A female veteran of Kuwait was shocked when she returned to her car after shopping for groceries and found a note from an anonymous person on the windshield.
“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, Wounded Vet. [sic]”
According to WCET, Mary Claire Caine walked back to her car parked in a “Veteran Parking” space at a Harris Teeter to find the nasty note. The Wilmington, North Carolina, woman was stunned, then angry. She said she waited by her car for a few minutes to see if the person who penned the note would come out to confront her, but no one ever did.
“The first thing I felt was confusion that there was a mistake, and that I had to talk to this person and ask them why they were so quick to assume I wasn’t a veteran and that I was taking privileges that didn’t belong to me. Am I a worthy enough veteran to park in this spot?”
She said nobody ever came back to the car, so she was left with unresolved anger and sadness.
Caine, who is an Air Force veteran, having served on the flight line of the F-117 Nighthawk in Kuwait, wonders if the note was left because she was a woman driving a car with real estate agent logos instead of an armed service bumper sticker. Petite and middle aged, she wonders if perhaps the person didn’t think she “looked” like a veteran.
“I think they took one look at me when I got out of my car and saw that I was a woman and assumed I wasn’t a veteran and assumed I hadn’t served my country. They have this image of what today’s American veteran is and honestly if you’ve served in the United States military, you know that veterans come in all shapes and sizes.”
Caine hopes that her story will help people not judge so quickly especially when it comes to veteran stereotypes. She doubts she’ll ever find the author of the note, but hopes the person realizes their error and prejudiced views.
“I want them to know they owe me and every other female service member who’s fighting now and who’s fought in the past, an apology for jumping to conclusions.”
What are your thoughts, readers? Do you feel Ms. Caine was targeted because she was female?
[images by WCET]