KUSA - A pair of red sneakers prevented a Lakewood 8th grader from fulfilling a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Dylan Prichett was chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery this weekend.
He earned the honor by writing an essay about what freedom means to him.
His mom, Amy Prichett, said he was not allowed to take part in the ceremony because his new red shoes were not appropriate.
"He literally just walked up to me and had his hands on his head," Amy Prichett explained. "To fly all the way out there and to be told 'no' when he's got his hopes up...He was devastated because he knows it's an honor. It's a once-in-a-lifetime thing."
Prichett said one of Dylan's teachers tried to find another pair of shoes for her son to wear.
"He (teacher) asked about three different men if we could borrow their shoes for 5 minutes, just so he (Dylan) could participate in this," Prichett said. "They all said, 'no.'"
With the government shutdown, Prichett wonders if some priorities are misplaced.
"There are people not getting paid for the family members that they're losing [and] not getting death benefits [and] people not getting paid," Prichett said. "And they're (federal government) worried about a pair of shoes?"
Prichett said she did receive a description of a proper dress code prior to the ceremony, which listed a collared shirt, casual slacks and "appropriate" shoes.
(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)