(Mineral County Sheriff's Office)

A 39-year-old Army veteran charged with assaulting a child for not removing his hat during the national anthem during a Montana county fair believed he was was simply following the orders of President Donald Trump, his lawyer said on Wednesday.

"His commander in chief is telling people that if they kneel, they should be fired, or if they burn a flag, they should be punished," Lance Jasper, the defense attorney for Army vet Curt Brockway, told the Missoulian on Wednesday. "He certainly didn't understand it was a crime."

Brockway was a specialist and served as a metal worker (44B) from November 1998 to May 2001, Army spokesman William Sharp confirmed to Task & Purpose, adding that his service verification file does not list any deployments or awards.

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