The Washington Post yesterday reported that a Marine drill instructor at Parris Island stands accused of abusing a Muslim recruit.
A Muslim Marine said he was called a terrorist and ordered into an industrial clothes dryer multiple times by a drill instructor who then turned it on, burning him, according to investigative documents that provide new details about the alleged abuse of recruits at the service’s training center at Parris Island, S.C.
“You’re going to kill us all the first chance you get aren’t you, terrorist?” the drill instructor thundered at the recruit, the new Marine later alleged, according to the documents that have not been released publicly but were reviewed by The Washington Post. “What are your plans? Aren’t you a terrorist?”
The issue of hazing and abuse at Parris Island surfaced March 18, when a 20-year-old recruit with Pakistani roots — Raheel Siddiqui of Taylor, Mich. — died after leaping from a stairwell landing that was nearly 40 feet high while running away from the same drill instructor who used the dryer. The instructor had just slapped Siddiqui before he jumped. Siddiqui’s death drew public scrutiny to a culture of harsh punishments at Parris Island — one that Marine officials were already examining, the documents show.
Now, a couple of things here. I know a number of my friends and readers who are Marine Corps veterans will say, “Suck it up, Cupcake. They break you down, and they build you up stronger and better than ever. I’ve been through some shit.”
I’m not a Marine. I’m an Army vet, but I get it. Basic training is supposed to be tough. My recruiters repeatedly told me that one of the drill sergeants’ goals is to expose your weaknesses and help you overcome them. I get all this. My kid is a Marine, after all.
That said, there is a line that one crosses into unacceptable behavior, and from the report, it certainly sounds like that line was crossed.
Intentionally injuring recruits is unacceptable. Showing up drunk or drinking on the job is unacceptable. Forcing a recruit to put you in contact with his sister and pursuing her socially is unacceptable. Bribing recruits with pogey bait to keep them quiet about abuse is unacceptable. Accusing a kid who just volunteered for the toughest training of all services in order to serve his country of participating in the 9-11 attacks is unacceptable.
I will also submit that part of the drill instructors’ duty is to build esprit de corps. These recruits are supposed to learn that they can rely on their fellow servicemembers, as well as their NCOs. Accusing a recruit of being a terrorist and planning attacks on his fellow Marines isolates said recruit. Remember, this is a guy who joined the United States Armed Forces voluntarily, ostensibly to defend the country he loves. Isolating him from his brothers with accusations of terrorist plotting doesn’t exactly build that team spirit, does it? It’s a stupid strategy that does more to destroy the team, rather than build it up.
And people, this is coming from me – the least politically correct person you will meet!
Are the allegations true? I can’t tell you.
I will say I’m inclined to believe at least some of them. The sister of the recruit whom the drill sergeant approached for a date provided documentation in the form of messages. The dryer incident happened in 2015, but the accusations didn’t come to light until November 2015 – AFTER the new Marine left for the next phase of his training – and there were witnesses. I can understand a new boot sniveling about bad treatment, but this guy had already left. It was over. It was done with. Why bring it up now?
I don’t know how widespread the abuse is. My daughter survived it. Our friend David survived it. And both these Marines went through Parris Island only a couple of years ago. While both confirmed it was tough, neither one described these kinds of abuses.
I suppose it’s possible, especially if there’s actual documentation, and given the fact that a number of Marines were removed from their jobs due to allegations of hazing.
Additionally, while I am sure that the vast majority of drill instructors in every services are upstanding servicemembers and honorable men and women, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that there’s a few shitheads in every bunch. It happens! I doubt it happens often, but it happens.
I had a drill sergeant at AIT, who was only 27 years old. He was high-speed, low-drag – a Sergeant First Class at his young age. Turns out he was sticking his dick into numerous trainees on a regular basis, as well as other women who were not his wife. It was a huge scandal, and this particular drill sergeant was court-martialed, his career destroyed – all because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.
And while I don’t know whether the actual details of this particular investigation will all turn out to be true, I know there’s a fine line between building a Marine/Soldier/whatever and taking out your sadomasochistic tendencies on a bunch of n00bs.
