Our story this week on the veteran who got a nasty note for parking in a reserved space for veterans really struck a chord with our viewers.
Our newsroom got a lot of feedback from folks who say Mary Claire Caine was treated improperly by the anonymous letter writer who claimed she had no right to park in the space.
Many people are assuming, including Mary Claire, that it's because she's a female. We may never know for sure, but they might be right.
It could also be possible they assumed a well dressed professional like Mary Claire, who is a real estate agent, couldn't possibly be a service veteran. She doesn't fit the stereotype. I even had thought of the word “fought” included in the note and the note writer possibly thinking that yes, she might be have been in the service, but she didn't do any fighting.
Regardless of the reason, there's a lesson here in thinking before you act. We shouldn't be so quick to judge and we shouldn't be mean.
So, as difficult as it may be for me, I'm going try to practice that same consideration toward the person who wrote that note.
That's my turn. Now it's your turn. If you want to comment on this or any other segment, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Emailed comments from viewers:
I think it is appalling that someone would put that note on her car ! Women have played an essential role in the military since the beginning of this country ! Including dying for our country ! I suggest people in your area do some research including educating children & adults ! Try honoring women of the military, you'd be amazed how many there are & the jobs they do in the military !
My name is Val Adlis. I am a veteran & served in the US Army as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg NC & also in the US Air Force pathfinders, total of 8 yrs military service. If I saw some one park in a veterans parking spot & felt he or she was not a veteran I may have also left a note on the windshield. I would have also stepped forward & apologized to this veteran & thanked her for her service. I sincerely would like to see this veteran who wrote this note come forward as as he was speaking for all veterans. Airborne, All The Way!
I am a retired female veteran of the Air Force/NY Air National Guard. I commend Mary Claire Caine for bringing this story to the public eye. I recently shopped at a Harris Teter and also parked in the Veteran parking spot. I wondered if anyone would say anything to me as I walked into the store. No one did, but if they had I would have challenged them! Being a female in the military was difficult at times but also rewarding throughout my 26 year career. My career started during the cold war era and ended during the Operation Enduring Freedom/Iraqi Freedom campaign which I was activated for in 2003. I am member of the American Legion and a lifetime member of the VFW. Veterans need to stand up for each other and not judge someone because they look a certain way. Male or female, veterans come in all shapes and sizes, young and old alike!!! All that served no matter for how long played an important part of the military structure of our country! If you know a veteran thank them for their military service!
I wanted to comment on your article about the female veteran that received a nasty note for parking in a reserved spot. I agree that the author of the note made an assumption, probably based on her sex and appearance. I agree that is not right. However, I do not agree that she should have parked in the reserved spot.
It is generally understood that those spots are for wounded/handicapped/aged veterans, not middle aged, healthy individuals. She served in the Air Force in Kuwait. She did not serve outside the wire in a hot zone. She is not disabled. Why is she parking there? She talks about respect. Maybe she needs to learn a little more herself. Maybe the author of the note should appologize for assuming she's not a vet, but she should appologize for parking there in the first place.