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Steady Hand wrote:
At first I tend to agree with "wear it fully and proper, or not at all."
STRACT! By the Regs!
Then I saw some of the other pics of the other, older vets who were from other conflicts or periods.
I see them in uniform, bits or pieces. Perhaps all they have left, or all they can wear now.
I have seen many older vets (ww2, korea) wearing bits and pieces too.
To deny one the right to wear that symbol of his service would mean denying ALL wouldn't it?
Or does youth or age matter, in your opinion?
Put another way,...Show more →
First off, it would be an egregious breach of AR670-1 for an active duty soldier to wear the uniform in that manner.... and this is coming from a guy who spent much of his time in "uniform" in a dish-dash, kefia, and sporting a beard. I'm not a uniform hound, but this is seriously off by anyone's standards.
So this person is either a soldier who is flouting authority, or a separated former soldier (obviously not a retiree due to age).
Former soldiers are permitted to wear their uniforms for ceremonial occasions, and the regulation states that the uniform must be worn in a manner consistent with active-duty standards, to include hair and grooming. Piece-meal wear of the uniform is against the rules, except for certain bits of insignia or awards that may be worn in a prescribed manner.
Often times, veterans (particularly older ones) are not forced to adhere to the "letter of the law" on this, despite the fact that the regulations are clear. For me (and I suspect many others), the dividing line is whether or not the person is making their best effort to respect the dignity of the uniform. The older veterans you reference typically make a truly poignant effort to effect the dignity of the service, even if their uniforms fail to pass the strictest reading of the regulation.
The person in this photo is unkempt, unshaven, wearing his dress green jacket over what appears to be a white low-necked t-shirt and a flower (?) on his beret. It is clear that no effort was made to respect the uniform by the person in that photo: quite the opposite. He appears to be flaunting his bastardization of the uniform, perhaps even for political effect (strictly prohibited in the regulation). I'm not judging him as a person, but his behavior as depicted in this image is very distasteful.
For those of us who have served, who have worn that uniform to the funerals of friends who also wore it.... many of us have strong feelings on this matter.
Regarding the image, I'm not seeing any other strong narrative or emotional content beyond the particulars of this person's choice of "wardrobe." There few technical factors to discuss: this shot really seems to be just about his wearing of that particular garment... Thus it seems to be the only thing to discuss here.
Edited on Nov 14, 2009 at 12:37 AM · View previous versions