'Big Red One' for sale at Sears stirs up emotions, controversy

Tuesday, we told you about Sears new clothing line that will sport US Army insignias.

For the first time ever, the US Army has agreed to license some of its patches for sale to the public. We wanted to know what east Texans veterans think about the Army commercial move.

We sent KLTV 7's LaKecia Shockley to find out.

It's a historic logo - the Big Red One of the First Infantry Division. It's a mark of some of the bravest soldiers but for a small price, you could wear it too.

"My brother's life that was in Big Red One. His blood cost way more than that."

C.C. Campbell is a Vietnam veteran who owns Veteran's Barbecue. He and other veterans don't agree with Sears making money off the Army.

"That's the way I feel about it their making a profit off of blood. They're not going to share it with us. They're not going to share it with our family that lost sons in Vietnam, Korea, and Germany," said Campbell.

"I don't think anybody deserves to wear anything that they didn't earn, and if they want to make it right they need to make all these kids serve a year or two in the military," said Joe Burden, an Army veteran.

Michael Taylor served in three branches of the military and to him, Sears' new clothing line is a slap in the face.

"We didn't ask to go over there, but we fought for our country and what we get in return? Selling t-shirts like we just came from a football game," said Taylor today.

But, the Army doesn't see it that way. The Army says the Sears retail line can enhance the Army's recruting efforts and the public's good will towards the Army - and help build unit pride.

And some veterans agree building unit pride is a good thing.

"Any advertisement the Army or any of the Military branches can do is a good thing because we need because people need to be aware that we are out there defending our rights," said Mike Croson, an American Legion Veteran.

Sears says they're giving back to the Army. A portion of all proceeds from the clothing line will go to support programs that benefit troops and their families.

The new clothing line will be featured on a line of sportswear at Sears starting in October. Army tshirts run $11.99 and hoodie prices can run you between $30 - $50.

LaKecia Shockley reporting. lshockley@kltv.com