In a patriotic society, active duty military members and veterans should always be given the utmost respect. Unfortunately, half of the country has done a disgusting job in upholding this expectation, most recently towards two of the U.S. Marine Corps’ recent enlists.
Two high school graduates from Michigan serving in the Marines opted to wear their military dress uniforms in lieu of the traditional cap and gown. For doing so, the school’s principal addressed the apparent misconduct in a most disrespectful manner. Despite that these young men will soon be fighting for the country while the principal is safe at home, all he managed to offer them a was an unenthusiastic ‘sorry.’
The incident occurred on June 3, at Marshall High School in Marshall, Michigan. Privates First Class Willie Couch and Samuel Hackworth had recently graduated from Marine Corps boot camp and wanted to represent their branch at the school’s commencement ceremony.
However, the servicemen’s apparel choices did not fair well with the school, as it expected students to wear the traditional cap and gown for the special event.
Apparently, Couch and Hackworth inquired if they could wear their military dress uniforms instead, to which the school denied them.
At some point during the ceremony, the Marshall High School principal, Scott Hutchins, spoke with the young men. He first thanked them for serving the country but then had the audacity to say, “I do not feel you acted honorably today by not following our rules.”
An anonymous member of the school board also backed the disrespectful stance.
Retracting his statement on Monday, Hutchins issued an apology claiming that he did not mean to “offend or upset anyone or to do something that may have tarnished the memory of an amazing commencement ceremony.”
Despite that Hutchins explicitly told the Marines that they did not conduct themselves ‘honorably,’ he outrageously attempted to defend his statement, saying, “I have never referred to any member of our Armed Forces as dishonorable or said that they brought dishonor to their branch of the military.”
He also attempted to defend his respect for U.S. troops, referring to his father’s service in the Vietnam War.
He then claimed that the media was overexaggerating the story and called it a “failed attempt at making this a teachable moment.”
The district superintendent, Randy Davis, however, defended Hutchins’ comments at the ceremony, saying that the principal did offer the Marines an option to wear “red, white, and blue cords” for their service or an honorable mention could be made during the ceremony on their behalf or could be included in distributed programs.
However, both Hackworth, Couch, and their respecting families did not consider that an appropriate representation of their military service.
Yet what the Marines decide to do as far as possible punishment, if any, is between Couch and Hackworth and their commanding officers when the privates arrive “at Infantry school in North Carolina.”
However, Hutchins, a civilian, made a disgusting attempt to reprimand the young Marines, “remind[ing] them that honor is a core value of the Marine Corps,” as if two boot camp graduates did not know this or that it was even Hutchins’ place to make such a statement.
As someone who has never served the country, Hutchins, unfortunately, expressed his true feelings about the armed forces. A military-respecting principal would surely have allowed the exception to occur despite it opposing a technicality.
Thankfully, Hackworth and Couch were permitted to participate in the ceremony without objection. Principal Hutchins surely knew that had he seriously enforced the rule and required they change outfits, many offended attendees would have left the ceremony.
Yet considering that many in the armed forces wear their military dress uniforms to their weddings, it is understandable why the graduates would want to celebrate the momentous occasion while representing the country.
In any case, the school’s reaction is the most culturally telling aspect, illustrating yet another case of political correctness and the antipatriotic mentality that servicemen and veterans do not deserve the respect that they have rightfully earned.
Veterans are dying on the streets, yet liberals with seemingly similar views do not seem to care as the United States continues to care for illegal immigrants, refugees, and those taking advantage of government resources.
Whether the Marines determines the privates’ actions to be honorable or dishonorable under military policy, their actions were admirably brave in expressing love for their country.