Marine graduates in high school cap and gown
Garabrant was given the option of wearing his uniform under his graduation gown, which he would be free to take off once he had received his diploma. Though he considered doing that, in the end he decided it would be disrespectful to cover the uniform. He chose instead to try to honor both his high school and the corps to the best of his ability.
"I think the only issue is that if you haven't had the experience of going to boot camp, you can't appreciate the significance of the uniform," said Garabrant's grandfather, Ken, who added his family was extremely proud of Brandon.
"We had the same thing happen here last year," said Steve LaFave, a member of ConVal's Class of 2006, who thought that wearing a uniform under a graduation gown was a good compromise.
"It really didn't matter if he wore his uniform," said Mease.
Bennington resident Mickey Lee, who was at ConVal to see his stepdaughter and granddaughter graduate, wore a Vietnam veteran cap to the ceremony. But Lee didn't think wearing a uniform was much of an issue.
The Portsmouth Recruiting Station released a statement Friday congratulating Garabrant but supporting the school's decision to uphold its policy.
Brandon said he flies out to North Carolina later this month to complete four weeks of combat training, followed by eight weeks of job training to be a combat engineer.
Meghan Pierce contributed to this story.
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