Marine Who Wanted to Wear Uniform at Graduation Is Killed
Brandon Garabrant dies in Afghanistan at age 19
By Neal Colgrass, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2014 1:09 PM CDT
A US Marine from the 1st Marine Division Band salutes as the band plays the national anthem before a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers Friday, April 25, 2014, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(Newser) – A 19-year-old Marine who wasn't allowed to wear his uniform at high school graduation was killed this week in Afghanistan, Fox News reports. Brandon Garabrant, 19, died along with two other Marines when a roadside bomb went off. "He absolutely loved doing what he was doing," said the chief of a Temple, NH, volunteer fire department where Garabrant was a member, WMUR reports. "He knew the sacrifice and he was still willing to do it and it was a total shock to hear the news." Department members said a prayer and lowered its flag to half-staff as family, friends, and colleagues remembered Garabrant's devotion to his work and excitement about being a Marine.

The high school principal who wouldn't let Garabrant wear his uniform at graduation last year said the school was "shocked and deeply saddened" by his death. "We are incredibly grateful for his service to our country," said ConVal Regional High School principal Brian Pickering. But Garabrant's mother, Jessie, was at odds with Pickering last year, saying the school should let her son celebrate having graduated from boot camp the day before commencement, the Boston Globe reports.

  • "I think that is just a disgrace, very disrespectful," she told CBS Boston at the time. "It’s important to acknowledge these children that make these decisions."
  • But school officials said graduation was about school unity, and Pickering added that making an exception for one student would only open the floodgates: "You begin to wonder where to draw the line," he said.

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John In Tennessee
Jun 24, 2014 12:42 PM CDT
The dress code for the school is: Contoocook Valley School District Policy STUDENT DRESS CODE Building Principals are authorized to issue regulations to assure the integrity of the educational process. Such regulations should be approved by the Superintendent of Schools. In all other respects, parents and students have the right and responsibility to determine each Student s dress, providing that such attire complies with the health code of the State of New Hampshire and does not interfere with educational process. Tell me how wearing a Marine Uniform by an active duty Marine violates the above.
Steven Diedesch
Jun 24, 2014 12:27 PM CDT
Marines never die. They just regroup on the other side. Godspeed, young man.
Jun 24, 2014 11:44 AM CDT
couldn't wear his uniform? WTF? what a disgusting country to die for, where civil liberties are long dead and gone.