It sounds like some drill sergeants need to learn where that line resides.
My only fear is that the pendulum will swing to the other extreme, and they will stop challenging recruits for fear of such complaints, and we’ll wind up with a fluffy vagina Corps, which will erode our defensive capabilities. Not liking that scenario either.
I’ve blogged about embarrassing atheists before. These are the sniveling, perpetually offended pimples, who are never satisfied just being atheists, but they insist on ensuring that their precious, sensitive corneas are never pointed directly at any kind of religious symbol, and their fragile sensibilities are never exposed to anything remotely having to do with faith, because SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE!
There’s this Newdow moron, who has declared a personal fatwa on anything that even implies religion. His pathological compulsion to get rid of anything having to do with God has taken him down the road of targeting schools for for allowing students to stand silently, during the Pledge of Allegiance, because it contains a reference to God, and trying to rid money of “In God We Trust.”
For the record, I think it’s a waste of energy. There’s nothing coercive about the Pledge. Students are allowed to sit it out, but are obligated to be respectful of those who don’t. That’s a respect issue. It’s teaching someone to be the type of human being who allows others to do what they do without being rude shitsticks. And having that phrase on money doesn’t bother me either. As an atheist, I just have better things to do than get chafed labia over some words on some currency.
There’s some Special Snowflake who was SHOCKED! at seeing a cross. APPALLED, in fact! As if it burned its odious presence into his soul through his eyeballs APPALLED!
And then there’s this asshole. Mikey Weinstein has declared jihad on Christians. Jonn has blogged on him numerous times. You can read it all here. Weinstein’s latest crusade targets some poor schlub of an Air Force officer who had the unmitigated gall “harboring and encouraging a truly abhorrent example of First Amendment civil rights violations.”
Wow! That sounds really bad. A truly abhorrent example of First Amendment rights violations? What could it have been?
Did Maj. Steve Lewis force his subordinates to attend church?
Did he counsel them on their lack of faith or administer non-judicial punishment based on biblical law?
Did he encourage them to read the Bible?
Nope. Maj. Steve Lewis committed the egregious crime of having an open Bible on his desk.
Mikey Weinstein claims this is egregious and outrageous, because the desk belongs to the US Army, and therefore anything religious that touches said desk will cause burns, which is destruction of government property, and service members are scared… Yikes!
Shit, if they’re scared of a fucking book, I can’t imagine how they’re going to fight ISIS! They’ll just duck and run, I suppose. All ISIS has to do apparently is pelt them with pages from the Koran. What kind of stupid is that? That’s like saying you can’t say “God bless you” to someone after they sneeze in a government space!
The atheist site Patheos picked up on the story with all the zeal of a squirrel hopped up on steroids. Except they’re idiots with an agenda, so let’s fisk them real quick, shall we?
If a lance corporal was said to be out of line for putting unlabeled Bible verses all over her workspace, then surely having an open, highlighted Bible at your desk is even worse.
Except the reason the Lance Corporal in question was out of line is because she was sharing a desk with others and was spreading her religious shit all over it, and then refused to obey a direct order to remove said verses, earning her a bad conduct discharge. It wasn’t about religious freedom, but rather because it wasn’t her personal space to decorate. Lewis had the book in his own office on his own desk. But by all means, let’s compare apples to Vagisil, because it fits our agenda!
It all began with an email from someone who deals with Lewis on a regular basis:
“It certainly gives the appearance of favoritism toward one religion,” says a Peterson military member who insisted on anonymity for fear of retribution. “I’m a Christian myself, and it’s concerning. I don’t think people should be promoted or given opportunities based on whatever [religion] they are. It should be about your performance.”
Much like reading Monster Hunter International books in my office gives the appearance of favoritism toward one author, right? And because the author is the International Lord of Hate, it must be removed at once! Otherwise, Special Snowflakes will get their tender labia chafed at the thought that someone might like something they don’t, and we just can’t have that!
Other than the anonymous emailer’s quivering lips, is there any evidence that Lewis discriminated against any of his subordinates based on religion? Were there any complaints lodged against him? I’m sure if there were, Weinstein and Patheos would be all over them like Oprah on a baked ham, screeching about how Lewis actually violated others’ rights, instead of quoting an anonymous snowflake’s butthurtery. But since that’s all they got, they’ll beat that drum until their little hands get bloodied raw.
