Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant; RIP, Marine

| June 21, 2014


Last year, Marine Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant’s high school, ConVal Regional High School in Peterborough, New Hampshire wouldn’t let him wear his uniform to graduation.

The consensus is that all students should dress alike, and no one should be singled out.

“I think this is a celebration of a class much like a celebration of a team, a group that’s been together,” said Principal Brian Pickering.

Well, this year, he’ll be buried in his uniform;

Lance Cpl. Brandon Garabrant, 19, was one of three U.S. service members killed by a roadside bomb Friday morning.

“The entire State of New Hampshire is devastated by the tragic loss of Lance Corporal Brandon Garabrant, who was bravely serving his nation in Afghanistan,” Governor Maggie Hassan said in a statement. “Our service men and women courageously sacrifice every day to protect their fellow citizens and defend the enduring value of freedom that is our very core, and in doing so, Lance Corporal Garabrant made the ultimate sacrifice.”


“On behalf of the entire ConVal community I extend my deepest sympathy to Brandon’s family and friends,” Principal Brian Pickering said. “We are all shocked and deeply saddened by his passing and we are incredibly grateful for his service to our country.”

Chief Tango sent us the links.

Category: Marine Corps

Comments (45)

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  1. Green Thumb says:

    Rest well, Marine.

    You did what others would not.

    My thoughts and condolences to his family.

  2. Climb to Glory says:

    Good job principal dick face. Thanks for your thoughts. I guarantee if someone wanted to wear something honoring their culture from whatever godforsaken place they came from he wouldn’t have made a peep. Rant over. Lance Cpl. Garabrant, I hope you and your brothers rest easy. See you in Valhalla.

  3. Climb to Glory says:

    Good job principal dick face. Thanks for your thoughts. I guarantee if someone wanted to wear something honoring their culture from whatever godforsaken place they came from he wouldn’t have made a peep. Rant over. Lance Cpl. Garabrant, I hope you and your brothers rest easy. See you in Valhalla.

  4. Valerie says:

    At the graduations I have attended, professors wear colored sashes (they call them hoods) that show what degrees they have, and at my high school graduation, I wore a cute little National Honor Society sash. If that high school follows the usual pattern, a brand-new Marine uniform would be appropriate.

    Unless, of course, the principal is a dick face, like Brian Pickering.

    • ExHack says:

      I’d say this will rest heavy on Principal Dickface’s conscience, but I’ve read enough public school horror stories to conclude many public school administrators don’t have consciences, just rulebooks.

  5. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    I was going to be a Teacher after I graduated college, but during my pre-lab, I quickly discovered that I would not last long teaching in a publik shcool, because it would only be a matter of hours before I got arrested for beating and strangling some of the sniveling snot-spined administrators like that pathetic excuse of a human being and a principal!

    Rest In Peace, Marine, enjoy Heaven, you’ve done your time in hell.

  6. gitarcarver says:

    I think it is a little harsh to lay the graduation kerfuffle at the feet of the principal.

    While Jonn’s post does quote the CBS Boston article, there is more there that may need to be quoted:

    School officials say they have spoken with the student council, as well as with faculty members with military experience or who have family in the military.

    The consensus is that all students should dress alike, and no one should be singled out.

    “I think this is a celebration of a class much like a celebration of a team, a group that’s been together,” said Principal Brian Pickering.

    Several school officials, including a member of the graduation committee, met with WBZ-TV today.

    They say they are thrilled with Brandon’s accomplishment but say graduation is about unity.

    There is also concern that if an exception is made, it will open up the door to other requests down the road.

    “You begin to wonder where to draw the line,” said Pickering.

    It seems that the school put the issue to the students and those who have family members in the military and they thought the uniform should not be worn.

    We may disagree with the decision that the group came up with, but in the end it was a group decision – one that took the voices and thoughts of military families into consideration – and not just an arbitrary decision of one person.

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      Have you ever been to a graduation in your life?

