The California civilian who provoked outrage after donning a military uniform on a college campus explained Friday that he did not intend to offend anyone by doing so — in fact, he says his intentions were just the opposite.
"I was just supporting my cousins and my family in the military. And to those who I upset and made mad, I do apologize," Joseph Scott told KXTV.
Two weeks ago, Scott was confronted by two veterans who were outraged that the 22-year-old was donning a uniform indicating he was an Army Ranger in the 101st Airbone.
Video of the exchange went viral and showed Scott visibly uncomfortable as he was accosted by the veterans.
Now Scott and his family are speaking out.
According to Scott's grandfather Joe Scott, his grandson suffered an event at age three that left him with post traumatic stress disorder.
Scott was placed in special-ed and never graduated high school, but has always wanted to join the military, he said. The only problem? He hasn't been able to pass the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test, despite studying rigorously.
"He tried to pass ASVAB test entry exam at age 17 and he has failed and he has studied, and I mean studied diligently," Joe told KXTV.
[sharequote align="center"]"He tried to pass ASVAB test entry exam at age 17 and he has failed and he has studied..."[/sharequote]
While at Delta College, the 22-year-old met a military recruiter who gave him newfound hope.
"The recruiter talked to him and befriended him and gave him certain information he needed to be able to purchase a uniform and told him he'd help him to get into the service," Joe said.
Unfortunately, he was again declined to serve, but says he started wearing the uniform he had purchased to honor his relatives currently serving and family who had served in WWI, WWII and Vietnam.
When he was confronted, Scott says he didn't know how to react.
"The guys who did confront me, I don't believe they really did it in a manner that they should have if they were true soldiers and true veterans," he said. "I just really wish that they would have, you know, talked to me instead of judge me the way they did. But I do apologize for whoever I hurt."
Nevertheless, he still wishes he could serve his country.
"I'd serve today," he told KXTV. "One phone call and I'd be gone."
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