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Serving in the U.S. military is a hard enough road to travel, but doing so as a woman is harder still, even today in our more enlightened day. And one female Navy veteran found that even after a career in the military she is being discriminated against by ignoramuses.
The incident occurred outside a Harris Teeter grocery store in Concord, North Carolina, where Lieutenant Commander Rebecca Landis Hayes, a former Navy doctor, decided to use a parking space featuring a sign designating the spot as for veterans only.
“I don’t usually use them. I don’t feel comfortable. I’m perfectly capable of walking and I’m always afraid someone might call me out,” Hayes told People magazine.
Some parking lots across the country have begun setting aside spaces for veterans as a nicety for their service. But, really, how does one know who is or is not a veteran? Seriously. It’s not like they get a tattoo on their forehead saying “veteran”!
Even Hayes says she rarely uses those parking spaces designated for veterans, but she was in a hurry so she decided to use the space in front of the grocery store. But when she go back to her car she found a shockingly rude note left on her windshield.
The note attacked her saying that the spots were only for veterans.
“I thought, ‘Wow, people really do think this way!'” Hayes said. “I’ve been lucky my whole life: This was the first time someone singled me out and said I couldn’t be something because I was a woman. I was angry and sad. I’d like to think in a world where we have the first female as a major candidate for president, someone shouldn’t be making those assumptions anymore.”
Sad and angry maybe, but unashamed Hayes was not. She posted the note to her Facebook page in an effort to strike back at the anonymous person who left the ignorant note. Now her post is going viral and Hayes says she is a bit shocked that it is getting shared by so many.
“I am shocked all of these people are sharing this. We identify that this is an issue in our society,” she said. “Hillary Clinton is running for president and people think women can’t be veterans. We need to learn in this country not to make so many stereotypes.”
Here is Hayes’ Facebook posting:
To the person who left this note on my windshield today at the Coddle Creek Harris Teeter in Concord, NC:
“I know I parked in one of the Veteran Parking spaces today, it was hot. I had been in and out of my car several times already this afternoon, and I was only going to be a minute. Besides, the parking lot was full, so I just did it. It was the first time, and I won’t do it again. I’m sorry…”
I’m sorry that you can’t see my eight years of service in the United Sates Navy. I’m sorry that your narrow misogynistic world view can’t conceive of the fact that there are female Veterans. I’m sorry that I have to explain myself to people like you. Mostly, I’m sorry that we didn’t get a chance to have this conversation face to face, and that you didn’t have the integrity and intestinal fortitude to identify yourself, qualities the military emphasizes.
Which leads to one question, I served, did you?”
The folks at car blog Jalopnik had an amusing slam on who ever left the note:
The writer of the note may possibly be a recently-awoken vampire, because I’m not sure who else could be currently active and not realize that women have been serving in the Navy for over a century, since the Nurse Corps in 1908. Women have served in the military in every war in the 20th and now 21st centuries. The idea of women in the military shouldn’t be a surprise to this anonymous numbnuts.
Indeed, women even served in the Civil War and the Revolutionary War, so one could say women have fought in all our wars!
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