There are nationwide calls for discipline for the Jacksonville city worker who allegedly told a veteran what he did for his country "didn’t matter" while serving a warning to a local business for flying military flags.
That Army veteran said he was shot three times serving overseas. He spoke exclusively with WSB-TV's sister station Action News Jax, but wanted to remain anonymous.
Despite being offended by her alleged comments, he doesn’t want her fired.
“I think there should be some serious reprimand to her,” he said. “She needs to apologize to the veteran community, and to every American who supports us.”
Monday evening, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted ‘let them fly,’ and that night, those flags representing various branches of the military did just that over Jaguar Power Sports.
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
But just hours earlier, two city workers delivered a warning to the business for the flags.
That’s when trouble was just starting to brew between an army veteran and a city employee.
“I voiced my opinion that I was a veteran and I don’t appreciate it,” the veteran said. “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.”
Surveillance video of the encounter appears to show the city worker wag her finger at the veteran, before allegedly saying something this veteran said he will never forget.
“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,” he said. “I was mad. I don’t take a lot of things personal. I really don’t, but that strikes a chord with me.”
An employee recorded a video after receiving the warning that was viewed more than five million times on Facebook.
Since Monday afternoon, veterans and supporters from all across the nation are coming to this man’s defense.
Jaguar Power Sports said a U.S. soldier serving in Germany called them to say he supports them flying the flags.
“It just touches home,” said local Navy veteran Lenny Austin. “I’m retired Navy, my son’s retired Army. He fought in Iraq, and we spilled a lot of blood out there for this country, and they want to talk about a flag on top of a building?”
Mayor Curry has promised the city will ‘review employee procedures.’
This veteran may not want the employee fired, but he also doesn’t want this to ever happen again.
“There’s a lot of people on this Earth who aren’t walking here anymore because they gave their life for this country,” he said.
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