An Army Reserve medic was forbidden from walking during his own graduation because he insisted on wearing his dress blues to the graduation ceremony, not the traditional robe.
PFC Harland J Fletcher just “graduated” from Liberty Union High School in Brentwood, Calif. He was scheduled to walk with his class in a ceremony on Friday, and said he had cleared the uniform change with his counselor.
But Liberty Union’s principal and vice principal disagreed once Fletcher arrived at the ceremony. They told him to put on a robe if he wished to participate.
According to KTVU, Fletcher then told the principals that he was “within his rights” to wear the uniform, having completed all requirements demanded of him. Obscuring his uniform would also be a violation of Army dress code. But it wasn’t enough; Fletcher was turned away and told to pick up his diploma on Monday.
District Superintendant Eric Volta apologized on Saturday as the story spread across the country.
There was no intention to “slight” Harland or the U.S. Army. In fact, with a little prior notification, I’m sure that Principal Walsh and the site administration would have come to this conclusion before the ceremony. Again, I apologize to Harland for this unfortunate incident and thank him for his service to our country.
Fletcher was crushed. He told KTVU the incident made him feel “disappointed” and “disrespected.”