Mario Alejandro had a run in with such a theme park employee. Before we get into the story, one thing you must understand about Alejandro is that he's a veteran. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the the initial invasion of Iraq in 2003.
The story begins with a gift, oddly enough. Alejandro's children gave him several shirts for Father's Day. They got them from The Reconnaissance Foundation, a non-profit seeking to help Recon Marines and their families.
"I wore them to all over the place, to my kids’ baseball games – everywhere. And I got nothing but compliments about how great they were. No one ever said they were offensive, because it’s obvious that they’re in support of the military and the United States."
"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.'"
"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.'"
Alejandro, who is classified as disabled due to hearing loss and post-traumatic stress disorder he sustained from his military service, refused. He and his family were told to wait. The guard then went to check with his supervisor.
"I saw him talk to two women in white shirts, who looked at me and then shook their heads. And then the man grabbed my arm and asked me to leave. I told him that it’s not offensive, that it’s a military shirt and that it means something."
"Six Flags takes great pride in the various ways we honor, celebrate and support our military heroes. We strive to maintain a family-friendly environment and similar to many other public venues we have a dress code. Unfortunately, at the time our employee did not know Mr. Alejandro's shirt was related to a military charity and we apologize to any military personnel who may have been offended by our mistake."
"At the very least should revise their policy. I fought for this country. I laid in a hole for 36 hours with no sleep, and had friends die for this country and so the people here could have the freedom to things like visit amusement parks. So when they told me that I couldn't come in there with my family because of my shirt, it hurt a lot. No other veteran should ever have to experience that."
Veterans sacrifice so much for us and deserve our respect. After all they go through overseas, they shouldn't have to worry about incidents such as these when they come home. Sadly, this wasn't the first time a soldier was treated so poorly.