That’s right: A Christian blew the whistle on his also-Christian commanding officer.
Maybe you’re having the thought I had when I first heard about this story: What’s the big deal? As long as he’s not proselytizing, this shouldn’t be an issue, right?
Not exactly. Unlike at civilian jobs where personal religious paraphernalia might go unnoticed or unchallenged, the military is far more strict about anything that might hurt cohesion and suggest religious favoritism.
See, the mere suggestion of religious favoritism (which for them, apparently is anything they find objectionable) vice the actual practice of it is enough to make these snowflakes soil their frilly panties!
Has there been any evidence that whatever Lewis has in his office hurt cohesion? Has he been disciplined, counseled, or even reported for favoring Christians over non-Christians? Has he treated anyone improperly, or even been accused of such acts? No?
From the very Air Force Directive these fuck weasels so carelessly bat about:
2.11. Free Exercise of Religion and Religious Accommodation. Every Airman is free to practice the religion of their choice or subscribe to no religious belief at all. You should confidently practice your own beliefs while respecting others whose viewpoints differ from your own. Every Airman also has the right to individual expressions of sincerely held beliefs, to AFI1-1 7 AUGUST 2012 19 include conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs, unless those expressions would have an adverse impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment.
2.11.1. Your right to practice your religious beliefs does not excuse you from complying with directives, instructions and lawful orders; however, you may request religious accommodation. Commanders and supervisors at all levels must fairly consider requests for religious accommodation. Airmen requesting accommodation will continue to comply with directives, instructions and lawful orders from which they are requesting accommodation unless and until the request is approved.
2.11.2. If it is necessary to deny free exercise of religion or an accommodation request, the decision must be based on the facts presented, must directly relate to the compelling government interest of military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment, and must be by the least restrictive means necessary to avoid the cited adverse impact.
Weinstein claims the mere presence of the book violates these regulations. Except it doesn’t, and until he proves that it has, it’s just so much petulant whining.
Has Lewis disrespected others’ viewpoints because they differed from his own?
Has he denied accommodation in any way to those with differing beliefs?
Have the personal, religious items in his office adversely impacted “military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment?”
Whose rights were violated? Is there a right not to see a Bible?
No account has shown a “yes” answer to any of the above, as the perpetually offended haven’t mentioned anything but the presence of a book that they find so triggering.
But Patheos presses forward claiming the military officer somehow violated the last part of that regulation.
That last bit is key. Military officers cannot, in any way, promote religion while on the clock. A teacher at a public high school might be able to get away with this (provided no proselytizing was occurring) but a military officer plays by different, stricter rules.
A Supreme Court case from 1974, Parker v. Levy, even said as much:
This Court has long recognized that the military is, by necessity, a specialized society separate from civilian society… While the members of the military are not excluded from the protection granted by the First Amendment, the different character of the military community and of the military mission requires a different application of those protections… The fundamental necessity for obedience, and the consequent necessity for imposition of discipline, may render permissible within the military that which would be constitutionally impermissible outside it… Speech that is protected in the civil population may nonetheless undermine the effectiveness of response to command. If it does, it is constitutionally unprotected.
So the case law and precedent are on MRFF’s side, even if their position is bound to be extremely unpopular.
Actually case law and precedent are not. What Weinstein and Patheos haven’t proven is that morale, discipline, health, safety, or mission accomplishment have been in any way impacted by the mere presence of the book. And since the Supreme Court plainly said that members of the military ARE NOT EXCLUDED FROM THE PROTECTION GRANTED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT, unless discipline and good order are somehow impacted, case law and precedent in this case are clearly on Lewis’ side, and his rights are protected by the Constitution he swore to protect and defend.
It’s an “and” not an “or.” If a member of the military practices his or her religion AND causes damage to military readiness, unit cohesion, good order, discipline, health and safety, or mission accomplishment by doing so, then yes, they’re in violation of the regulations.
