A city employee told a disabled vet that what he did for the country “didn’t matter” as she wrote tickets for a local business warning them not to fly military flags outside of the store.
In a set of videos and interviews, the incident is described to have taken place while a city employee enters the store to issue citations on the military flags. When a customer in the store protested at the citation, this is is how he describes what happened next:
“I voiced my opinion that I was a veteran and I don’t appreciate it. At that point, she turned to me and said, ‘Well, your opinion doesn’t really matter at this point. I’m here to discuss this with the owner.’
“She turned around at the door and said to me, in a very loud voice that, what I did for this country did not matter. I was mad. I don’t take a lot of things personal. I really don’t, but that strikes a chord with me.”
There are two videos of the incident. One is the surveillance camera footage showing the city worker interact with an unnamed veteran, and is a video uploaded by one of the workers.
This is a local news story showing a clip of the in-store footage:
Jaguar Power Sports
The incident took place at Jaguar Power Sports, which owned by a veteran. The man in the green shirt from the surveillance screen-grab posted a video online after the incident. He identified himself as Shaun, the finance manager for the business. Here’s the video that Shaun uploaded to the internet after the incident:
JPS has a standing offer of 10% off for troops, whether active military, retired and reservists.
Store Given Warning
According to Shaun, Jaguar Power Sports was handed a citation for each military flag.
After the video went viral, the City of Jacksonville said that the business received a warning, not a fine.
“The business was issued a warning, and was not fined. Warnings are issued to provide property owners information about a possible violation, and corrective action.”
Here’s one of the citations, signed April 16th:
Anonymous Veteran Speaks Up
The man in the store who took issue with citations and was on the receiving end of the anti-vet comments said that he was offended, but he doesn’t want the woman to lose her job. But, he said, “there should be some serious reprimand to her. She needs to apologize to the veteran community and to every American that supports us.”
The veteran does not wish to be named. He was shot three times while serving overseas.
The trouble that the veteran had was partly over the flag nonsense, but he deserves to be offended when someone is spoiled enough by living in a safe country that she doesn’t understand why she has been given that privilege.
Mayor Lenny Curry Responds
Republican Mayor of Jacksonville Lenny Curry, 47, didn’t exactly apologize for the actions of the staffer but instead issued a fix, by clarifying that military flags ought to be treated with the same rules and respect as the US flag. At this time, the name of the staffer is not yet know, and while there appear to be “employee procedures” going on behind the scenes, it is not clear if the woman will be suspended or given a reprimand for her actions.
1. I Have directed city staff that military flags should be treated same as US flag. Let them fly. I Have reached out to the business owner & will review employee procedures. COJ employees r expected to be respectful of our customers – you, the people of Jacksonville.
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) April 16, 2018
2. We support our military and veterans, and we appreciate businesses who honor their service.
— Lenny Curry (@lennycurry) April 16, 2018
Jaguars Fan Takes to the Air Protesting Kneelers
In October 2017, a fan of the Jags hired a plane to fly over the local field before a Jags VS Rams game. Thanks to the skywriter, a banner flew over the EverBank Field with the message:
“Be American. Boycott the Jags & the NFL”
The banner was paid for by Terry Smiley, a former fan of his hometown team. When speaking with media after the protest, he said that he was “appalled” at the fact that players with the Jaguars had kneeled for the American anthem but stood up for ‘God Save The Queen’ at a game in London, England.
The kneelers on the team caused a massive downturn in audience members attending games, and photos of the empty seats were spread around social media.
Where is Jacksonville?
Jacksonville is the most heavily populated city in Florida with more than 900,000 people in city limits and a total of 1.6 million in the greater Jacksonville area.
The city is home to three naval facilities including the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay. The city has also been home to the NFL team the Jaguars since 1993.
Source: News 4 Jax, The Florida Times Union Jacksonville, Fox News