Four years after his death, the mug of a World War II "GI Joe in the foxhole" is still being used to sell crude stickers and products in an online marketplace.
The late Thomas J. Murray of Clifton Park became a symbol of home-front rationing from 1943-1945 when the U.S. Office of War Information selected him to pose as a cheery-faced soldier sipping coffee for a now-historic poster that read, "Do With Less So They'll Have Enough."
But that simple message has now been altered to read, "How About a Cup of Shut the (expletive) Up" on a Web site called Cafepress.com, a sort of 21st-century gift shop. Shoppers can order it on cups, posters, clothes and more. A 5-by-3 inch sticker sells for $3.49.
The new use of Murray's face has upset his daughter, Stephanie Phillips of McNutt Avenue in Albany.
"Needless to say, I was horrified," said Phillips, who said she was told of the change by a friend who saw the Web site's image of her father advertised on another site, MySpace.com.
Marc Cowlin, public relations manager for CafePress, did not respond to a second inquiry about the product. In an e-mail response to an initial inquiry, he wrote, "All of the merchandise sold on CafePress is designed by our users, and our current catalog consists of over 35 million products."
Phillips feels the modern poster is derogatory, and she has contacted the U.S. Army, and local and state representatives about it.
Murray died Oct. 16, 2002, at age 87 in St. Mary's Hospital in Troy after a battle with Parkinson's disease.
The Army veteran posed for two illustrations that were part of a campaign to gain support for sacrifice on the home front so the war abroad could succeed. During World War II, Americans needed special stamps to purchase products such as meat, cheese, canned goods, sugar, butter, shoes and more.
The 22-by-28-inch poster featuring Murray drinking coffee hangs in the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans and in a military museum in Greensboro, N.C.
Phillips is frustrated by the responses to her complaints.
"The Army advised me that images taken by the Army become public domain, so there is not much that can be done," she said. "However, if other families can be forewarned, they may be able to express their outrage and concern about these particular Web sites. The Web sites are making large amounts of money based on unknown anger, humiliation and pain caused to unsuspecting families."