Tag Archives: North Carolina

Sanctuary policy allows them in: MS-13 gang decapitate and stab victim 100 times, heart ripped out

ms-13
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, Montgomery County, Maryland is a sanctuary county.
MS-13 has a heavy presence in Montgomery County. Gee, I wonder why…
From NY Post: A man murdered earlier this year by the MS-13 street gang was stabbed more than 100 times, decapitated and had his heart torn out of his chest and buried with him, Maryland authorities said Wednesday.
Montgomery County Police said one of the alleged killers, 19-year-old Miguel Angel Lopez-Abrego, was arrested Nov. 11 in North Carolina. Lopez-Abrego, known as “Timido,” has been charged with first-degree murder and was ordered held without bond after his first court appearance.
According to court documents, which cited interviews with a gang informant, up to ten MS-13 members planned to lure the victim to the Silver Spring park where he was killed sometime this past spring.
The documents allege that Lopez-Abrego helped dig the grave where the victim was found, and also used a walkie-talkie to alert the other gang members to the victim’s arrival. The informant also claimed Lopez-Abrego was the first to attack the victim, stabbing him with a 15-inch knife.
The informant led police to the grave on Sept. 5 and “detailed the choking, stabbing, decapitating and dismembering [of] the Victim’s body,” according to a police affidavit. The documents do not give a motive for the killing.
The victim has yet to be conclusively identified. Police describe him as a Hispanic male standing approximately 5 feet, 2 inches high and weighing approximately 126 pounds. He had short, dark brown hair and a missing lower tooth that may have been noticeable when he was speaking or smiling.
After the victim’s body was found in September, police released photos of the clothes and rosary he was wearing when he was killed. They included a sweatshirt with the words “First United Methodist Church Laurel, Maryland” written on the left chest.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Montgomery County Police Department’s Major Crimes Division at (240) 773-5070.
DCG

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North Carolina fire department loses funds over Confederate flag

uwharrie volunteer fire department facebook photo

Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department photo from Facebook


From Fox News: A fire department in North Carolina stands to lose at least $19,000 because of its refusal to remove a Confederate flag from its property. 
The Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department has been flying the Confederate flag in front of the fire station for years. Firefighters say it represents history and heritage, not racism. 
“The flag is not hurting a thing,” Lee Hudson, with the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department, told WFMY. “We are not a racist department. We are not in any way. Members or the department as a whole.”
Montgomery County Commissioners (click on link to contact them), however, disagree.
“The Board of Commissioners stated their position, that they did think the flag was inappropriate and requested for the fire department to take it down,” Montgomery County Manager Matthew Woodard (click on link to contact Mr. Woodard) told WFMY.
The Board of Commissioners sent firefighters a letter last week saying that they will withhold funding for the department until it takes down the flag.
The Charlotte Observer reports the Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department gets $19,000 a year from Montgomery County, plus $400,000 annually for fire trucks. The department was organized as a non-profit corporation in 1983.
Firefighters said they do not plan on removing the Confederate flag any time soon.
“We would love to work with the county and for them to support us,” said Hudson. “But, we’re not going to move on the issue of taking down the flag.”
I found a GoFundMe page for the volunteer fire department. From the page:
“Uwharrie Volunteer Fire Department is a small rural fire department located in the middle of the Uwharrie National Forrest.  We have served our community and surrounding communities since 1983.  The departments volunteers have families, jobs, and are active in local churches.  We have 3 fundraisers per year to obtain the necessary funds to provide first response operations to our community and surrounding fire districts.  The restriction the county has placed on our funds makes the burden that the volunteers carry that much heavier.  All donations received will go towards continued operations, firefighting equipment and turn out gear for the volunteers.  The UVFD has always been heavily supported by its community and would like to say thank you for all of your support.  The support the Fire Dept. has received during the recent days has been overwhelming and encouraging not only from our local residents but those from other states as well.
We will continue to serve our community regardless of the restrictions placed upon us.”
If you’d like to donate, go here.
DCG

