Some veterans call patriotic calendar photo 'disrespectful' - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Some veterans call patriotic calendar photo 'disrespectful'

“The thing that makes it so significant here it that this rifle is a WWII Japanese rifle,” Vietnam veteran Harry Dryer said. “The thing that makes it so significant here it that this rifle is a WWII Japanese rifle,” Vietnam veteran Harry Dryer said.
(KFVS) -

A photo on a calendar has been stirring up talk all over the state of Missouri, especially among military veterans.

It's a picture that's intended to honor America's heroes but some local veterans say it's disrespectful.

"The thing that makes it so significant here it that this rifle is a WWII Japanese rifle," said Vietnam veteran Harry Dryer.

Dryer's father fought in WWII. To veterans like him, he said the picture is more than upsetting.

"I feel it's disrespectful," Dryer said. "It does a disservice to all of us, all of us who have served in the military and those currently serving."

Dryer said he recognized the rifle immediately because he owns one exactly like it.

"This particular rifle was brought back from World War II by my father," Dryer said. "It has all the Japanese markings on it. It is identical. It is the same rifle in fact."

To the untrained eye, it may just be an antique gun, but to those who served, it's so much more.

"Using a firearm that was used by one of our enemies to commemorate what symbolizes the gravesite of an American serviceman is just reprehensible," Dryer said.

To some veterans, the misrepresentation in the picture is much more than a mistake.

"This is [like] placing a Japanese rising star flag on an American coffin," Veteran Jim Roche said.

The American Legion sent the calendars to more than 3,000 members throughout Missouri. A representative said the marketing company will issue an apology in the next American Legion newspaper, which goes out in early December.

"An apology is acceptable, but I think there ought to be some accountability to go along with that apology," Dryer said. "Someone needs to be held accountable."

"I'm not so sure an apology in the American Legion newspaper is going to do it for me," Roche said.

These American heroes say this mistake is unacceptable.

"Accuracy is what we strive for in something like this and if it's not accurate, it's not acceptable," Roche said.

Neither the American Legion, nor the marketing company that made the calendars, plan to issue a new calendar.

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