      It’s the furthest thing from a “group” event there is. It’s all about the individual and they acknowledge individuals routinely as standard practice. By not allowing the uniform they basically said, meh, US military during a time of war? Fuck ’em. They aren’t important enough to be acknowledged at our institution.

      Shit is retarded. Schools policies across the country are incredibly anti American whether it’s having USA flag t-shirts be banned because it might upset some fucking illegal celebrating their shitty foreign holiday to this nonsense.

      Dude volunteers to go to war, can’t be recognized. Some shitty doo doo face passes an AP class and is acknowledged. Those priorities, Man.

      • Green Thumb says:


        And the faculty, that “sets” the example, is usually the most jacked up.

    • Climb to Glory says:

      I’d love to know the military families and former service members they consulted about wearing the uniform. If they would have asked me I would have said “Wear it with pride Marine.” This whole “where does it stop” thing sounds like a huge cop out. Like Proud Infidel, I too realized quickly that teaching wasn’t for me because of people like Principal Skiner here.

    • SGT Ted says:

      Nice try, but sorry, that’s all nicey-nice bullshit.

      Bottom Line:

      The uniform of his Country was good enough to die in, but not good enough to wear getting his HS diploma while living in the United States of America.
      Fuck those assholes at ConVal regional High School. I hope he haunts their dreams.

  7. rb325th says:

    RIP Marine! You did your time in Hell, Heaven is yours now.
    As to the controversy last year… It s fare overshadowed by his loss and sacrifice.

  8. cato says:

    Rest at Ease Marine, you will forever be known by the Uniform you wore, sacrifices you made and the Honor you brought to your Nation and Corps.
    Semper Fi !

  9. Club Manager says:

    They now have the Marine’s photo in uniform on the school web page. I sent the principal a nice e-mail (e.g. only to keep Jonn from receiving any more shitty-grams from lawyers) to express my disgust in his double standard. It took some effort but it contained no profanity, aspersions on his manhood or momma, and something the rest of you may want to consider sending.

  10. NHSparky says:

    If that principal has an ounce of humanity, he feels like a total shitheel right about now.

    And they recognize every other special snowflake group, the least they can do is at least acknowledge those who are serving or committing to serve their nation.

    Makes a hell of a lot more sense than listening to the mindless teen drivel of ten (yes, TEN) class valedictorians. I wish I was kidding.

  11. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    I visited the local TV news story through the link provided, expecting to find that the actual reason that the school wouldn’t permit him to wear his uniform at graduation was because of a school-board rule. Not that such a rule would be okay, mind you, but the principal would not be to blame. I was wrong. The full weight of the decision rests squarely on that nincompoop’s shoulders. The original story spoke of “school officials” but the only official identified was the principal who considered—get this– the opinion of the student council before issuing his nyet and verboten! The piece of shit. I double checked to ensure that the principal today is the same asshole who rendered the decision to forbid the wearing of one of the very uniforms that allows this schmuck to work his sissy-mary job. He wondered where the line would be drawn if he permitted the Marine, now Fallen, to wear the uniform. I’ll tell where, Principal Brian Pickering: At decency, respect, and righteousness.

  12. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    “[W]e are incredibly grateful for his service to our country.”
    So said that asshole Brian Pickering. He is correct: His expression of gratitude is incredible (i.e., unworthy of belief) in view of how he chose to display (not just say)gratitude in denying this Marine permission to wear a uniform at graduation. I know this story tears your guts up as much as it does mine. This clown Brian Pickering ought to resign and repair to a cave alone to live out the remainder of his life.

  13. Smaj says:

    Nineteen-year old Lance Corporal Garabrant was a better man than principal Fuckstick and all his progressive brothers and sisters can ever hope to be. Rest in Peace, Marine.

  14. Sparks says:

    Rest In Peace Marine. Thank you fro serving and giving all. God bless your family now.

