Jacksonville City Worker Placed On Leave For Telling a Veteran His Service 'Did Not Matter'

Nick Kangadis | April 17, 2018
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It doesn’t matter what form of government you work for. If you disparage members of the military, you deserve what you get — apology or not.

That is the case of Jacksonville, Fla. city worker Melinda Power, who apologized for a comment she reportedly made while citing a Jacksonville sport vehicle dealership for having too much signage displayed at their place of business.

The signage that caused the ridiculous citation? A Marine Corps flag, an Army flag and a Navy flag.

According to the store's owner, Powers went into the establishment and wrote the store a ticket for displaying the flags, which she claimed were against city code. But while a city worker supposedly doing her job isn’t enough to become too outraged about, it was what Power allegedly told a veteran customer who objected that has people up in arms.

According to Action News Jax:

The veteran spoke exclusively to Action News Jax, saying the city worker "turned around at the door and said to me, in a very loud voice that, ‘What I did for this country did not matter.’"

The veteran said he was shot three times while serving overseas. Despite being offended by her alleged comments, he said he doesn’t want her fired.

Of course the veteran - who didn't want to be identified - wouldn’t want Power fired. He served this country for Power’s right to say what she wants, no matter how ignorant it might’ve been.

"I should never have been unprofessional and disrespectful period," Power said in a Facebook post, according to Action Jax News. "Sincerely apologize."

The dealership, Jaguar Power Sports, posted a video to their Facebook page on Monday that has gone viral with almost seven million views. The video is what sparked the outrage over Power’s alleged comments.

Here’s the video:

In response, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry issued a statement saying that Power and her supervisor have both been placed on leave. Curry also wrote that he “will not allow” any business to be cited for displaying military flags.

Here’s part of Curry’s statement:

I have ordered a review of the actions of the employee and pending the completion of that review, the employee and her supervisor have been placed on leave […]

As the son and grandson of military veterans, and the mayor of a city with a proud history of commitment to our nation’s defense, I will not tolerate disparagement or disrespect of the men and women who serve or served. On behalf of the City of Jacksonville I apologize to veterans and service members who are rightly troubled by the events that have been reported […]

While current ordinance does not address residents or businesses displaying military flags, I will not allow any citation of those who demonstrate their support for the Armed Forces.

That was a very clear and powerful statement from a mayor that clearly gets it when it comes to respecting our military.

For local coverage of this story, watch below: