Veterans blast Sears over US Army 1st Infantry Division Apparel - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Veterans blast Sears over US Army 1st Infantry Division Apparel

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Veterans across the State of Georgia were seeing red over what they called an insult to the men and women who fight for the red, white and blue.

In October, Sears struck a deal with the US Army to sell clothes and apparel inspired by the men and women of the armed services.  

On the side of the jackets, it reads,US Army 1st Infantry Division. It even has an official looking patch on the back of the hood.

It's one of several US Army apparel items being sold at Sears. The line is US Army approved,  but made in China.

Local veterans who have seen the clothing line call it one big slap in the face.

"On the hoodie, thats the Big Red One patch that goes all the way back to World War I," Jimmy Ray told WTOC.

Ray is a veteran of the military, serving in the US Marines, spending 26 months overseas and then several years in the reserves. Ray took his service seriously.

"I take it to heart. My family were all in the military," Ray said.

This morning, he heard about Sears' Army styled apparel, which we showed him first hand.

"When you look at that, it bothers you," said Ray. "Yes it does, because it's not on a military jacket."

Inside the jacket, more Army themes, and one thing which really set Ray off.

"Right above it it says made in China. Now that is really a slap in the face," he said. "If we have the garment factories letting people go and here you have a jacket made in China. Why is that? I don't understand it."

Inside Sears, racks and racks of different style jackets, were all on clearance, most featured realistic looking patches and insignias of one of the most revered Army Divisions, the Big Red One, the US Army's 1st Infantry Division, which were the first soldiers to storm the beaches of Normandy during World War II.

"It's an insult to me to see someone wearing ragged military attire," Ray said. "Too many people have lost their lives. This country has been around 300 years, people have fought and died and then you have people wearing rag tag clothes. They are wearing something they didn't do. It's kind of a slap in the 1st Infintry Divisions' face."

The US Army said proceeds of the sale of the merchandise goes to programs which benefit military service men and women.

"It's hard to contemplate how they could be selling that for the military but they weren't made in the United States. How about supporting those who work in the United States first," Ray said.

Where the clothing is made still stings Ray.

"You know, we talk about flags made in Korea or China. This is the same thing. You and I looked and saw the label says made in China," Ray said. "The Army should think twice about doing things like this. I don't see anything wrong with the jacket, but putting all these insignias on it, next thing they will put rank on here, and that is really against the law."

Sears did not return any calls or emails. However, the retail chain has a history of supporting the troops, and paying employees who are deployed in the reserves. They started selling the clothing line in October, the first retailer to work a deal with the military to sell army approved clothing.

Jimmy Ray agreed with veterans in Atlanta who were fighting to have the army themed clothing line stopped.

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