of that is correct. I hope we start really increasing vouchers for private and charter schools and get kids out of this communist indoctrination.

  • rannan3

    I would think employers have a right to terminate an employee who's behavior reflects badly on their company. Too bad no one ever taught her to honor the sacrifices of the brave folks that provided the very freedoms she enjoys.

    • paxcat

      Exactly, and those employers do NOT need the feds or a state gov't telling them who and under what circumstances they can fire an employee! It is totally up to the employer, and it isn't up to the employer to tell every one of its employees basic civic etiquette or manners either, so every little infraction does not need to be outlined in an employee manual - common sense just can't be explained sometimes and doesn't need to be!

    • http://www.facebook.com/kai.elanzo Kai Elanzo

      I agree. As for common sense, for those who have it, no explaination is necessary. For those who don't, no explaination will suffice.

    • wizardkar

      One can only pray that her unAmerican behavior will follow her for the rest of her life and no one will ever hire her, thereby forcing her to join the government services and learn basic respect. As a parent I would be mortified if she were my child.

    • DrSique

      You seem to be working under the assumption that she didn't learn her behavior from her parents. Anyway, she has every constitutional right, as do we all, to be an azzhat. She does not have a right to employment and, perhaps, this experience shouldl give her pause and time to reflect on her exhibition of disrespect. Even commies revere the members of their militaries.

    • jorgaone

      She would not, in this instance, learn respect. What she would learn is to get food stamps, low-cost housing, and a "check" from the Govt. It might be better for her to be FINED by HAVING to join the Guard or Reserves...

    • DOC224

      No! Send her to the Marine Corps, they are like cheap toilet paper and don't take crap off of anything. They DO teach honor and respect. I tried to join after high school, but I was not medically able to be inducted. I am just a civilian now.

    • davienne

      one can only hope........

    • Bubble Burster

      I'd bet your child would NEVER think to even do such a thing.

      You are a wise person.

    • James Maxwell

      If it were my child and I was alive the repercussions would be great upon her
      backside as I bent her over my knee in public and blistered her ass. Whether
      or not you agree or disagree with military service they deserve respect. Those
      military men and women placed their lives on the line and paid the ultimate
      price for the freedoms we enjoy to day. It was not politicans or any others who
      stood in the breech against our enemies. Had I been there I would have been in
      jail for my actions at the time. I have lost family and friends in the service of
      my country and even in when serving in foreign land amongst my former
      enemies I showed respect for their sacrifices. This is a very disturbed and
      despicable person who I hope is reminded daily of her action and the repercussions that will forever follow her. She will now only shame for what
      she did.

    • danimal

      I think I would do it different, I would have busted him/her right in the mouth, NO KID OF MINE shall show ANY disrespect to any brave man or woman who gave the ultamite (sp) price for our freedom

    • snowmaggedoned

      wizardkar....working for the government won't teach her respect. Think GSA and TSA. Absolutely no respect for our hard earned tax dollars or our privacy!!!!

    • DevelDoc1

      IMHO the action of this young woman were the acts of an immature individual seeking attention from the faceless facebook crowd. Should she be fired for her immature behavior ? _Most certanly. Maybe her dadduy figure could put a strap to her hind parts to help her grow up..

  • outlaw7x77

    “Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its one sure defense.” Mark Twain Said that!

    • becky

      Mark Twain was speaking of "cheekiness", not downright criminal behavior. We have become a nation of criminals since OJ's trial, when it was made ABUNDANTLY clear that there are no consequences for breaking the law. It is now only the innocent who are penalized.

    • Mickey

      Mark Twain would have never condoned this. He loved America and spoke out always but never with disrespect and downright hate.

  • retiredmillwright

    Anyone who openly disrespects America’s war dead or their families’
    ought to have a sizeable dead or alive bounty placed on their heads.

  • Raymond

    Good bye to bad rubbish.

  • Raymond

    Obama will fire 20,000 Marines so he can give $6 billion
    U.S. taxpayer dollars to Muslims for ‘green’ energy..

    There are many things Obama hates, but only two
    things he really loves: Green energy and Muslims.
    And finally he’s found a way to put both together at
    the same time. And it will only cost U.S. taxpayers
    $6 billion dollars.


    • Nadine

      I totally agree...so we need to fire his ass too!

    • 44rd11

      If you'd hired him - you could fire him - unfortunately for us - we didn't hire him - WE didn't even elect him.

    • Nadine

      VERY SAD...but true!