Iraq war vet turned away from Six Flags over shirt

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A New Jersey father says he was turned away from Six Flags Great Adventure because of the shirt he was wearing.

Marine veteran Mario Alejandro says his shirt is patriotic.  It features an M16 in the colors of the American flag and the words, “Keep calm and return fire.”

Staff at Six Flags told him it was inappropriate.

“When the guy said, ‘You can’t come to this park, people will find this offensive,’ I thought it was a joke,” Alejandro said.

Alejandro, who served two tours in Iraq, says he bought the shirt to support the veterans group

“As soon as I showed him the back of my shirt he said, ‘I don’t care. Get out of here, get out of here,'” Alejandro said.

He says he was told to either buy a new shirt in the gift shop, or leave.

So the father of three angrily left the park, while his family went inside to attend a birthday party.

When asked what the shirt means to him,  Alejandro said: “With all the craziness that’s going on in this world right now, I look at it that if there was something happening here right now I would be the first one to stand up and defend anybody that’s injured, ill or sick.”

A Six Flags spokeswoman says the park has a dress code that it enforces: “We do not permit clothing with vulgar, offensive or violent images or wording.”

Alejandro sees none of that when he looks at his shirt.

TM & © 2014 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.


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  • Mim Spindler Heyden

    but walking around with your pants down past your ass is ok…. yea, I would rather my kids look at someones underwear than something patriotic from someone who served our country…. Thug wanna be vs American Hero… Yes sir America… we have our role model ideals going in the right direction… #embarrassed

    • Christine

      Why is that so horrible, when I see more butts at 6 Flags, then I do “inappropriate shirts” If you go and tell someone to pull up their pants, you’re criticizing how they dress, but when someone wears a shirt that you may not like **OH MY LORD, IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD** Come on, someone is ALWAYS finding something to BITCH about today!!!!!!!

      • Christine

        Then don’t let people in that are showing me their underwear and butts!! I find that inappropriate and disrespectful!!!!!

    • Karen

      No gangs yes. No guns, are you insane. Sue you have to be an Obama supporter to have made a stupid comment such as that. 6 flags was wrong, period. As far as im concerned any military vetern can wear whatever the hell he or she wants.

      • David

        Karen….whether or not she is an Obama supporter is irrelevant. And as much as I support our veterans, no they do not have the right to where whatever they want just because they are one. These policies are there for a reason…..grow up!

  • jj

    It’s not offensive to me. I just wonder what you patriotic people on here would say if they kicked out a middle eastern man wearing a shirt with a rifle on it that said fire back. they have every right to keep a dress code.

  • Bryan

    I’m sick and tired of frigging Iraq vets thinking they’re special and can do whatever they want bc they fired a few shots at some militants half a world away. They have a no violent images clothing policy, why the hell should you be an exception? Don’t go out in public wearing shirts work redneck slogans like that and you won’t have a problem.

  • Mel

    Policy is policy. I’m a veteran as well, and he should know that regs are regs. And what does being an Obama supporter have to do with anything?

  • pvbella

    The dress code is arbitrary and capricious. It is designed to get people to shell out money for tee shirts at Six Flags. Who decides what is vulgar, profane, or offensive? This is more insanity.

  • TJ

    REALLY Brian you are a Moron, get your ass overthere, firing a couple shots? i have seen the after effects of people that had to “go over there” to defend your freedom you scum bag,think before youspeak! And yes I do agree with the dress code of six flags #

  • Suzi

    Six flags is a family friendly place and should have the policies in place to protect our children from being forced to learn that people kill other people. I am not a vet, so I could be totally wrong on this but I don’t think being proud of killing anyone is a good thing. I know many veterans that don’t talk about killing or shooting people but are very proud to have fought for their country!!! A policy is set in place for a reason not to force people to buy their shirts . I think six flags did EXACTLY the right thing. And if this veteran is more concerned with his shirt than his child then he has a big problem!!!

    • A. Random Vet

      Hey Suzi, I AM a veteran and yours is exactly the RIGHT answer. Some of us vets have been thru real HELL…and hell doesn’t begin to describe what some of my brothers and sisters went thru in defense of this great nation. But sadly I see that many of us carry a chip on our shoulder and feel entitled to do whatever the hell we want because of our sacrifices for this country. Well, I don’t carry that chip. I served a FREE country–one where a family-oriented, PRIVATE company can refuse to serve someone wearing what they deem to be inappropriate for their kid-friendly atmosphere–even if it is a veteran, like myself, who fought to give them that right! Sadly, many vets don’t see it that way. Bottom line, that vet can wear that shirt in any PUBLIC space he pleases and I’d stand shoulder to shoulder with him to ensure no one interfered with his freedom of expression, but….you just can’t do that in someone’s private space if they don’t want you there. I wish he had just turned the shirt inside out and enjoyed the day with his family.

      And to those who say it’s a “patriotic” shirt, ok sure, to YOU –an intelligent, reasoning adult! To a CHILD :keep calm and return fire” could mean pick up a gun, go to school, and “calmly” fire on that teacher I hate and the kids who bully me. #SeeWhereImGoingWithThat

  • ChicagoCommonSense

    It is not an appropriate shirt for an amusement park. Deal with it. The man is obviously trying to make a name for himself. He’ll become a darling to the FOX News idiots, which is hilarious, since otherwise judging by his last name, Alejandro, they would be trying to run him out of the country.

  • Michael

    This is Six Flags policy since I can remember. This has nothing to do with being a Veteran or a true American. This has to do with the policy of not allowing shirts that have sayings such as this. Why bring war into a family friendly theme park where we can get away from the reality of life for a day.

  • Karen Onken

    I truly believe in ones right to share their opinions, the right to own guns and to conceal carry, I am the mother of a former Marine and would do anything to defend and protect the rights of the veterans who served to protect our freedoms, That said I do not believe that 6 flags is the right place to wear a shirt that tells children about killing, Innocence in our youth is lost too soon we don’t need to push it on them 24/7… Marine you fought for your country and had to be away from your children to protect this country. You made the wrong choice leaving them for the day over a shirt, they should have come first. You know how many days you already missed from them.

  • Molly Reda-Schneider

    Had they rejected him because he was in Military uniform or fatigues, I would take serious issue with their actions. There is a time and place for wearing “T” shirts that make a statement though and a park where children and adults come to enjoy themselves, is not the place. Depending on an individuals passion, an argument pro or con could be made for most “T” shirts people wear in public. For the purpose of keeping peace and decorum in the park, they have to have a policy and so long as it is administered uniformly, diligently and without prejudice they (Great America) have a right to refuse service.

  • Tracy

    First off, what happened to freedom of speech? Secondly, it says “return fire” which implies he is not the perpetrator but the defender. Lastly, kudos to him for standing up for his belief and not spending his money at the gift shop of an establishment that won’t allow him express it!

  • Jim

    Good for Six Flags! It doesn’t matter if you were in the military, that shirt promotes gun violence and should not be allowed in a family friendly environment. Anyone that would look at that and think it is appropriate is deluded.

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