TAMPA, Fla. — An Army veteran decided to confront a panhandler in Florida who was wearing a military uniform, WFTS reported. The veteran discovered the panhandler had never served and was outraged.
Garrett Goodwin served as an Army combat medic from 1993 to 2003, according to WFTS.
Goodwin told WFTS that he initially wanted to help when he saw the man.
“I would have made sure he had a place to live and food in his stomach and the services he needed,” Goodwin told WFTS. “But he wasn’t a veteran.”
Goodwin told WFTS that the panhandler didn’t have a veteran ID card, which made him suspicious that the man wasn’t really a veteran.
“Then take off my uniform,” Goodwin shouted as he followed the man. “You take that uniform off.”
Goodwin decided to keep yelling until the man stopped.
“I’m about public safety and public service and when it comes to the military, seeing people in uniform that … we bled, sweat, cried and burned through, it disgusts me,” Goodwin told WFTS.
Goodwin recorded the encounter and later posted it to his Facebook page. Goodwin has since received both praise and criticism for his approach towards the man.
“I think he owed us an explanation,” Goodwin told WFTS. “Some people have called me a bully on the Internet and I think he’s a bully wearing a uniform holding up a sign walking up to people’s cars in an intersection looking for money, I think he’s bullying people out of their money.”