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A New Hampshire Air Force veteran says the local school district stopped him from handing out flyers for a tree lighting because they said "Christmas" on them.

John Fletcher, an American Legion commander, said the superintendent in Marlborough asked that the wording be changed to "holiday tree" before he could give flyers to students.

"I was very upset, I really was," he told Fox 25. "If it's not a school-sponsored activity, I don't understand why 'Christmas' had to come out of 'Christmas Tree'."

Fletcher and his wife, who dress up as Santa and Mrs. Claus at the annual event, used WhiteOut to remove the word "Christmas" from the flyer.

"I respect everybody's rights, but don't take our rights away from us," he said.

Fletcher served four years in the Air Force, providing security on runways. His son was stationed in Germany, and his grandson just graduated from the Army Reserve.

Sunday's tree lighting is scheduled to move forward as planned.

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