After release from prison, SFC Stewart was forced to move to Virginia where he lived in an old 20 foot camper in a very, very rural area near the Shenandoah Mountain range. Over the next 3 years he did not have funds to purchase propane gas on a regular basis and suffered through cold winter nights without heat. A water hose ran from a well froze and there was no water and he frequently went to use a nearby river as the bathroom facility. Having little funds for utility payment, during the heat of summer he was without air-conditioning. During this time his wife, an Army veteran, divorced him and took custody of the children.
Finally, his parents were able to rent and move SFC Stewart into an unfinished garage of an old home, one without heat or any comfort items. He purchased a used wood stove, ran a stovepipe to the exterior and had heat in the garage. Wood pieces were hung on the wall for shelves for cans of food, etc. An old, worn out couch and chair were purchased from a thrift shop for about $25. A used bed and work table were found, the table serving as somewhere to sit and eat. The unfurnished floor found some cheap throw rugs from a thrift shop. A used refrigerator with a bad door and no icemaker were found, as was a makeshift kitchen stove to cook on. He was unable to purchase a microwave oven. Lighting was rudimentary at best. In an adjoining room through a large opening without doors is a portion used by the owner for repair to motorcycles and other items. Obviously odors and fumes permeated throughout the living area..
SFC Stewart got an entry level job at a local microbrewery business but, unfortunately, he made a very, very small salary but was the best that could be done at the moment because no other employer would accept him. From that small amount of take-home pay he had to pay a large child support payment, necessary utilities, food, insurance and gas to get to work while using an old car purchased by his parents, medical bills must be paid (he has extensive health issues from military service and was without VA health benefits), clothing, etc., etc., etc. Additionally, the United States Army billed him for over $35,000 in back pay from his active duty time because of his imprisonment and would shortly begin garnisheeing his pay for a monthly amount that appeared to exceed his entire monthly income. Being unable to pay, he would once again be sent to prison if the amount was not paid, so he had to declare bankruptcy in 2015 to avoid the back pay issue.
A year later, using most of their life savings and selling family treasures, his parents were able to make a down payment and pay closing costs on a small 900 sq ft fixer-upper home and SFC Stewart finally had a roof over his head with heat and air conditioning.
October 2016 SFC Stewart was critically burned in an industrial accident
suffering 2nd and 3rd degree burns on about 60% of his body when a
microbrewer's kettle exploded outwards with over 200 degrees hot liquid. He was home undergoing therapy
for a long time and has a long road ahead of him in the
recovery process, some of which will not be completed and leaving
permanent scarring with limited range of limbs. A condition that
would not have occurred had military justice done its' job.
He lost his job after the accident and a family member gave him another job but due to his condition, both physically and monetarily, things are difficult. He financially struggles every single day to simply feed himself, get medical care and pay for it. He suffers tremendously from PTSD after serving in war as a Combat Medic and Sniper. He is in constant pain from his burns and military injuries. Despite severe dental problems he had little or no funds for dental support, is driving an old car with nearly 210,000 miles on it and in poor condition, etc. VA has started to provide some medical support for his wartime injuries but much more is needed both physically and physiologically. Virtually nobody reading this terrible situation online, or aware of his situation in the community (both civilian and Special Forces), has stepped forward to assist him. If you would like to contact and help him, the address is:
Update, March 2019. A
family member has given Kelly a job because nobody else would help when
the brewery where he worked tossed him aside after the injuries which directly
resulting from their admitted failure to ensure safety features were installed on
the equipment. Kelly is now climbing 1000 ft internet support towers despite having
severe scarring that limits his mobility, particularly on the left side. His
vehicle died and he was forced to ride a motorcycle during the brutal
winter months to get to and from work. We have asked President Trump
on four occasions to pardon him because of the obvious failure of the
military justice system. To
date, no response as usual from him. Only receiving a letter suggesting applying through the Army which has already been
refused and there are no avenues of choice left in the system.