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Unintended consequences: California’s travel ban may trip up intercollegiate athletic teams

unintended consequences
Way to punish the athletes and guarantee diminishing alumni donations. Brilliant move California…
From SF Gate: California’s newly expanded ban on state-funded travel to states that discriminate against LGBT people could trip up intercollegiate athletic teams in the coming years — not only by restricting where they may play, but how they tap new recruits.
As of Thursday, state employees — including those at the University of California and California State University — are banned from traveling on the public dime to eight states. The shunned states often appear on college teams’ travel schedules. They are: Alabama, Texas, Kansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and South Dakota.
“In terms of recruiting, under current California law our coaches would be restricted from using state funds to travel to affected states,” says a statement issued Friday by the Cal Athletics Department.
On Friday, a day after state Attorney General Xavier Becerra expanded the list from four to eight states, his office told The Chronicle it had received a request for a legal opinion on whether the ban applies to “athletic team staffs” at UC and CSU. His office did not respond when asked who had made the request.
Each of the states in the ban has enacted a discriminatory law since June 26, 2015, according to Becerra, such as preventing adoptions and foster care by lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people (South Dakota and Alabama) or allowing school clubs to restrict membership on that basis (Kentucky). In Texas, a law that passed June 15 prohibits the state from “taking adverse action” against religious caregivers, which critics say gives them too much power over the welfare of LGBT children.
California’s travel ban took effect in January and specifically includes the two university systems. But it also exempts them from the ban to fulfill any athletic contracts they entered into with schools in the affected states before Jan. 1. That helps many major college athletic teams — for now — because they set their travel schedules with other schools sometimes years in advance.
But the exemption does not apply to collegiate postseason contests, where teams that do well could find they are headed for one of the states in question.
Eight sports are scheduled to have their top-tier NCAA regionals or championships in states affected by the travel ban within a year: Texas, Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina. The most notable is the men’s Final Four basketball championship, to be held in San Antonio.
The others are men’s and women’s cross country, women’s gymnastics, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s indoor track. Championships for lower-tier schools, including many in the CSU system, also are scheduled for some of the states included in the ban.
When California’s ban took effect in January, the Cal athletic department issued a statement saying: “Our intent is to support our student-athletes in their right to participate in NCAA postseason competition should they be assigned to a restricted state.”
But it’s not clear how they could do that, short of raising private donations to support not only travel costs, but also salaries for coaches and staff, and potentially insurance.
Meanwhile, Cal had been in preliminary talks for a men’s basketball series with the University of Kansas in January, when the travel ban that included Kansas took effect. “Cal got back to us and told us the state ban would prevent it,” said Jim Marchiony, a spokesman for KU athletics.
On Friday, Cal issued a new statement affirming its support of “equity, diversity and inclusion,” adding: “We have an obligation and firm commitment to remain compliant with California law.” The statement also said Cal will fulfill any contracts it signed with affected states before January.
Cal’s baseball team is signed on to play in the Frisco College Baseball Classic in March in Texas. The contract for the event, which features Texas A&M, Baylor and Louisiana Tech, was signed two years ago, former Bears head coach David Esquer said.
At California State University, several campuses have major sports teams, including Cal State Fullerton, San Diego State, Long Beach State, Fresno State and San Jose State.
The news that Texas is now included in the travel ban has made some sports fans nervous at San Jose State, and Lawrence Fan, spokesman for campus athletics, has been fielding questions — mostly about whether the San Jose Spartans will be able to play its scheduled football game at the University of Texas in September. Fan tells them not to worry. The contract was signed in September.
Nevertheless, CSU is taking a close look at the expanded travel ban and will consult with the attorney general if needed, said Toni Molle, spokeswoman for systemwide Chancellor Timothy White. However, she said, “The CSU fully intends to comply with the law, and we will not be using any state funds to pay for travel expenses to any of the banned states.”
Ricardo Vazquez, a spokesman for UC, agreed. But he said, “There have been instances where UC sports teams or researchers attending conferences have used nonstate funds to travel to the states on the list.”
Vazquez did not reply when asked for examples.
At UCLA, spokeswoman Liza David said the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics receives no state funding, but said that UCLA is “committed to promoting and protecting equity, diversity and inclusion.”
DCG

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North Carolina school district recalls yearbooks over Trump quote

