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A student at a middle school in Gresham, Oregon, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt with an image of the traditional soldier memorial.
Alan Homes was told to either switch shirts or face an in-school suspension for wearing a T-shirt that depicted a "Battlefield Cross" that included a rifle, boots and a helmet. The shirt has the phrase "Standing for those who stood for us" in front of the image.
The symbol is considered to be a means of showing respect or to mourn for the dead in the field.
Holmes refused to take off the shirt and was taken home by his father.
His brother has been showing support for the troops since his brother, a former Marine, returned from Iraq.
"I was just upset. I was heartbroken. My brother, he means everything for me. Just being able to help and give back to the people who fought and died for us it just makes me feel good," Holmes said to KATU.
School district officials declined to comment on the suspension, but the shirt includes the images of a gun that may have led to the decision. School policy bars students from wearing clothes promoting violence.