The mere presence of a book doesn’t constitute said damage.
As it stands, the Bible has been removed from Lewis’ desk as an investigation into the matter takes place.
Lewis has not yet been punished for his actions. It’s unclear if he will be.
You can almost see the writer of this piece rubbing his grubby little paws together hoping for a bit of discipline for this officer, whose only “crime” appears to have been keeping a religious symbol on his desk. It doesn’t appear as if that will happen, though. Commander of the 310th Space Wing Col. Damon Feltman says the incident is being reviewed, and confirms what I said above.
“As long as he’s not doing something excessive, the existence of a Bible or the Koran or the Torah or some other religious article is not prohibited,” Col. Feltman said. “It’s what you do with it when you have it.”
As to the precious little Snowflake who was so outrageously outraged at the existence of what atheists essentially believe is a book of fairy tales, perhaps the military is not the place for them. After all, if this chafed ass cheek is so traumatized by a book on someone’s desk, can you imagine it on deployment?
These sniveling, piss-swizzling dick flakes make me ashamed to have anything in common with them!
I first heard the name “Mike Webb” when he sent me a friend request on Facebook. I had no idea who this guy was, but we had Rob as a friend in common, so I asked whether he was safe to approve. At that point, Rob told me Mike was a “bit odd,” but a decent guy, and that he was running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 8th District to challenge incumbent Don Beyer.
Long story short, I approved the request.
A few weeks later, Rob told me that Webb was completely unhinged. He was sending out rambling, incoherent press releases, invoking his past military service, and spamming those with whom he didn’t agree with incomprehensible emails. Rob, who considered supporting Webb for the nomination, stepped back upon seeing the embarrassing spectacle he was making of himself, and told Webb exactly why he was not supporting him… as only Rob can.
Well, Webb wasn’t having none of that! Multiple emails, irrational and disjointed missives masquerading as press releases, social media posts, and froth-flecked attempts to call Rob out at local meetings later, and we realized that Webb was unhinged.
In addition to that, he showed up at campaign events wearing Army ACUs, looking much like a drunken hobo! He claims he’s a retired Army Major. He implies he was a Ranger, even though he was a legal clerk in a Ranger battalion. He claims he spent a 20 year career in the military and never deployed. Yeah, I believe that one. (I’ll let others post research on Webb’s alleged military career. Thank you Jonn and TAH.) And yet, Webb appears unaware and unfazed by the fact that it is against regulations for him to campaign in an Army uniform – even if he did remove the patches!
Retirees. Paragraph 30-3 of the above listed regulation gives full details. Army retirees may wear the Army uniform only for the following circumstances:
(1) Personnel performing instructor duties at an educational institution conducting courses of instruction approved by the Armed Forces (such as JROTC).
(2) While attending military funerals, memorial services, weddings, inaugurals, and other occasions of ceremony.
(3) Attending parades on national or state holidays, or other patriotic parades or ceremonies in which any active or reserve United States military unit is taking part.
For (2) and (3), above, only service and dress uniforms may be worn; the BDU and physical fitness uniforms will not be worn.
Wear of the Army uniform at any other time, or for any other purpose than stated above is prohibited.
Luckily this unbalanced nutbar got his ass handed to him at the 8th District convention last week, and his opponent Charles Hernick won the GOP nomination. Webb, then decided that God was somehow calling on him to continue his preposterous campaign, so he is now running for the 8th District Congressional seat as an Independent.
He has about as much chance of winning as my dog’s ass has of becoming a starfish model, but that’s beside the point.
This fappened yesterday.
Webb published a post on his campaign page Monday that included a screenshot of his computer desktop. And as it happened, Webb hadn’t bothered to close his pornography tabs when he took his screengrab.
A guy who was flogging his Christianity at every turn during what can only loosely be described as his “campaign” took a screen cap of his computer, and revealed his fapping material.
Worse yet, thousands of comments followed, the media picked up the story, including The Daily Caller, Gawker, the Telegraph, and NBC News, and Webb allowed the post to remain all day, as ridicule and consternation were heaped upon him.
