National Guard Sergeant Tied to Nazism Is Fired
A Missouri National Guardsman accused of proclaiming himself a neo-Nazi has been fired from his state job as a member of a military honor guard that appears at veterans’ funerals of veterans.
Former co-workers of Nathan Wooten filed complaints nearly a year ago claiming he had a portrait of Adolf Hitler in his living room, had tried to recruit others to the cause and had named his son after a notorious leader of the German SS, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch ( ) reported.
The Post-Dispatch was about to publish a story about the state’s lack of action when a guard spokeswoman, Maj. Tammy Spicer, notified the newspaper Friday that Wooten had been fired from his full-time state position with the funeral program as a result of an investigation into a variety of complaints.
Wooten is not accused of having broken any laws, but the U.S. military bans participation in extremist groups and groups that “actively advocate supremacist doctrine, ideology or causes.” Spicer would not elaborate about the funeral honors program firing. She said a separate investigation by the Guard is in its final stages.
Wooten, however, has denied being involved in neo-Nazi activities.
“I didn’t do any of that,” said Wooten, 32, at the National Guard armory in Macon last month. “I don’t need to explain anything to you guys. It’s been taken care of.”
He didn’t immediately return a phone message Saturday from The Associated Press.
“It’s about time,” said Republican State Sen. Bill Stouffer, of Napton, who had inquired about the case on behalf of three of the co-workers. “… I don’t know why it took so long to get to where we are, but, finally, the right thing has happened.”
Brandon Knott, 24, said he began working with Wooten in 2007 at the funeral honors program, which sends at least two uniformed National Guard members or retirees to funeral services. He said that around the time Wooten was promoted to team leader, Wooten told him about joining the National Socialist Movement, which the Southern Poverty Law Center describes as one of the largest and most prominent neo-Nazi groups in the U.S.