In Love and War

This is a partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, December 5, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: The honeymoon ended quickly for a Florida National Guardsman who married an Iraqi woman he met while deployed to fight the war. The military has reprimanded Sergeant Sean Blackwell and now he's being discharged. Is the soldier being treated fairly?

Well, joining me now is Sergeant Blackwell's mother, Vickie McKee, and his attorney, Richard Alvoid.

Good to have you both with us.

Vickie, let me begin with you. Tell us about your son and how you found out about this and the relationship, as you heard about it.

VICKIE MCKEE, SEAN BLACKWELL'S MOTHER: Well, he told me that he'd been seeing her, and they'd been talking and everything. And her and her mom would bring him food to eat while he was at work. And one thing led to another, and they fell in love and got married.

COLMES: What was your reaction when he called you and said, "Mom, I'm marrying an Iraqi I met here while fighting the war?"

MCKEE: Well, I had mixed feelings about it at first, you know? I really didn't know what to think.

COLMES: You thought maybe she was using him for some purpose?

MCKEE: Yes. You know, it crossed my mind that that was possible. And, you know, I thought maybe you know, he'll -- they'll just talk to each other and that will be the end of it, you know.

COLMES: What convinced you she really loved him?

MCKEE: What convinced me that she really loves him?


MCKEE: Talking to her on the phone. She calls me all the time, and we e-mail each other all the time. I can just tell that she's a very sweet, intelligent person.

COLMES: Let me to go to the attorney here, Richard. It's against orders to fraternize with the local community. So does the Army have a point if they say, "Look, he just didn't obey orders. He's not supposed to be doing this, according to our rules of engagement"?

RICHARD ALVOID, SEAN BLACKWELL'S ATTORNEY: Well, perhaps he did violate orders not to fraternize, but as I've said previously, he is guilty of falling in love. But the punishment I don't think here -- the reprimand and the possible discharge, I don't think that is suitable.

COLMES: Right. So how are you fighting this?

ALVOID: Well, understand I'm representing Ehdaa and Sean mostly for the immigration. Other lawyers have been involved on the military side. Although that's not really necessary anymore.

But as far as immigration, I've been trying from day one, trying to get them to this country. And the military did not allow Sean to take the necessary step of visiting the U.S. embassy in the next-door country of Jordan in order to process Ehdaa's immigration papers.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Richard, first of all, do we know if it's going to be honorable or not in terms of a discharge at this point?

ALVOID: Well, we don't know at this point.

HANNITY: All right. I want to go back to the Associated Press piece on this, where I understand you were quoted as saying that he's being punished for divulging the time and location of the patrol to his bride and the Iraqi judge who married them.

You don't see any problems with that?

ALVOID: Well, of course, he is guilty of that without a doubt. But let me just come to...

HANNITY: Wait a minute. He's guilty of fraternization. He's guilty of divulging to his bride the time and location of the patrol. I mean -- does that put other people's lives potentially in danger? What if she turned out to be not who she said she was?

ALVOID: The patrol was routine and well known to the entire neighborhood, as well as the enemy. So therefore, the reprimand seemed to be a formality, in my opinion.


HANNITY: Look, I'm not -- I understand that people fall in love. But there are -- when we're talking about the military, there are very set disciplinary standards that save lives.

If one person can make -- if we make exceptions for them, for whatever reason, falling in love: "Yes, he was fraternizing. But he's fallen in love. He's guilty of falling in love." Aren't we really saying that those laws don't matter, and that -- doesn't that take away all military discipline?

ALVOID: I don't think...

HANNITY: Ma'am, I see you rolling your eyes. Go ahead.

MCKEE: I don't think so. I mean...

HANNITY: You don't think so?

MCKEE: What about Vietnam and Korea? What did those guys do?

ALVOID: We can't prohibit soldiers from marrying people they fall in love with. Fraternization is one thing, but a military deployed overseas must interact with the local population. And when they do fall in love, I don't think it's the military's role to prevent those marriages. It increases enmity between the populations, and...

HANNITY: I'm going to go on -- I don't think he should get a dishonorable discharge. He should get a discharge.

But I understand why he cannot serve with his troops anymore, because you must maintain a standard of military discipline, and he didn't listen to the law. So in that sense, I think for that reason he can't be there.

ALVOID: Indeed. And he's not going to be there. And I'm not sure if he wants to be there anymore after the way he's been treated.

COLMES: Honorable not a dishonorable discharge.

Vickie, counselor, we thank you both very much for being with us tonight.

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