New Obama policy prevented a decorated Serviceman from speaking at Catch a Dream event-Fiction!

New Obama policy prevented a decorated U.S. Army Green Beret sergeant from speaking at a Catch a Dream Foundation fund raising event-Fiction!

Summary of eRumor:

A forwarded email from someone who says he works with the Catch-A-Dream Foundation where a decorated Green Beret,  U.S. Army Sergeant Greg Stube, was scheduled to speak as an inspirational speaker for a fund raising event.  The email said that Stube had to cancel his appearance because President Obama instituted a policy which prevents  U.S. Servicemen from speaking at faith-based public events.

The Truth:

There is no new policy by the Obama Administration forbidding U.S. Servicemen from appearing at faith-based fund raising events.

We have found Department of Defense (DOD) ethics polices dating back as far as 1997 that prohibited DOD employees from officially endorsing or appearing to endorse membership drives or fundraising activities for non-federal entities.

Dr. Marty Brunson, the executive director of the Catch-A Dream Foundation, told that Sergeant First Class Greg Stube was a scheduled guest speaker for the 8th Annual Catch the Vision  event hosted on May 16, 2009 by the Starkville Gun Club, about 120 miles North East of Jackson, Mississippi. Stube’s permission to speak was revoked by his commanding officer although this was not because of any new policy of the Obama administration, as the email implied.  

Sergeant Stube is with U.S. Army Special Forces and was seriously injured in 2006 while serving in Afghanistan.  An improvised explosive device (IED) set off by the Taliban detonated and sent a one-pound piece of shrapnel through his hip and his intestines.   He also lost part of his leg from the fire blast of the explosion but miraculously survived the ordeal.

The Catch-A Dream Foundation is a non profit organization that provides outdoor experiences to children with life-threatening illness.   

The originator of the email was not an employee at Catch-A-Dream but a volunteer who sent out his complaint to a few friends and it eventually avalanched on World Wide Web.

There is another version of this eRumor, allegedly written by retired U.S. Coast Guard Admiral Robert Scarborough. The text is basically the similar to that of the volunteer’s original email.  Admiral Scarborough would well be aware of the ethics policies by which members of the military are bound. Therefore, it is doubtful that the Admiral would have sent it.

updated 07/09/10