Jacksonville, Florida: An unelected city inspector issued a code violation to a local motorcycle dealership in Jacksonville, Florida, for — of all things — flying military flags on the store’s rooftop.
But that wasn’t the worst of it. Literally adding insult to injury, the official then disparaged a veteran while issuing the warning for the military flags.
When Melinda Powers, the city inspector, entered the store to deliver the citation to the owner of Florida Jaguar Powersports, a veteran happened to be in the store, and voiced his disapproval of Powers’ action.
The incident was caught on the store’s video and shows Powers wagging her finger at the veteran. The video shows Ms. Powers confronting the wounded veteran, saying ‘What did you do for this country?’ The veteran replies, ‘I took three bullets to the leg. I almost lost my life for this country. I’m retired. I’m a veteran.’ She then retorts ‘You did nothing for this country.”
Powers responded in an admittedly “unprofessional and disrespectful” manner and has been placed on leave pending a review.
The business owner went live on social media to raise awareness and show the military flags flying above the business citation; his video has gone viral. The business is now offering a special T- Shirt Benefit with all proceeds going to combat veterans motorcycle association.
On Monday evening Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry tweeted “let them fly,” and the military flags representing various branches of the U.S. military still proudly fly over Jaguar Power Sports.
“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.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with @ActionNewsJax, the offended veteran said he does not want the city official fired but thinks “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.”