As milspouses, we tend to exude pride in our service member and his affiliated unit or branch. And rightfully so. Parents of service members are also proud of their son or daughter. And rightfully so. Our pride is displayed publicly and privately, in a variety of ways.Let this serve as a warning to be careful where you choose to publicly display your pride.
If this story turns out to be true, it's utterly disgraceful.
Don't try wearing a Bush hat or sweatshirt at an Obama rally.
Duane Hammond says it's what got him fired. Hammond is a union stagehand who was part of the crew that built the platform for the Obama event on campus.
He came to work early this morning wearing clothing that says "George H. W. Bush". Hammond's son is in the Navy, currently serving on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. George H. W. Bush.
Hammond says he was not trying to make a political statement. He says he got the sweatshirt and hat during a visit to the aircraft carrier on Family Day. The back of his sweatshirt has a large drawing of the ship.
He says he wore it to show how proud he is of his son.
But that explanation didn't quite hold water. According to Mr. Hammond, here's what happened next:
Mr. Hammond refused to turn the sweatshirt inside out, or remove it. He was subsequently fired.
A close examination of the hat and sweatshirt should have rendered Mr. Hammond's explanation unnecessary. But no. Apparently, a reasonable explanation was dismissed, right along with any respect for the service of Mr. Hammond's son, and all those who serve alongside him on the U.S.S. George H. W. Bush.
Mr. Hammond's choice of attire appears to be more a legitimate display of pride and less an overt poke in the eye of Mr. Obama's supporters. Even if Mr. Hammond had a dual purpose for choosing his attire (which he claims is not the case) when did clothing bearing the name and emblem of a Navy ship become so offensive that it had to be removed from view?
Something is very, very wrong here.Part of me hopes there's more to the story than meets the eye. If not, this is beyond sad.
As for Mr. Hammond, not to worry.
James Wright, a business representative from IATSE Local 33, says the union is still investigating what happened.
"If he was sent home because of the sweatshirt, he will be paid for the day," he said.
Well, gee. Thanks....
Click here to find a list of Aircraft Carriers. You'll find more than one were named after Presidents. I'd love to see a joint statement from Presidents Obama and George H.W. Bush condemning this action. And I'm sure both men do.
Duane Hammond says union officials called him this afternoon to apologize for the incident. He say they are "bending over backwards" to make it up to him.
I always feel the need to add what amounts to a SpouseBUZZ Public Service Announcement when we tackle a story like this, so let's just get it out of the way. SpouseBUZZ is a milspouse support destination. We do not dabble in politics here. Milspouses are not monolithic in their political views. So if you decide to comment, please refrain from political attacks on a party, person or each other.