Wounded vet says he was thrown out of mall for using Segway

We’re supposed to honor our veterans, not kick them when they’re down — and that’s especially true of our wounded warriors. A security guard must not have gotten the message — he kicked a disabled hero out of a Tennessee shopping mall.

While serving in Afghanistan, Army Master Sgt. Michael Trost received four gunshot wounds, severing an artery and his sciatic nerve in his right leg. A quick-thinking soldier on the scene saved his life by applying a tourniquet, but a string of operations still leaves him with chronic leg pain.

Because of the pain, Trost gets around on a Segway, presented to him by a veterans support organization.

“If I walk long distances my leg will start hurting,” he said according to Knoxville’s WATE-TV. Those “long distances” include treading from store-to-store in malls as he did late last week at the Foothills Mall in Maryville in search of a pair of jeans.

“A security guard approached me and said I was going to have to take out the Segway. I told him it was an ADA, or a handicap piece of equipment. I had the handicap sticker on it. He goes, ‘not in this mall,’” described Sgt. Trost.

The mall permits those with disabilities to use battery-powered scooters and Segways inside the mall so long as they’re “operated in a safe manner,” according to the TV station.

Trost said he felt he was doing exactly that, but after “some back and forth,” the guard claimed he was speeding.

I thought we put an end to this “kick a vet when he’s down” nonsense after Vietnam — apparently not.

If the security guard truly thought Trost was going a bit too fast, the better course would have been to ask him to slow it down — not to kick him out altogether. As it stands, the guard’s actions cost a mall store a sale of a pair of jeans, and the mall itself is losing a public relations battle.

Read more at WATE-TV.

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