Big money — from more than 27,000 donors so far — is pouring in for a US Marine thrown in the brig after he slammed his superiors over the botched withdrawal in Afghanistan.
Lt. Col Stuart Scheller, 40, a father of three and a Bronze Star recipient, has been stuck in solitary confinement at Camp LeJeune.
Scheller went viral after he criticized America’s exit from Afghanistan in a series of videos. He can speak to his attorney but his parents, Stuart Sr. and Cathy, said they were only allowed to speak to him just once, for 90 seconds, last week.
A hearing to decide whether or not the military throws the book at Scheller, a 17-year veteran, or releases him is scheduled for Oct. 5. But the Schellers told The Post Saturday the hearing is closed to civilians and the media, and they don’t know what to expect.
“He’s in a cell with no books, no phone no nothing,” Cathy Scheller said. “We’re heartbroken over this and so is he. We love America and we are so shocked at what we’re learning about what the new military is like in this country.”
But there’s a silver lining for Scheller’s frantic parents: Veterans from the US and in foreign countries, some who said they are on low fixed incomes and some who are also disabled, have donated more than $2 million so far to a fundraiser organized by the Pipe Hitter Foundation in his name, the majority writing checks for small amounts.
Someone named Raymond donated $52.53.
“I’m a WWII vet just trying to help,” he wrote.
“Grunt brothers for life,” vowed Frank Linehan, who gave $26.27.
Another man named Frank gave $25. “I’m an Air Force veteran from 1959. Stay strong and don’t give up”
“Brass balls are worth supporting,” said a donor who called himself “Black Market Marvel.”
The Pipe Hitter foundation was founded by former Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher.
In the initial Aug. 26 video that went viral on Facebook, Scheller ripped into military leadership following the devastating suicide bombing at the Kabul airport, which killed 13 US service members and scores of Afghans.
Following the impassioned spiel, Lt. Col. Scheller announced he was resigning his commission and walking away from a $2 million pension after 17 years of service. He then posted two more videos.
He later announced he was ordered to undergo a mental health screening.
Scheller is accused of the following offenses under the UCMJ: Article 88: Contempt toward officials, Article 90: Willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, Article 92: Failure to obey an order, and Article 133: Conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, according to Task and Purpose.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), led a group of 36 members of Congress who have signed a letter calling for Scheller’s release.
Gohmert said Scheller’s arrest and imprisonment was apparently for “messaging, retribution, and convenience.”