Words By Mike Weisbecker.
There has been a report floating around of an Air Force veteran who partook of a parking spot assigned for military veterans at her local supermarket. She had used the spot before when it was available. Well the visit that is making the news concerns a note left on her vehicle’s window. The note read "Maybe [you] can't read the sign you parked in front of. This space is reserved for those who fought for America….not you. Thanks.". It was signed “Wounded Vet”.
Some versions of the story leave out the fact that she has a real estate business advertising on her vehicle.
So what to make of this?
Maybe Wounded Vet didn’t think a vehicle used for business should be parking in a spot reserved for veterans. I can see that. I have an issue with folks that use the rank they held while they were on active duty in advertising for their business. I have even seen one for an insurance agent that advertised that he spent x number of years as a first sergeant (which would make me go uninsured before visiting him). Just rubs me and other vets the wrong way.
Or maybe this vet is one of a number who truly have an ax to grind with women serving. We have to remember that women only started serving widely with the regular services since the mid to late 1970’s. Before that there were separate entities that supported the regular services with mainly administrative duties.
Women in aircraft maintenance were very rare in the early 1980’s when I enlisted. They had a hard road to travel. Many men were against them being there, didn’t think they had the skills or composure to do the job. These women had to work so much harder if they wanted to be respected.
So here we are 30 odd years later and this woman whom I can assume served honorably as far as we and Wounded Vet can tell. It’s an affront to be questioned on your status as a veteran. Many of us just go thru our day not looking for a leg up or a discount. It’s not how many of us are wired. She just took advantage of a nice thing her grocery store does for vets. And some other person (we assume a veteran) calls her out and pees in her cereal bowl.
At first I questioned her motive in going to the press. But then I recalled my class leader in tech school getting called out over his ribbon rack. One of the other instructors (an E-6) didn’t think my class leader (a retraining E-4) was wearing awards and decorations he deserved. My class leader was coming out of Titan 2 missile crew (as the system was being mothballed) and had a Combat Crew badge as well as three rows of ribbons (which was a lot back then for an E-4). He had some snappy retort for the E-6 (something like “not my fault you don’t have a real job”). It was something that rubbed him raw for years after and an incident I still recall 30 years later.
I think her main motive is to chat with Wounded Vet and find out why he left the note. Anyone who served honorably deserves to not be questioned on their service by another unless given cause.