Man Denied Entry to Theme Park Over 'Offensive' Pro-Military Shirt

If there's one thing we Americans love, it's our service men and women who make the sacrifice to serve our country. So when we hear about a member of our troops being mistreated for showing their military pride, we get just a wee bit defensive. Like this story of an Iraqi war veteran who was denied entrance to a theme park for his "offensive" shirt supporting his fellow Marines.

Mario Alejandro was recently turned away from New Jersey's Six Flags Great Adventure for wearing a shirt decorated witha star-spangeled M-16, and the catchphrase, "Keep Calm and Return Fire." That was apparently enough to keep him from enjoying his day at the amusement park with his family.

"I was walking in through the gate with my wife and kids, who were in front of me, when a security guard grabbed me and said: 'I can't let you into the park with that shirt on. That shirt's offensive,'" he said of the incident last Saturday.

He also said he thought it was a joke at first, and reiterated that he was a war vet, and meant no harm by supporting his fellow soldiers

"I said that it's not offensive, it's a military shirt. I told him that I am an Iraq veteran … I served in the war. But he said: 'I don't care, you have to take that off … or you need to buy another shirt to put over it,'" he recalled.

His kids had gotten him the shirt for Father's Day, through the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation, which helps support Recon Marines and their families.

Alejandro, who served four years in the Marine infantry and was part of the initial 2003 invasion into Iraq, refused to cave and demanded to see a supervisor. He was shocked to discover that he shared the same view, and demanded that he not wear the shirt inside the park, as his wife and son started to cry.

He agreed, but only after identifying the injustice of the situation to the hundreds of people around him.

A park spokesman has said the situation is "under review," and the Marine Reconnaissance Foundation has announced they are bringing back the limited edition shirt for anyone who wants to purchase it and show their support to the Marines.

"One of our supporters was denied entry to Six Flags Great Adventures for wearing a shirt that supports the MRF," they announced via Facebook this week. "We said this shirt would be limited, but we're re-releasing it. Stand by for the link."

Do you think this pro-military shirt is offensive enough to get a Marine kicked out of Six Flags?


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Snapp... SnappleQueen

Meh. Private business gets to set its own rules. Don't like it? Don't go there. 

nonmember avatar Sarah

I've heard a lot of cases of shirts featuring guns on them being banned all together. It wouldn't surprise me if that was the case.

Also, with gun control debates how they are, the shootings we've had, etc... the shirt could EASILY be confused as supporting that, which would be offensive to some people.

Overall, even though I 100% agree with supporting our troops, I can see why they didn't approve of the shirt. If the shirt said something along the lines of "war veteran" and had an eagle or a flag or some other sign, it would be a different story all together.

Organ... Organizedchaos8

I think the security guard and manager are overly sensitive, it's a freaking t-shirt. It's not sexist, racist, or homophobic. It says "return fire" implying that you're being fired at, so wouldn't it make sense to return fire in that case?

Autum... Autumnleaves87

Don't wear a stupid shirt and no one will give you shit. It's amazing, I know!! I do it every day!!

TNRCa... TNRCatLady

I guess I get how the shirt could be taken the wrong way but come on it's just a shirt! The words are the only thing that could be taken wrong but anyone who's not a moron knows that the image of an M16 is a military symbol (especially this one with the American flag print on making it even more obvious) so they'd realize pretty fast what the shirt is supporting. I don't even like the shirt not because I don't like military support but I personally think it's tacky but I'm not the one wearing it so my opinion shouldn't matter and nor should anyone else's. I just think it's stupid to kick someone out based on a damn shirt. Good thing my husband's army tattoo of an m16 is on his back and typically covered so we don't have to deal with this sort of thing. Everyone who's ever seen my husband's tattoo automatically knows it's a military tattoo and most would automatically think the same thing seeing that guys shirt.

mompam mompam

I don't get why this is such an issue. If someone told me my shirt was offensive I would turn it inside out and go in and have a fun day. The man is an ass for making so much about it.

Laura-Kathleen Redman

That's funny. Whenever gay couples are being discriminated against, plenty of conservatives love to crow about private businesses having the right to refuse to serve anyone. Sucks to have that treatment applied to a group YOU support, huh?

nonmember avatar phoenix

How the *@%# is anyone supposed to know this shirt is pro-military? It just looks pro-gun in an aggressive way. Hint: if you want to spread a message of supporting the military, put that on the freaking shirt!

Look at it this way- if you saw a sulking teenager walk into a large, family filled park with a t-shirt that said "kill them all, let god sort them out" would you be nervous?

nonmember avatar Vanessa

It's just a shirt! That's crazy. It's kind of like the shirts I saw on but still not a big deal.

Snapp... SnappleQueen

Laura-Kathleen Redman - So, you think asking a man to turn his shirt inside out and denying service to someone is the same thing? Wow, are you really that dumb or do you just play dumb on the internet? 

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