PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A U.S. Marine from Holland who finished high school early so he could promptly join the service says his school made him change out of his dress blues ahead of a Tuesday convocation ceremony and questioned whether he could wear the uniform for graduation.
“When I got there they made me take it off,” Brandon Postma told 24 Hour News 8. “It really upset me because it’s such an accomplishment.”
“They just said that it went against school tradition because everyone else wears a cap and gown,” he continued.
School officials declined to be interviewed on camera about the issue Tuesday, but said they too are proud of Postma’s accomplishments. An assistant superintendent with the district said the questions surrounding allowing Postma to wear his dress blues come down to fairness: If they were to allow him to break protocol, what else might they have to allow students to wear?
The school also pointed out the fact that Postma was honored with special recognition at the convocation ceremony.
Postma said his decision to put his life on the line for his country warrants special consideration.
“Being a service member… you can’t compare that to anything else,” he said.
Late Tuesday afternoon, Postma’s family contacted 24 Hour News 8 to report that the school had decided to allow him to wear the uniform at graduation ceremonies Thursday. Postma said that was his plan all along anyway.
“If they send me out in the audience, kick me out of the graduation, then so be it,” Postma said before getting the update from the school.
Because of a desire to serve his country, Postma made arrangements to finish high school early so he could attend a grueling 13-week boot camp and be prepared to serve. He graduated a few weeks ago.
“The country needs to be defended. If no one’s defending the country there’s not going to be an America and somebody’s got to do it,” Postma said. “I just figured I’d be the one to up and do it.”