An Anniston gun store owner is in hot-water for a message he sent to veterans. Michael Schuette told his Facebook friends veterans are not heroes. He's getting attention from all over the nation. ABC 33/40 talked with the man behind the message.
Schuette clicked around on Facebook hours before Birmingham kicked off its Veterans Day Parade. He hit send on his unpatriotic message after getting angered by Veterans Day comments he read online. Fast forward a few hours, the man who never served in the military is seeking cover.
"For my yearly Veterans Day speech, to all veterans, you are not heroes. You got paid to learn how to fight and kill for profit. You served your leader. You followed the rules and made it out of whatever country you terrorized alive," said Michael Schuette.
As people all over honored veterans, Schuette was telling Facebook users veterans got a check and a holiday. He also said veterans never fought for his freedoms.
"I did not mean for it to get out. My anger was misplaced. I am angry at the machine that sends out children to war senselessly," added Schuette.
Military supporters sent Schuette 1400 emails, 200 text messages and hundreds of voicemails.
"I've spent the last 12 hours on the phone with veterans all across the nation who have called me, let me know their feelings and told me their stories. I am very humbled. I am very apologetic. I have taken down the post," added Schuette.
"You should hear from all the veterans in California who (inaudible) ...," said one person who left Schuette a message.
Some of the messages were life-threatening.
"Right now, If I were you, I would go underground," said another caller.
It may be hard to understand why Schuette made the post and harder to understand how. His grandfather and stepdad served in the military.
Schuette's best friend wears a uniform now.
"He's so mad at me right now about this post he won't talk to me," added Schuette.
ABC 33/40's Venton Blandin said, "I'm a veteran. I served in the United States Marine Corps. I wear this lanyard around my media badge every day to show the love for my Corps. But, my opinion doesn't belong in this story."
"Wow," said a woman who supports the military.
ABC 33/40 discovered her sister is serving in Afghanistan a second time.
"I can't even believe people feel that way. We are hoping she makes it back home," added the supporter.
Schuette is facing the backlash head on and wants people upset with him to talk to him. He prefers those conversations happen without the death threats.