A Marine mother who lost her son in Iraq says she's scored a victory on Capitol Hill. The U.S. House passed a bill that would make it illegal to use the names and pictures of fallen servicemen to make money without a family's permission, but she says her fight isn't over yet. A national website is selling shirts with the names of fallen servicemen, saying they died in vain. The News On 6â€™s Joshua Brakhage reports a Cherokee County mother says it's the worst way to be reminded of her son's sacrifice.
"I was outraged," said Judy Vincent. "They shouldn't be reduced to a piece of merchandise."
Judy Vincent says especially not a $22 T-shirt, promoting an anti-war message.
"I don't think my son was anti-war,â€ said the fallen Marineâ€™s father Royce Vincent. â€œHe joined the Marines. They didn't draft him. He joined. He would probably be real upset about it, to catch someone like that."
Royce and Judy Vincent have been fighting for two years to get their son's name removed from the shirt. Corporal Scott Vincent was killed in Fallujah in April of 2004.
After his death he was awarded the Medal of Valor, but the Vincentâ€™s say there's no honor in being listed on the shirt.
"It's wrong. You know, he can use his opinions as he wants. You know, I don't care what he says. But don't put my child's name on your opinion and sell it," said Judy Vincent.
Judy Vincent was able to convince the state legislature. Online, the website brags that the shirt is illegal in Oklahoma. But the Vincentâ€™s say they want to save other families the same heartache.
Oklahoma representative Dan Boren is leading a push in Washington to pass federal legislation, banning the use of fallen servicemen's names and photos without family permission. It's passed the House, but Judy Vincent says her fight won't be over until the president signs the bill into law.
"If it takes fighting this until I'm dead and buried, that's what I'm gonna do," said Judy Vincent.
The shirt's creator says it shouldn't be banned anywhere, that his message is protected by the First Amendment. Oklahoma isn't the only state with laws like this one in place. Louisiana has similar rules, and Arizona, where the shirt's creator lives, is considering doing the same.
He says he donates part of the proceeds to charities supporting military families, but the Vincentâ€™s say no amount could equal the price their son paid.