- The Washington Times - Friday, August 15, 2014

A former Marine said he was booted from Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey after park officials took offense at his T-shirt — a black sleeveless covering with a red, white and blue machine gun and the words “Keep Calm and Return Fire.”

The shirt was Mario Alejandro’s Father’s Day present from his family, which they reportedly bought from The Reconnaissance Foundation, a nonprofit that supports Recon Marines and their families, NJ.com reported.

“I thought it was great, I loved it. The shirt fits my personality perfectly,” he said, NJ.com reported. “They’re military and they’re patriotic. That’s my thing. I wore them all over the place, to my kids’ baseball games — everywhere. And I got nothing but complements 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.”

But Mr. Alejandro said a security guard at the park gate stopped him and said he couldn’t go through with the shirt.

“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. … But he said, ‘I don’t care, you have to take that off … or you need to buy another shirt to put over it,’” Mr. Alejandro said, NJ.com reported.

He refused to change or cover it, and was then sent home from the park, he said, NJ.com reported.

“My wife and my son were crying because they didn’t understand,” he said, NJ.com reported.

Park spokeswoman Kristin Siebeneicher said in an email to NJ.com that the incident was “under review.”

“Our goal is to maintain a fun, safe and family-friendly environment. Our dress code does not permit clothing with vulgar, offensive or violent language or images,” she wrote, NJ.com reported. “If a guest is wearing such attire, we ask them to remove and replace it with another item of clothing and if they do not have one, they are able to purchase a replacement item at the gift shop.”

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