yearbook quote

The inappropriate and, of course, raciiiiiiiiist comment


Good grief.
From Fox News: A North Carolina high school recalled its yearbooks after officials saw a senior’s quote which read “Build that wall” ascribed to President Donald Trump — but the move drew criticism online.
Yearbooks for Richmond Early College High School in Hamlet were recalled because some senior quotes were considered controversialThe News & Observer reported.
“Earlier this week, it was discovered by school administration that Richmond Early College yearbooks had errors and inappropriate comments,” the school district said on Facebook Tuesday. “The principal immediately collected the distributed yearbooks.”
The school district apologized and said it was working on making corrections with the yearbook publisher.
“As a district, we do not and will not tolerate inappropriate conduct toward any of our students,” the post said.
School and district officials found several quotes deemed inappropriate, school district spokeswoman Ashley-Michelle Thublin said. She said that included the “Build that Wall” comment that became one of Trump’s campaign slogans last year.
“Only a handful of annuals were distributed before the mistake was discovered by the principal,” Thublin said in a statement. “Those were taken back up the same morning and the rest were not distributed.”
She did not answer a question from Fox News about which other senior quotes aside from the “wall” one were considered inappropriate.
An image of the senior quote was posted on Facebook Tuesday by user Artney Ellerbe, the Richmond County Daily Journal reported.
“So Richmond county school system allowed this to be printed in their 2017 year book,” Ellerbe captioned the post.  “I already knew this city was racist. Get a court date you’ll find out. This doesn’t surprise me at all.” Ellerbe’s caption concluded with “#Share.”
“I feel that young lady only stood up for her freedom of speech by using the quote of her choice,” Charity Davis, a mother of a freshman at the school, told the Daily Journal. “Every senior was given the opportunity to choose a quote. It was her right as an American to choose any quote under the sun.”
Thublin said none of the students are being disciplined.
It’s too late to get the books reprinted so students are being refunded. They cost $30 to $39 dollars based on time of purchase.
DCG

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Photo depicts veteran lying on the ground while waiting for care at the VA

vet-sleeping
UNACCEPTABLE. Heads need to roll for this.
From WSBTV: (DURHAM, N.C.) A couple posted photos on Facebook and said veterans waited for hours in pain inside the Durham VA Medical Center.
Stephen McMenamin, a former U.S. Marine, was there for treatment, and his wife took the pictures. “My wife found it upsetting, so she took a couple pictures,” he said.
He said a veteran on the ground was using his bag of medication for a pillow after being denied an available reclining chair.
The nurse started yelling at him, telling him he can’t do that. He’s like, ‘I can’t get up and I won’t get up. I will be here until you can see me. Can I please have a blanket?’” McMenamin said. That Facebook post was shared more than 80,000 times.
McMenamin said they started hearing from other veterans and their families. “All these people, and it was, you know, it’s been kind of heartbreaking,” he said.
The hospital’s chief executive nurse responded and told McMenamin that the matter is being investigated.
Rep. Robert Pittenger said this just reaffirms his push to hold VA employees more accountable. “It’s absolutely tragic,” he said. “It’s frankly reflective of what we’ve seen from the VA, and that’s why I sponsored last year and this year, the VA Accountability Act.”
Commander of the North Carolina VFW said things in the state have improved drastically, but he said if an investigation confirms what is depicted in these photos, then the staff responsible should be fired. “There’s no question about it, I mean, there’s no acceptable reason why this should have happened,” Commander Doug Blevins said.
Statement from the Medical Center Director DeAnne Seekins:
“We take seriously any allegation of poor service. I was made aware of a regrettable incident that occurred in our Emergency Department over the weekend and am thankful someone cared enough to share the incident with us. Our mission is to provide the highest level of health care to Veterans, so upon learning of the incident, I took swift action. The employee was immediately removed from patient care pending the results of an internal review.
h/t Twitchy
DCG

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Anger as transgender wrestler (FTM), born female and taking testosterone, breezes through women’s tournament – triggering complaints

mack-beggs

Mack Beggs

How intolerant of these complainers! /sarc
From Daily Mail: A transgender wrestler who stormed through a competition has been told he shouldn’t be allowed to wrestle women because it’s ‘cheating’.
Several people complained that 17-year-old Mack Beggs, of Texas, USA, should not be allowed to wrestle women as his testosterone treatment, which he is taking as he undergoes his transition from female to male, has made him too strong to wrestle women fairly.
But under the state’s governing policy for athletics, students must wrestle against the gender listed on their birth certificates.
On Friday, Mack Beggs was hailed the winner of the quarter-finals of the Texas state championships after beating Taylor Latham in the 110-pound class. The score was 18-7.
Ms. Latham’s mother said her daughter was wrestling someone whose body was chemically toned for strength.  She said: ‘I wanted her to forfeit as a protective mum. She’s a fighter. She’s not a quitter. She’s a senior. She’s fought for the last three years to get here. She was going to see it through even though I wasn’t sharing the same opinion.’
When the match finished, Mack Beggs shook hands with Ms. Latham and then celebrated.
While many cheered the champion, others said the match was unfair.  Patti Overstreet, a parent of another competitor was heard shouting from her seat: ‘That’s cheating’ and ‘Big cheater!’ She said: ‘Look at how beefed up she is. It’s because she’s taking an enhancement. 
‘Whether she’s a boy, girl, wants to be purple or blue it doesn’t matter. When you’re using a drug and you’re 10 times stronger than the person you’re wrestling because of that drug that (shouldn’t be) allowed.’
Mack Beggs also beat Mya Engert 12-4 to push his record to 54-0 and leave him two victories away from a state title.   He will resume competition in the semi-finals today.
On Facebook, Mack Beggs addressed the criticism. He said: ‘The thing is, we want to wrestle each other. I feel so sick and disgusted by the discrimination not by the kids, the PARENTS AND COACHES.  These kids don’t care who you put in front of them to wrestle. We just want to WRESTLE. THEY are taking that away from me and from the people I’m competing with. SHARE (his post) SO WE CAN MAKE A CHANGE FOR THIS SPORT AND DISCRIMINATION!’
The controversy over Mack Beggs’ participation in the women’s sport comes at a crucial moment as the Trump administration announced an end to federal protections for transgender students. This means that states and school districts have been left to determine their own policies about whether or not transgender students should use facilities based on their identity.
In Texas, politicians are considering a bill which is similar to the controversial HB2, a law in North Carolina that prompted the NBA to move this year’s All-Star game out of that state.
If passed, the Texas version, called SB6, would require transgender people to use the bathroom of their ‘biological sex’. The University Interscholastic League (UIL), which oversees athletics in Texas public schools, enacted the birth certificate policy on Aug. 1.
Lawyer Jim Baudhuin tried and failed to get injunctions before both the district and regional competitions to prevent Mack Beggs from competing while he transitions.
Earlier this week, he said he doesn’t blame Mack Beggs for the situation, but faults the UIL. Mr. Baudhuin said: ‘The more I learn about this, the more I realize that she’s just trying to live her life and her family is, too. She’s being forced into that position. Who knows, through discovery we may find out that’s not the case. But every indication is, the way the winds are going now, the blame rests with the UIL and the superintendents.’
Despite criticism of the policy, deputy director of the UIL, Jamey Harrison said: ‘Ninety-five percent of the school superintendents in Texas voted for the rule as it was proposed, which was to use birth certificates. ‘So any rule can be reconsidered, but given the overwhelming support for that rule, I don’t expect it to change anytime soon.’
DCG

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‘Real men provide’ billboard in North Carolina is turning heads

real-men-provide-billboard
And causing Feminazi heads to explode.
From WHNT: (WINSTON-SALEM, NC) – A new billboard in North Carolina is stirring up controversy, protest and debate. It reads: “Real men provide. Real women appreciate it.”
It’s located on I-40 Business West between Greensboro and Winston-Salem.
Clearly, the billboard is turning a lot of heads. Some folks were even spotted getting out of their cars to take pictures. Love it or hate it — everyone has a strong opinion on the message.
“I think it’s fairly accurate. Being a married man myself, I think my wife really appreciates the fact that I can provide for a family and take some of the stress off her,” said Ron Houser.
“I think appreciation is good however we find it. But there is a message in that board that’s not good,” said Lucy Milner. “It really undermines women’s work in the world,” said Joe Milner.
“I would assume if you had a husband that loves you and appreciates you and showed it enough to carry your family and kids, that you would appreciate it. I don’t know why that would be offensive. I think that’s a good thing,” said Nathan Walin.
The billboard belongs to Whiteheart Outdoor Advertising. At the time of this report, it’s still unclear who’s sponsoring the message and why.
But female rights activists like Molly Grace say the billboard delivers a misogynistic, outdated message. “It’s absolutely, absolutely insulting to single mothers, to women who have careers whether they are small careers or big careers,” said Grace.
Grace is planning a peaceful demonstration against the billboard this Sunday at 11 a.m.
DCG

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NC State admin calls microaggressions 'death by a thousand paper cuts'

microaggressions
From Campus Reform: North Carolina State University will host a microaggressions workshop on Halloween about responding to slights like seeing a Confederate flag or encountering mean messages on social media.
According to NC State News, the “Recognizing and Responding to Microaggessions” workshop will teach students about a variety of microaggressions, such as “horizontal oppression,” “environmental” microaggressions, “macroaggressions,” and “microassaults.”
The three-hour workshop is meant to help students, staff, alumni, or other attendees understand when microaggressions occur and how to respond when they do occur, and is one of many such sessions hosted by the school’s GLBT Center, supplementing offerings such as “Trans 101,” “The Spectrum of Sex: Exploring Intersex Identities and the Relationship to Gender,” and “Sitting with Privilege.”

