A Vietnam veteran named Joe Abodeely, who has devoted himself to the Arizona Military Museum for forty years, got a little too blunt with a tour visiting the display and was unceremoniously shut down over it.
The museum is the veteran’s passion. His Army uniform is on display there and he has devoted his life to the military homage.
Abodeely, who is now 80 years old, told those on the tour that he would probably be replaced by “some gay, black, woman, woke Jew.” He also intimated that a mannequin with its hand on its hip was probably gay according to the Daily Mail.
The comments were just enough to get the museum shut down four months ago and the nonprofit Arizona National Guard Historical Society overseeing it has had its state support cut off. The museum sits on military property.
Arizona Military Museum CLOSES after Vietnam vet founder, 80, told tour: ‘Eventually they will replace me with some gay, black, woman woke Jew’ and claimed mannequin with hand on its hip represented gay soldiers
Vietnam vet Joe Abodeely, 80, was forced to step away from the… pic.twitter.com/2kGp0wVjJo
— News News News (@NewsNew97351204) December 29, 2023
“Arizona National Guard Brigadier General John Conley sent Abodeely a letter in February expressing concern about statements the senior made during a tour,” the Daily Mail reported.
“Eventually they will replace me with some gay, black, woman, woke Jew who will ruin the place,” Abodeely told the tour, according to the letter obtained by the Arizona Republic.
Abodeely is also accused of calling “all Americans” stupid and “told the members of the tour group that they knew nothing of the realities of the Vietnam era because they were too young, brainwashed, stupid, duped, uneducated, or uncaring.”
Arizona’s Department of Emergency and Military Affairs stepped in after the incident and ordered Abodeely to attend two hours of diversity, equity, and inclusion training. He complied with the order. Major General Kerry Muehlenbeck, the adjutant general of the guard in Arizona, also requested a meeting with him.
50th Anniversary of Tet Offensive, My U S Air Force service came between Korea and Viet Nam.. My wife, Judy and her band, “The In Country Crowd” did two USO tours to Viet Nam, 68 and 69, first entertainer in Viet Nam After Tet Offensive. Col. Joe Abodeely put it together. pic.twitter.com/Tf7jfqIrNP
— jay lawrence (@jlawrenceLD23) October 21, 2018
Despite bowing to demands to take DEI reeducation and getting a certificate for completing that mandate, Abodeely just couldn’t stomach repressing his viewpoints. During a purported interview, he made his comment about a museum mannequin with a “hand on its hip” being representative of gay soldiers.
He apologized a day later blaming stress and having to undergo tests for cancer.
“I’m arrogant, and I know that,” he admitted. “I am somewhat egotistical, but I care about other people. I care about other things. I care about my nation, my state and I care about the museum.”
His comments seem at odds with an alleged post on Facebook reported by the Daily Mail expressing his condemnation of racists while decrying the division across America.
“It is not about economics, or politics, or ideology, or the haves vs. the have nots – it is clearly about RACE,” he wrote referring to the Jan. 6 protests at the Capitol.
“Those people are simply ignorant, despicable racists; and their actions have brought the race issue to the forefront. It took a racist President and supporters to do it,” he claimed.
During his interview, Abodeely claimed that Muehlenbeck was also pushing him out which has been denied.
“The guard forbade him from interacting with guests at the museum, but spokesperson Captain Erin Hannigan said he continued to use ‘unprofessional language,'” the Daily Mail wrote. “In turn, the Adjutant General lost confidence in Mr. Abodeely’s ability to interact professionally, and respectfully with members of the public,’ she said.”
The Arizona National Guard reportedly plans to find a new group to run the museum and will reopen it.
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