OKLAHOMA CITY – A woman whose son died while serving in the Marines in Iraq is fighting to keep his name off anti-war T-shirts.
Judy Vincent, a Bokoshe resident who lost her son, Cpl. Scott M. Vincent, more than two years ago learned last year that the shirt listing the names of about 1,700 soldiers killed in Iraq, was being sold by an Arizona man over the Internet. The front of the shirt reads "Bush Lied" and the back reads "They Died."
She was successful in winning passage of Oklahoma legislation that makes using a soldier's name or likeness for advertising purposes without consent a misdemeanor. The law goes into effect this November.
She contacted Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla., and asked him to introduce a similar bill in the U.S. House. He did so two weeks ago.
Vincent said the shirt vendor "has the right to voice his opinion, as we all do.
"But I do believe the First Amendment stops when you use a person's name or likeness to make a profit. I don't care what he thinks about the war. I do care that he's making money off my son's death."
The shirt vendor, who identifies himself on his Web site as Dan Frazier, recently issued an open letter to family members who contacted him to protest the use of their loved ones' names on the shirt.
While praising the bravery and sacrifices of the soldiers, and insisting he was not trying to degrade their service, he refused to stop selling the merchandise "no matter how many requests I receive."
"Every name matters, and will be retained to help underscore the horrific loss of life that has been caused by President Bush's rush to war under false pretenses," the letter states.
Responding to the federal legislation, Frazier posted a statement on his Web site vowing to fight it in court if necessary.
Frazier said he probably would run out of the merchandise before the new legislation took effect. He said it sold poorly and he is "unlikely" to make any more.