Matt Zeller, a combat veteran of the Afghanistan war, was doing a little shopping at Safeway on Sunday. When he returned to his car in the parking lot, he found, he says, a little surprise taped to his car windshield — a rather unpleasant surprise.
According to Zeller, someone in the parking lot of the Vienna, Virginia, supermarket affixed the following note to his car. Now, veterans are often left notes thanking them for their service, expressing admiration for their bravery and sacrifice and so on.
This was not one of those notes.
Here’s the note, as posted on Zeller’s Twitter feed Sunday.
— Matt Zeller (@mattczeller) April 27, 2015
For those unable to see the Twitter post, the note read as follows.
“You should be ashamed of yourself. You are a murderer if you ‘served’ in Afghanistan. I hope you watch your child starve and die in front of you, as you have done to the people of Afghanistan.”
Zeller’s only comment on his Twitter posting was, “Seriously?!?”
However, the military-themed website Havok Journal quote him in greater detail. Needless to say, Zeller was not happy with the note.
“I wanted to confront the person. What coward threatens a toddler? I have a car seat in my car,” Zeller declared. “Disagree with the war? Fine. Disagree with my service? Fine. Both are one’s right. Threaten my kid? Line crossed.”
Whoever left the note — assuming that the whole thing is not some kind of internet hoax — picked the wrong Afghanistan veteran. Zeller is not exactly the shy, retiring type and is no stranger to the media, mainly through his No One Left Behind organization, which advocates for translators who aided the U.S. military in countries such as Afghanistan, who then face very real threats to their lives once the U.S. soldiers leave.
Zeller’s own life was saved by one such translator in Afghanistan, Janis Shinwari. The incident and Zeller’s cause was written up in People Magazine — check out the article at this link — and Zeller has appeared in numerous other media outlets. His Facebook page even shows him in a brief appearance on the HBO news satire show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.
Matt Zeller also spoke out against a “reality show” called Stars Earn Stripes, appearing on HuffPost Live to criticize the show for trivializing military service.
But even all of the access to the channels of publicity that Matt Zeller has at his disposal can’t stop a nasty note calling him a “murderer” and wishing a horrible fate for his child from stinging just a bit.
[Image: Matt Zeller Facebook]