A U.S. Army soldier is under fire after she posted a selfie on Instagram of her hiding in her car to avoid saluting the flag.
The photo shows Pfc. Tariqka Sheffey in full uniform lying down with her hand behind her head. The caption reads:
"KEEP ALL YOUR 'THATS SO DISRESPECTFUL/HOWRUDE/ETC.' COMMENTS TO YOURSELF cuz, right now, IDGAFFFF," she wrote under the handle sheffeynation.
The photo has since been removed from Instagram and Facebook where it was initially shared. It has received criticism from service members, Gold Star mothers, spouses and others who have called for the soldier’s removal from service.
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“Any soldier who refuses to salute the flag is in the military for the wrong reason, and should be removed by dishonorable discharge with loss of all benefits,” a Facebook commenter said according to the Army Times. “If they won’t salute it, they damn sure won’t fight for it.”
Sheffey, a member of the 59th Quartermaster Company, 43rd Sustainment Brigade, at Fort Carson, Colo., later posted a video of herself on Tuesday expressing regret but did not offer an apology for her actions.
“I seriously just want to say thank you to everybody who stood up to me today, like seriously. That s--- to me was not that serious. I am not a disrespectful soldier and I really appreciate you all,” she said.
Her Instragram account has since been disbanded – but its biography had described Sheffey as a 24-year-old single mother. Public photos on her Facebook account show photos of her daughter along with other selfies – one of which is in uniform. A friend commented, “US Army’s Finest!”
Dee McNutt, a Fort Carson spokesman said an investigation is underway. “The chain of command is aware and looking into the situation. That’s really all I can say at this point,” McNutt said.
This is the third incident in less than two weeks where a photo posted on social media by a service member has incited criticism. Recently, National Guard members were reprimanded after posting a photo of them posing in front of a casket with the caption, "We put the FUN in funeral -- your fearless honor guard from various states."