Microaggression expert Renee Wells

Microaggression expert Renee Wells


 “It’s sometimes called ‘death by a thousand paper cuts,’” explained Renee Wells, director of the university’s GLBT Center. “There’s this cumulative emotional effect that leaves people feeling marginalized and invalidated.”
Common examples of microaggressions are remarks suggesting that Asians get good grades, suggesting that women are bad drivers, or asking an African American student whether he got an athletic scholarship, Wells noted, but added that there are other, more subtle types of microaggressions, as well.
“For example, a student walking across campus might see a Confederate flag in the window of a residence hall or a racist slur spray painted in the Free Expression Tunnel,” she observed, saying, “these are things that you see that aren’t necessarily targeted at you, but are part of the environment you are navigating.”
Vitriolic sentiments on social media, meanwhile, constitute what Wells describes as “microassaults,” because unlike microaggressions, they are intentional. “Microaggressions include things you might consider macroaggressions, things that are intentional and overt—people using racist slurs—which are microassaults,” Wells said.
Even members of marginalized groups must be wary of microaggressions, she continued, asserting that “horizontal oppression” takes place when a member of one minority group microaggresses against another minority.
“You may be culturally competent as it relates to your own identity and community…but that doesn’t mean that you’re culturally competent about communities you’re not a part of,” she explained. “The ultimate form of privilege is having the option of not challenging oppressive behavior; to say it’s not my problem.”
DCG

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Aetna ditching 70% of its ObamaCare business

Obamacare: Going as planned.
tried to warn you
Via NY Post: Insurance giant Aetna won’t be offering coverage under ObamaCare next year in 11 of the 15 states it now serves — an announcement that instantly became an issue in the presidential race.
Aetna’s decision led Donald Trump to charge that President Obama’s health care reform was “imploding.” “Aetna’s decision to leave the Affordable Care Act’s public marketplaces is the latest blow to this broken law that is slowly imploding under its regulatory red tape,” said Trump campaign deputy national policy director Dan Kowalski.
Millions of Americans have lost their health coverage under this disastrous policy, eliminating their ability to choose their doctors. Thousands of businesses have been forced to cut employment or shutter their doors in response to Obama’s signature achievement,” he added.
The company had previously warned that it expected to lose more than $300 million this year on the 900,000 patients it covers under the Affordable Care Act. Aetna said it is pulling out of ObamaCare markets in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Aetna does not currently offer the policies in New York. It does offer other medical insurance to individuals and small businesses as well as large employers in the state, officials said. It will continue to offer policies in Delaware, Iowa, Nebraska and Virginia.
ObamaCare is credited with expanding coverage to millions of previously uninsured or under-insured people.
O laughs
But insurers have complained they have lost money on the policies. United Health Group and Humana are other insurers exiting ObamaCare plans.
Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, in a statement, said there were not enough younger, healthier customers signing up to make ObamaCare policies sustainable. “The vast majority of payers have experienced continued financial stress within their individual public exchange business. Providing affordable, high-quality health care options to consumers is not possible without a balanced risk pool,” Bertolini said.
More than a dozen nonprofit insurance co-ops have shut down in the past couple years. The pullouts could spell trouble because competition is supposed to help control price increases.
Some states like Alaska and Oklahoma will be left with only one insurer selling ObamaCare plans to individuals in 2017. More densely populated states like New York say their ObamaCare markets remain strong.
But rates for customers are skyrocketing to maintain stability.
Obamacare Screw U
Citing increased medical costs, New York recently authorized insurers offering individual ObamaCare plans to increase premiums by an average 16.6 percent — the highest rate hike in the program’s four-year existence. New York’s small businesses will get hit with an average 8.3 percent rate hike.
DCG

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Charlotte vet says he was fired for lowering flag on Memorial Day