  15. Just an Old Dog says:

    It was a simple decision for the principal. There was one individual out of the graduating class who had earned the title of US Marine.
    Its an accomplishment that most people in his class will never achieve.
    Let him wear his uniform, dickless.
    As far as any future decisions of what students wear, use common sense.
    Lance Corporal Garabrant’s portrait should be hung prominently in the school where this shitbag has to pass by it every day.

  16. A dear friend says:

    Please stop bickering and bashing. In all due respect, Brandon would not want that.

    • Tman says:

      I concur.

      Why lower ourselves to the level of that principal.

      I’m sure he feels like shit already, without having people emailing him and harassing him like some grade school kids.

      Not that he doesn’t deserve scorn, sure I think he’s a piece of shit. But this is about Marine Brandon, may he rest in peace.

  17. Toasty Coastie says:

    Rest in Angel arm’s Marine…We are proud of you.

    Love and light, and many blessings to his family and friends.

    “Through their deeds, the dead of battle have spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could. But we can only honor them by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they gave a last full measure of devotion. ”

  18. Otto says:

    Here’s a question I just don’t understand: Wear what uniform? Had he been through Basic Training already? If not, does signing the recruiting paperwork qualify to wear a uniform? Please don’t get me wrong, if he’s qualified to wear the uniform I totally support, but I know when Marines go through the Crucible, they get their Eagle Globe and Anchor.

    Regardless of all, my sympathies to his family and friends, Godspeed Corporal Garabrandt!

    • Just an Old Dog says:

      Good question, I was wondering the same thing. I read the firt article. Apparently the young man was a hard charger and had did all the work and had the adequte credits to graduate by January.
      He went to recruit training and his boot camp leave coincided with the graduation date of his class, so he wanted to “walk” with the and receive his diploma in a ceremony.

    • FatCircles0311 says:

      He busted ass to graduate early, went to bootcamp, graduated bootcamp, and then was able to make it back for the normal graduation ceremony with everyone else in his class.

      Any sane decent principle would have let him wear the uniform and speak during graduation considering what he accomplished above his peers during the same time.

  19. Intel Pog says:

    The graduation exercise has a uniform already, its a cap and gown. You wear the colors of your school and any acedemic achievement you wear on a proscribed sash. I’m a Marine and if I wanted to wear my cap and Gown from Florida State to my graduation from boot camp, I don’t think the Corps would have let me.
    I’m sorry that this Devil Dog has paid the ultimate price, but I rule in favor of the school on the uniform call.

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Intel Pog: You rule in favor of the school? That’s funny, your honor. It puts you in fine company–opposite this Fallen Marine and his Mom and places you shoulder-to-shoulder not with “the school” but with the decision maker, the school’s principal. Additionally, whether the USMC would allow you to wear or to have worn your uniform to a college graduation is neither here nor there: The parallel would be if Florida State’s dean would permit it, not the USMC.

  20. F Intel POG, is that direct enough? says:

    Intel POG.

    Who the hell uses the term Devil Dog Anymore? Have some heart and RESPECT. He fell in Combat and he was was BURIED in that uniform, not a cap and gown. You can take your corpulent “ruling” with the school and roll it up and piston it into your urethra.

    Semper Fi


  21. Sae says:

    Hey Brandon, this base lost some color on Friday then I heard you were the one who took them with you. Take those colors and soar my friend, we were blessed to have you here with us. God Speed.

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    Nicki wrote a column about this in March 2013. She dug into this uniform at graduation business long before this Marine was posted overseas and killed.

    Maybe you should ALL read HER column before you have any more knee-jerk reactions to something.

    And how many times do you idiots have to be told to STOP posting someone else’s contact information without their permission, before you stop doing it?

    • 2/17 Air Cav says:

      Ex. That was a different case in a different place in which there was a school district policy, not the unilateral decision of the school principal, as here. Also, if by contact info you are referring top that asshole Principal Pickering’s email address, it’s not a private address. It’s a taxpayer-funded, public-access email account.

      • gitarcarver says:

        It wasn’t a “unilateral decision.”

