– Soldier in Trouble for Praising Ron Paul on National TV (ABC News, Jan 5, 2012):
Rep. Ron Paul likes to silence the GOP rivals who criticize his foreign policy as “dangerous” by reminding them that he receives more financial support from military personal than all the other candidates combined.
But the Army is now investigating whether a 28-year old reservist breached military protocol when he praised Paul’s foreign policy positions on national television during a Paul rally Tuesday night.
The soldier, Cpl. Jesse Thorsen, walked on stage and lobbed praise on the Texas congressman, calling his foreign policy “better than any candidate out there.”
At one point, Thorsen stopped, reached out his hand out to Paul and exclaimed, “I’m flabbergasted right now. This is an incredible moment for me. It’s like meeting a rock star.”
The Department of Defense policy does not prevent soldiers from advocating for a political candidate, but active duty troops wearing a uniform are expected to avoid activities that “imply official sponsorship, approval, or endorsement.” Thorsen is not active duty.
Thorsen has reportedly described himself as a 10-year veteran who has served two tours in Afghanistan and was due to head back for a third.
“I’ve been serving for 10 years now, and all 10 years of those have been during wartime,” Thorsen said. “I’d like to see a little peacetime Army, and I think [Paul] has the right idea.”
ABC News’ Luis Martinez contributed to this report.