Missouri has fired a neo-Nazi National Guardsman who was a paid guard at military funerals for former soldiers, some of whom had fought against Hitler.
The state fired Nathan Wooten, who belonged to a neo-Nazi group and whose living room was adorned with a picture of Hitler, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch was preparing to publish an article revealing the lack of action against Wooten.
A National Guard spokeswoman told the newspaper that it had fired Wooten and that he may not be allowed to re-enlist in the Guard when his current term of duty is completed in May. The U.S. military three years ago began to crack down on extremists in their ranks.
Wooten named his son after a Nazi SS leader, and his co-workers had complained about his neo-Nazi activities. He denied to the Post-Dispatch that he was in involved in neo-Nazi activities and told the newspaper, “I don't need to explain anything to you guys. It's been taken care of."
One state legislator said that Wooten should have been fired long ago.
Wooten often was one of two uniformed National Guardsmen present at military services, which include a rifle salute.
One co-worker named Branden Knott said that Wooten told him he was a member of the National Socialist Movement, described by the civil rights Southern Poverty Law Center organization as one of the country’s largest and most prominent neo-Nazi groups.
"He always talked about how great of an organization it is and how they hate minorities like blacks, Mexicans and Jews and how great the U.S. would be without them," Knott wrote in a work complaint, which was provided to the Post-Dispatch.
Knott and another co-worker also said that Wooten once attended a neo-Nazi rally and private party in which books by Jewish authors were burned. Wooten also allegedly had photos of friends urinating on a Jewish grave and giving the Nazi salute.