        It was a decision made in consultation with the faculty, the student council and the families who have members serving.

        • TKYC says:

          We have only his word to go on who he consulted. Seriously though, ‘student council’…wouldn’t have been on my list to consult.

          Regardless of the pro/cons of the decision, it would have been better if Principal Pickering had let someone else make the official statement regarding Lance Corporal Garabrant’s death. His hands were tainted by his decision, no matter the reasoning, and it would have been better if he stayed quiet.

          • gitarcarver says:

            We also have the word of the people on the student council and parents who said they were consulted. In addition, another article said that the student graduation committee was consulted.

            Whether the principal made the decision or whether he consulted with everyone known to mankind, there are going to be people that disagreed with the final decision. The principal is the target of their anger not because of who he consulted or did not consult, but because of the ultimate decision that was arrived at.

            I am sorry, but the principal is the face of the school and the one who should have spoken on this tragedy. His hands were not “tainted” in any way because the two events – the wearing of the uniform at the graduation and the young man’s death – are not related as to causality at all.

            If someone else from the school had made a statement, people would have said that it showed that the principal hated the military and didn’t honor Brandon Garabrant’s service and death.

            Brandon Garabrant apparently loved his high school and the Marines. Isn’t that enough without dragging a past into a time when we should be honoring him, and not focusing on the principal or the decision he made / announced?

        • 2/17 Air Cav says:

          I don’t care that he talked with some kids and one or two teachers. It was his decision and his alone. Was there a vote? Consulting or talking with a few people before rendering a decision does not change the fact that it was one person’s decision, the principal’s. That makes it unilateral.

  23. BOILING MAD CPO says:

    Intel POG: There are usually more than one night during High School graduation. Cap and gown are not worn every night at least when I went to HS. We had Class Night, Baccalaureate, and some other stuff during the week. It seemed like it would never end. I had already enlisted USN and was ready to leave town. BZ to the USMC and Brandon.

  24. Ferdinand Velez, Jr. says:

    Everyone is talkie about what the high school did or did not do. Let’s not forget one of our fallen soldiers. Let’s have a moment of silence and say a prayer for one of our brothers. Once a Marine, always a Marine. Semper Fi devil dog. Here is Cpl. F. Velez, Jr. STANDING. AT ATTENTION AND SALUTING YOU. May you rest in peace.

  25. Cassandra says:

    Specifically to each and every branch of the military, about 1% or less of Americans can achieve such an honor as wearing a uniform in either branch. I agree with the fact that being recognized for such an accomplishment is important, especially when peers are being recognized for there academic achievements. However, I feel as tho wearing your service dress while partaking in a high school graduation is inappropriate. Flaunting of the uniform, or drawing attention to oneself because of the uniform is not what being in the military is about. I would suggest creating a specific scarf/sash or rope to distinguish military, maybe even verbally distinguish and praise the ones who earned a spot in the military while in high school…

    What bothers me the most about this…is that in the wake of Brandon Garabrants death, people find the audacity to bash on someone for a decision they made, regardless of it being right or wrong, on something as small as a high school graduation (in comparison to death).

  26. AdamsSamoa says:

    When I graduated college and was commissioned, our ROTC Class all wore our blues while everyone else was in their cap and gown. This year I went to a graduation at U of L here in KY… Brand new LTs wearing their blues…. Not saying right or wrong… just saying.

  27. CAJUN1RAT says:

    LCpl Brandon Garabrant,
    You are an inspiration to all young people everywhere. You have set a standard & raised the bar.
    I am proud to call you my brother.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
    Purple Hearted, retired Marine

  28. Pinto Nag says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with this fallen Warrior and his family and friends. May they find peace.

  29. H1 says:

    Uniformity is understood.
    This Marine did something exceptional and chose a path that few could or would dare follow.
    He IS different from the scholastic achievements, the Eagle Scouts, etc.
    Graduation might be the last time his fellow students or audience members see him.
    Semper Fidelis Marine.