In another faptastic follow-up post, Webb claimed he was only testing the porn sites for viruses. No, I’m serious. In a now-deleted, multi-thousand word, rambling Facebook dispatch, Webb implied that Rob, Charles Hernick, and others were perhaps responsible for a computer virus that apparently kept him from filing his “campaign’s” finance report on time. I’m not sure if he thinks that my husband somehow sent him porn links rife with viruses or what. That part wasn’t clear, and both posts have finally been deleted, only to be replaced by this fapsurd horse fuckery.
Today’s notorious post reached almost 200,000 people. The succeeding post reached a little more than a tenth of that, and all through the viral infection of social media and word of mouth. And, I certainly received my share of “interesting” comments, but no more out of the ordinary than what I have received since beginning this quest. But, the truly amazing thing about today was that “I saw also the Lord, high and lifted up,” and I was very much moved by the love and support of those who expressed their encouragement and support, even some in the national and local press.
This is where the FAPTASTIC non-Ranger implies that he’s grateful for the love and support he’s received. The implication is that he’s thankful for his “buddies” giving him a reality check and keeping him in line. And if by “love and support” he means the numerous accusations of hypocrisy, and endless mockery and ridicule, sure!
The cluelessness is fapalicious! Webb obviously can’t recognize derision and disparagement when he encounters it, although some of the memes posted on his site should be crystal clear. Instead, he pretends the scorn doesn’t exist, and delusionally thanks his “buddies” for the check.
Not only does Webb use Yahoo! search in Google Chrome, which in and of itself is an unforgivable sin, but he actually believes the publicity for spanking the monkey to tight booty Pr0n while preaching Christian family values is good for his campaign!
One commenter about a half hour ago told me that I needed to hire a new social media director, and others earlier were concluding that the candidate declared DOA in his press debut before Christmas in the local press—six months before a Republican challenger ever gets picked up—today is toast for sure. But, when I read that post about the social media director, we were up 42 likes on Facebook, and I don’t know how many on Twitter. Just now, I looked at Facebook, again, and we are up 75, far outpacing my rival who defeated me with establishment support in the nomination convention.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with rubbing one out in the privacy of your own home. It’s none of my business what kind of sites you visit in your spare time, and whether you like fapping to “tight booty” or “sexy amateurs.”
But if you’re going to publicly flog your Christianity, and then come up with some lame excuse about doing “research” to see if porn sites contain viruses… or something vaguely incoherent like that… you’re going to get called on it. Hard (pun fully intended).
And if you do get caught with your paw in the cookie jar, so to speak, at least have the testicular fortitude to admit it!
People always tell us not to generalize. They always tell us that prejudice is a bad thing. Stereotypes are supposed to be a negative, because we’re all individuals with our own intellectual capacity to think, reason, and act.
But you know what? Stereotypes exist for a reason. They don’t just appear out of thin air. They usually exist because some very loud, very visible group exemplifies particular traits – not without outliers, mind you, but still…
A few years ago there was a dependapotomus who wrote a blog post complaining that the wives of National Guardsmen have no business calling themselves “Army wives.” If you didn’t know, a “dependapotamus” is a stereotype of a military wife – usually overweight, looking to cash in on her husband’s paycheck and PX and commissary privileges, shitting out scores of kids, and acting like her husband’s rank is her own by demanding the respect afforded to her spouse, even though the only thing she did to earn it was spend his paycheck and spread her legs.
(OK, I’ll post the disclaimer, because I’m sure to get a bunch of offended women screeching about how #notallmilitarywives. No, hardly all military wives fit that profile, but there obviously has been a sufficient amount of them who do, that the stereotype exists in the first place.)
Back to the aforementioned dependapotomus, however.
The precious spoiled princess took it upon herself to insult wives of National Guard Soldiers (and build herself up in the process) by claiming they weren’t “real Army,” because her “hubs,” deployed and still wore the uniform upon return, while those other guys went back to their civilian lives.
The blowback was epic and quick. She shuttered her blog after hundreds of comments – almost all of them negative – took her to task on her attitude of entitlement, and someone contacted the Vermont recruiting command where “hubs” worked, prompting a response that included some counseling time for “hubs.”
