MODESTO, Calif. – Joseph Scott said he never intended harm to anyone or disrespect to the military - he was trying to do 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," Scott said from outside his grandfather's Modesto home.
Two weeks ago, Scott, 22, was confronted by veterans on the Delta College campus for wearing an Airborne Rangers uniform. Scott never served in the military. The confrontation with campus veterans escalated, and eventually led to the arrest of one man by Delta College police officers for disturbing the peace and making threats.
Police later received threats from anonymous callers. Many from outraged vets who insisted Scott had broken the law and should have been the one arrested. Delta College police said Scott was within the law.
"[U.S. Attorney General's office] states, there is no enforceable action we could have taken against [Scott] without violating his constitutional rights," Delta College police officer Jim Bock explained.
"I want to apologize to the Delta police officers for the threats they've been getting," Scott said.
Scott said he has wanted to join the U.S. Army for a long time, but failed his Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test. He took special education classes and never graduated from high school.
Scott's grandfather Joe Scott said his grandson suffered a serious event at age three that left him with post traumatic stress disorder.
"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 Scott said.
At Delta College, his grandfather said Joseph Scott met a recruiter who gave him fresh 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 Scott said.
Joseph Scott was turned down again, but began wearing the uniform he had bought.
When he was confronted, Joseph Scott said he was caught off-guard.
"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," Joseph Scott 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."
There is another wish Joseph Scott has still not let go of.
"I'd serve today," he said. "One phone call and I'd be gone."