A United States Navy veteran said he discovered a hateful note on his car Saturday night after he parked it in a veteran-designated space at a North Carolina supermarket.
Rod Boyle, 56, said he parked his car in a “reserved for veterans” spot at a Harris Teeter location in Wake Forest to quickly grab a view items, The News & Observer reported. As he was leaving the parking lot, he discovered the note flapping on his windshield, Fox News reports.
“You are a [expletive] moron! I hope karma visits you often! (this is parking for our veterans),” the note said.
Boyle, who served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years before retiring, said he was initially angry and shocked that someone would place a note like that and assume he didn’t serve in the military.
“What business is it of someone to make that assumption?” Boyle told The News & Observer on Tuesday.
“I am a veteran. What made you think I wasn’t? You can’t tell if someone is a veteran just by what they look like, or the car they drive.”
Boyle didn’t want the incident to go unnoticed, so he drove back to the store and showed the note to the store manager.
“I told them, ‘I’m not angry at you or the store, and I know there’s nothing you can do,’ but I wanted them to know,” Boyle said.
The retired Navy veteran said he couldn’t stay angry because it was the individual’s right to speak out even without the correct facts.
“I feel tremendous honor for how the USA allowed me to proudly serve our country. My service was not only to defend, but also for the rights of Americans,” Boyle said.
“One of those rights is freedom of speech, such as for a person to make an assumption, write a note and touch a car.”
He told the news outlet that he hopes his story will make others think twice before jumping to conclusions.
Harris Teeter has offered veteran-designated parking spaces since October 2014. The company said in a statement to Fox News that it has reached out to Boyle to thank him for his service in the U.S. military.
“It is extremely unfortunate anyone would receive a note like this, and we are certainly disappointed it happened while this veteran was shopping in our store,” a Harris Teeter spokeswoman said.
Boyle has not responded to Fox News’ request for a statement.