Dependapotomi – they may not be all fat and trailer trashy, but they do have a certain attitude in common.
This brings me to a post on ASMDSS – Awesome Shit my Drill Sergeant Says – a military humor site that recently received some hate mail from a dependapotomus that proves our point for us. If you wonder why stereotypes exist, you only have to look at this email in all it’s illiterate glory.
Location: f*ck you
IM going to start these by saying i am a army wife with a bachlors degree in womens studies so i KNOW that you idiots are full of sh*t when you constantly bash women and army wifes for being lazy and fat? are you f*cking serious and yes we do serve as much as our husband we keep the homes in order and the kids safe while you get to go run around and play solider. its f*cking bullsh*t and its a full time job for us so get down off your hi horses and calm the f*ck down with that stupid sh*t it pisses me off. sometimes we get a little overweight from not having time to go to the gym and stuff but human anitomy shows that woman are supposed to have some fat. so shut the f*ck up and man up you stupid little boys. i could easy get a job if i wanted especially since i am a college graduate and hard worker but id rather not put my kids in day care and let someone else raise them. so go f*ck yourselfs and get off army wifes dicks! we are not f*cking dependas you men are! you dependa on us to take care of you the kids and the house. ok im done peace
Yep, I wonder why stereotypes exist… this is exactly what I would expect to read from someone with a degree in wymyns “studies.”
I do wonder what kind of college university would allow someone to graduate from their institution who has the written communication skills of a monkey on meth.
For the epic slapdown of this dependa’s communication skills, please do yourself a favor and read the rest.
But aside from all that, while I certainly don’t approve of bullying – whether in cyber space or in real life – once again, stereotypes exist for a reason. Reason such as this.
And maybe even this.
Now, as another disclaimer, I will admit that these photos could have been Photoshopped and the email could have been faked for humor purposes. That said, having lived on base as a single Soldier, and having experienced the phenomenon that is the military wife (and not necessarily the American-born type, either), out drinking and picking up REMF Jodie at the base club a few days after the spouse’s unit deployed, I can say once again that stereotypes exist for a reason.
I’m not the type of person who goes around demanding a veteran discount everywhere I go. It’s not a thing for me. I generally feel funny even asking about a possible discount, because I’m fortunate enough not to rely on it. But some veterans do. Some aren’t lucky enough to have an amazing job that allows them not to be concerned with something as small as a military discount. Some must save every penny.
That said… if a place of business advertises it and markets itself as an enterprise that wants to thank veterans for their service by giving them a discount, I would certainly expect them to honor it. I did a little research, and I haven’t seen Home Depot’s corporate policy regarding veterans’ discounts. Guardian of Valor detailed Home Depot’s policy a couple of years ago after some veterans said Home Depot didn’t honor their discounts, so they contacted the company. They received the following reply.
In reference to your e-mail, effective March 2010 we began offering,
when asked, a year round 10% discount, up to a $500 maximum
no registration needed, to all active, reserve, retired or disabled
veterans and their family members with a valid military ID.All other
military veterans will qualify for a 10% discount in your area during
Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans’ Day .
This philosophy is consistent with our long standing price match
guarantee. Please note that The Home Depot will offer a 10% Military
discount up to $500.00 maximum no registration needed.
Eligibility for discount:
1. The discount is only for active, reserve, retired or
disabled veterans and their immediate (mother, father, brother, sister,
child) family members.
2. The discount is only available on in-stock and special
order merchandise and online purchases. To utilize the discount online,
please call the Online Customer Service team at 1-800-430-3376.
3. This discount is not available for Installation Services
or for Deliveries (store and Service Provider).
4. The discount is only available on the day of purchase –
customers cannot get discount on a previous purchase
Customers must have one of the valid IDs listed below for year round discount:
- Active Duty Military ID card with a picture.
- A retired Military ID card with a picture.
- VA Card (Department of Veterans Affairs) – MUST have the
words SERVICE CONNECTED under picture.
- Active Military and Retired Military ID card for
A retired veteran must have qualified and gone through retirement with
the Military. Disabled Veterans should have a Veteran’s Identification
Card (VIC) that is given to them from the Department of Veteran’s
Affairs. The VIC and their Driver’s License should be sufficient
identification to get the everyday Military Discount.
