Veteran is arrested for wearing a “Veterans for Peace” t-shirt.

It’s been awhile since we last heard of someone getting arrested for the heinous crime of wearing a controversial and anti-American t-shirt advocating peace over war, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still happening. Mike Ferner is a former Navy corpsman who served in Vietnam and he was recently enjoying a cup of coffee while wearing the offending t-shirt at a Chicago V.A. Medical Center when he was approached by a V.A. police officer and told that, because of his t-shirt being a form of protest, he had to leave or be arrested. He called their bluff, but they weren’t kidding:

The officer who did the formalities, Eric Ousley, was professional in his duties. When I asked him if he was a vet, it turned out he had been a hospital corpsman in the Navy. We exchanged a couple sea stories. He uncuffed me early. And he allowed as to how he would only charge me with disorderly conduct, letting me go on charges of criminal trespass and weapons possession—a pocket knife—which he said would have to be destroyed (something I rather doubt since it was a nifty Swiss Army knife with not only a bottle opener, but a tweezers and a toothpick).

After informing me I could either pay the $275 fine on the citation or appear in court, Ousley escorted me off the premises, warning me if I returned with “that shirt” on, I’d be arrested and booked into jail.

I’m sure I could go back to officers Adkins’ and Ousleys’ fiefdom with a shirt that said, “Nuke all the hajis,” or “Show us your tits,” or any number of truly obscene things and no one would care. Just so it’s not “that shirt” again.

Bush’s America: Where wearing a peace t-shirt can get you arrested.

10 thoughts on “Veteran is arrested for wearing a “Veterans for Peace” t-shirt.

  1. That’s completely fucking nuts.  That crap could happen to me.  It’s a sad day when a vet gets escorted out of the VA for wearing a t-shirt that doesn’t have kool-aid on it. 

    If I’d known back then where the six years I put in was going, I’d have kicked my recruiter in the nuts and left.  I feel sorry for the folks that are out there doing the big ugly for the man right now.

  2. Andy: I feel sorry for the folks that are out there doing the big ugly for the man right now.

    Nicely put and, I find it hard to believe that in the land of the free, dissent is not allowed.  confused

  3. Good point Andy.  It is kinda perplexing to me as well that someone that fights for freedoms can be limited in the freedoms he posses.

  4. I don’t believe this is a true story. I haven’t seen it in the press, other than four direct copy quotes… I doubt this would be dropped by the press. Not all US feeds are Fox dis-news service, yet.

    This smells like that Iranian Jew branding story….

  5. I’ve never known counterpunch to print crap.

    I will withhold my ire…it does offend me deeply if true, but I am a Vet with 8 years of military service, 10 years of contracting, and 6 months as a DOD civilian. Even the republicans in my office woudn’t do something like that…well maybe half. The others are turning Libertarian.

  6. Through a job I had last summer I had several run-ins with VA police.  They do indeed come across, mostly, as a bunch of paranoid and controlling dicks.  A few were cool, but mostly, no way.  So this story seems reasonable to me.
    VA hospitals, are, by the way, some of the saddest places on earth.

  7. As a hippie, I try not to let random inanity boil my blood too much, but upon reading this news item, you could cook spaghetti in my veins!  mad

  8. VA hospitals, are, by the way, some of the saddest places on earth.

    That may be true, by and large; but I’ve accompanied my Korean War vet cousin Ken several times to the VA hospital in Martinez, CA, and recently helped him move into the Veteran’s Home in Yountville.  The staff we dealt with in both places was friendly and competent, and I had some good conversations with vets in the hospital, who were also pleased with the care.

    This doesn’t prove anything, of course.  We’ll see if Ken, who was a card-carrying Communist for many years, and is now an ardent pacifist, gets in trouble there.  As far as I know, he doesn’t have any lefty t-shirts, but he’s not one to keep his mouth shut either.

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