Support a Marine sniper, buy a T-shirt
By Rod Rose
THE LEBANON REPORTER (LEBANON, Ind.)
The newsroom staff was discussing T-shirt slogans the other day. Yes, it was a slow day.
We’d begun brain-storming themes for the annual Greater Lebanon Fourth of July celebration. Managing Editor George Piper is chairman of this year’s parade (we can only assume he missed that particular meeting) and was looking for help.
Any readers who are offended by the politically incorrect are warned to put down the newspaper and quietly back away.
I am the most politically incorrect person in the newsroom. In our group, that’s an honor. So, I got to go first.
Sure you don’t want to put down the paper?
“I’ve got it,” I said, “and I know where we can get the T-shirts.
“How about ‘infidel’ for this year’s theme?”
This pleased other reporters and led to a brief but intensely hilarious period of inventing other phrases. Among those presentable in a family newspaper were:
“Infidel and proud of it.”
“American by birth, infidel by baptism.”
“American by birth, infidel by the grace of God.”
At that point, the conversation turned rude.
But I was serious about the “Infidel” T-shirts. They’re available at www.lifelibertyetc.com
, which proudly sells “pro-gun stuff for pro-gun folks.”
Their site shows a woman wearing the T-shirt with “infidel” in English and Arabic. The Web site urges, “Make it official. They already consider you one anyway.”
The model is holding an AR-15 — one of those “black gun” “assault weapons” that fire only one round at a time, making their use in a for-real infantry assault when full-auto is required problematic at best and recklessly stupid at worst.
My first option would always be to have a couple of batteries of 155mm artillery or several F-15s or A-10 Warthogs address the situation first.
The company also has hats and T-shirts with the phrase “molon labe” (pronounced mo-lone lah-veh). The shirt has an AR-15 silhouette. “Molon labe” means “come and take them,” and is what the Spartan King Leonidas is reputed to have said to the Persians when they demanded the Greeks surrender their weapons before the Battle of Thermopylae.
The Persians did take all the weapons — but first had to kill all the Spartans.
Lifelibertyetc. was also selling T-shirts to support a Marine sniper platoon in Iraq. They don’t anymore because the T-shirt creator, Marine Staff Sgt. Michael Mendoza, had raised enough money to give all 26 members of his platoon an engraved, fixed-blade Strider knife.
Striders are in the Rolls-Royce division of knives.
But lifelibertyetc. said Mendoza was now selling the T-shirts directly.
Mendoza won the Silver Star in April 2004, after an ambush. That incident also earned him the Purple Heart. He won another Purple Heart in August, when a grenade exploded next to him.
One hundred percent of the profit went to Mendoza’s unit, 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Scout Sniper Platoon.
“As far as the fund-raiser goes, I’ve met my goal,” Mendoza said. “It was a small goal and more of a motivation and thanks to the snipers in my platoon.”
As the chief scout in the 2nd of the 8th’s sniper platoon, Mendoza supervised 26 men, in sniper teams of four to six men, as well as one of his own.
“I have been in a few units in my eight years, and had a few platoons that ... grew to make great friends, but these guys were different,” he said.
“When I was injured last August,” Mendoza said, “it really hit me that these boys cared for me.”
The DBL Strider knives included sheaths; with laser engraving to add 2/8 SS on the blades, the knives cost $300 — each.
“It was kind of like a welcome home, great job done, and a good-bye gift at the same time,” Mendoza said.
He’s got some T-shirts left; he put up his own money to have the shirts printed.
“All I’m doing now with the rest of the shirts is paying off the shirt bill,” Mendoza said.
Mendoza designed three shirts. One, “The Shadow Man,” shows a sniper holding an M40 sniper rifle, a skull, and the slogan “kill one man, terrorize a thousand.”
If you don’t understand that concept, you’re really not smart enough to be reading this column. And you’re not smart enough to realize why you aren’t reading this column in Japanese or German.
The second shirt, “Team Infidel,” shows a two-man sniper team wearing ghillie suits — camouflage material, with the phrase “Team Infidel” below them. The third shirt is a map of Iraq showing where the sniper platoon was deployed.
As of last week, Mendoza had 11 small, 13 medium, four large, five extra-large, and 11 each XXL and XXXL of “The Shadow Man”; three medium, two large and four XXXL of “Team Infidel,” and two small, two medium and four XXXL of the Operation Iraqi Freedom map.
“Let me know if you can help get rid of these so I can pay off the bill that helped support our snipers in Iraq,” Mendoza asked.
Mendoza’s Web site is www.infidelshirts.com
The shirts are $20, plus shipping — $5 for two shirts, $2.50 for additional shirts.
Mendoza happily accepts PayPal.
Want to support the troops? Spend some money — and wear a spectacularly politically incorrect T-shirt designed by a genuine U.S. Marine Corps sniper.
Rod Rose writes for The Lebanon (Ind.) Reporter. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
; c/o The Lebanon Reporter, 117 E. Washington St., Lebanon IN 46052 or at (765) 482-4650