Its a quote I appreciated from the first time I heard it: "I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But, I am pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f— with me, I’ll kill you all." Marine Gen. James M. Mattis said this to several Iraqi tribal leaders in 2003 during the violent aftermath of the Iraq invasion. Marine Carl Newman used this quote as a tattoo. Later, working for Union Pacific Railroad, he ran into job problems. Mr. Newman complained about several safety issues at the railroad. He was fired, he alleges in a lawsuit, for whistle-blowing.
But, Union Pacific claims he was fired because the tattoo violates the company’s violence in the workplace policy. The latest issue of Army Times refers to the tattoo to warn soldiers about having too many visible tattoos. I find it unlikely any employer would truly believe a tattoo like that promotes violence in the workplace. But, there is some prejudice among some civilians against Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Who knows what truly motivates an employer. But, I will will be pulling for former Marine Carl Newman…….