The Home Depot is dedicated to supporting and honoring our men and women
in uniform through our business practices, recruitment efforts and
corporate contributions. We offer this discount to thank them for their
outstanding service to this nation and to help make their homes more
comfortable and safe.
The Home Depot appreciates your business and would like you to continue
to rely on us for your home improvement needs.
OK, fair enough. They are a business, and they certainly should be able to decide to whom they give a discount, if at all. I have no problem with this.
Here’s the deal, though. Let’s say you go to a particular Home Depot for years. Let’s also say you are a veteran who hasn’t retired, but who served his or her country with honor for several years. Let’s say the store kindly gave you a discount every time you have gone there and presented your VA card. And let’s say one day, you come in, and the store tells you that your service was no longer good enough to receive a discount, and that after years of giving you a discount, they’ve decided to follow their policy and deny you the discount you have been receiving all along.
This is exactly what happened to a friend of mine at the Home Depot in West Wichita, Kansas. He writes:
Here’s what I love about America. Freedom to take my business where I want. I’ve been going to Home Depot for years and getting 10% off with my VA military ID card, whenever I remember to mention it. Today, I was told that it wasn’t enough proof that I was a veteran by the cashier. I asked to speak to the manager and he showed me a corporate statement that said only veterans with 20 years or with a service-related disability would be allowed the 10% discount. I said that was unfortunate, since there were tens of thousands of veterans waiting for care at VA. I was doing ok with this whole thing…until the manager said “You can’t just do four years any more and get a discount.” (emphasis mine) I asked him how many years he had served and he said none. So I said “a guy or gal can serve four years active duty, do at least two tours in Iraq or Afghanistan, and that’s not good enough for Home Depot to show their gratitude with 10% off?” Answer? “No.” I said, really gritting my teeth now but keeping my voice calm, that I would never shop at Home Depot again. I would be taking my business anywhere else than Home Depot. He said that was my choice. I said yes, yes it was. It was corporate Home Depot’s choice to narrow who gets a discount at their stores, so my choice will be to make sure they never, ever see a thin dime from me again.
This is not about entitlement, folks. No one is entitled to free stuff at anyone else’s expense, unless they freely choose to give it. This is about more than that.
There are several issues at play here.
1) My friend was happy to just let it be, until the manager, who had apparently never served a day in his life, took it upon himself to disparage my friend’s service.
“Just do four years…” Really, dickhead? Service members have gotten deployed, maimed, and killed in less time than that! Getting blown up or shot takes just a few seconds, and the enemy doesn’t give a damn whether you’re on your first enlistment or fourth!
2) Why is it that someone with four, eight, or even 12 years of service is somehow not good enough for Home Depot to offer a discount?
Did they not sacrifice enough? Were multiple deployments, time away from families, loneliness, and in some cases grief at the loss of a significant other, who just couldn’t take the separation, not enough of a sacrifice?
3) Consistency. If you’re going to honor a veteran’s service for years, then at the very least be polite, honor it this time, but politely inform them that the store has applied the discount policy incorrectly, and that in the future, they will have to pay full price. Certainly don’t have a manager tell them that their service wasn’t good enough!
Common courtesy. Look it up. I’m fairly sure that my friend would have simply thanked the manager and gone on his merry way. Maybe he would have made the decision to return to this Home Depot store, and maybe not. We really are free to make that choice.
But I can guarantee you, that after having his service degraded by this sniveling ass weasel, who admits to never having taken the oath, never have made the sacrifice, let alone ever deployed, my buddy will not be coming back to this Home Depot or any other.
And neither will the many veterans who read this blog.
No one is entitled to a discount. But everyone should receive a modicum of courtesy and not have their military service belittled by a snotty jerk, who barely knows the meaning of customer service.
For future reference, Home Depot, some service members make the military a career. Others leave after a few years for various reasons – everything from family, to medical, to employment. That does not mean their service should be any less appreciated and any less honored.
As for your store manager in West Wichita, Kansas…
You may want to teach him how to not be a dick.