serious
From Stars and Stripes: When Charlotte (NC) veteran Allen Thornwell lowered his employer’s American flag to half-staff on Memorial Day, he says he did not think to ask permission or consider the possibility that he had done anything wrong.
Instead, the 29-year-old former Marine, who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan, says he was thinking about his country, the meaning of the holiday, and his best friend, Geoff, another Marine who had killed himself two years ago after returning stateside.
On Tuesday, Thornwell was fired. A manager at the placement service that arranged the vet’s job at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte told him that the company was disturbed by Thornwell’s “passion for the flag and (his) political affiliation.”
Contacted this week, Thornwell said he remains in shock over what happened. “I’m not even mad right now,” he says. “ I don’t know what kind of moral compass you need to fire a veteran on Memorial Day for lowering the flag.”
A Time Warner Cable spokesman confirmed Friday that the former Marine “was no longer under contract” with the company but declined further comment. Thornwell said he landed the job through Principal Solutions Group, a technology-based employment service. Contacted Friday, Thornwell’s placement manager, Nicki Warren, said she was not allowed to discuss personnel matters.
Charlotte attorney Murph Archibald, whom Thornwell called after the incident, says his client should have never lost his job. “It’s disgraceful,” says Archibald, a Vietnam vet. “He didn’t do anything wrong. He’s a veteran working on Memorial Day who corrected what he thought was a disrespectful flying of the American flag … I would have taken it down myself.
Whether Time Warner was improperly displaying the flag during the country’s annual tribute to its dead veterans is a matter of debate. The U.S. Flag Code, which offers guidance on how to fly the flag during holidays, says the banner should be at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day then returned to its normal position. Thornwell said the incident took place around 2:30 p.m.
Thornwell, who was discharged in 2014, said he was aware of the holiday protocol but was moved to lower the flag anyway. He wishes now that he had asked permission. “I didn’t think of it as the property of Time Warner Cable,” he says. “It’s everybody’s flag.”

Allen Thornwell/Photo from NewsFlow24

Allen Thornwell/Photo from NewsFlow24


An angry reaction
Thornwell began Marine boot camp less than week after he graduated from Phillip O. Berry in 2005. His mother, Teresa Magaña of Charlotte, describes her son as a quiet and calm man who is passionate about the military, his country and the “rights of people.” After his tour in Afghanistan in 2008-09, she says she noticed that he began to show a greater need for order and for having things done the right way.
Thornwell was a month into a six-month contract with Time Warner when he says he got a call from work on the morning of Memorial Day, asking him to work a 2 to 7 p.m. shift. Thornwell specialized in technical support and served as a radio operator in the military. At Time Warner, he amounted to a trouble-shooter, keeping watch for service outages, then quickly assembling a team to respond and fix the problems.
On Monday he arrived at the company’s service center off Arrowood Road having left his security badge at home. A boss sent him to pick up a replacement. Waiting outside the security office, he noticed the nearby flag at full staff. Without a word to anyone, Thornwell says he marched, Marine-style, to the pole, lowered the flag to a midway point, came to full attention, then about-faced and walked away. He didn’t salute. He says Marines don’t salute when out of uniform.
Inside the security building, Thornwell said he was told by one of the guards that “It’s company policy that no one touches the flagpole.” By the time Thornwell left – and only a few minutes after he had lowered it – the flag was back at full staff.
Thornwell said he reacted angrily at what he took as a sign of disrespect to him and other vets. He can be heard cursing twice in a short video he shot at the scene with his phone. He said he wanted to send a message to military personnel around the world that “this is what the people back home think about us.” The former Marine says he was never disrespectful or out of control. In fact, he said the security guard escorting him back to his work station told him, “I fought. I understand.”
That night on Facebook, Thornwell posted the photos he took of the flag at full- and half-staff, and brief video of himself talking to the camera as he walked back to his job site. He stamped the footage “Timewarner.” He put this title on the post: “So many years wasted. I’m telling you … PEOPLE DON’T GIVE A F***.”
The next day before work, he says he got a call from Warren: “Can you tell me what happened yesterday?” Time Warner, she told him, had canceled his contract.
Failure to communicate
Did the company over-react? Did Thornwell? Who can say for sure.
Retired Marine colonel Chris Woodbridge, though, calls the incident “a very sad misunderstanding” that illustrates a widening gap between the country and its military.
Today, less than 1 percent of Americans wear a uniform. “Not only do the vast majority not serve, but they don’t really know anybody who does,” says Woodbridge, editor of the monthly Marine Corps Gazette. Thus, their perception of the men and women in uniform gravitates to stereotypical extremes: from hyper-patriotic coverage that focuses on honor and courage to more critical depictions of loner vets who are shell-shocked and violent, he says.
On the other hand, he says, veterans can experience a strong sense of alienation when they return to something “they don’t recognize and they don’t understand. Sometimes symbols, like the flag, mean a lot. Because they represent something of an ideal…(an) ideal we fought for.”
Thornwell strongly disputes the notion that he fits the stereotype of the displaced and brooding vet. He does acknowledge that he is still dealing with post-traumatic stress and other emotional problems left from his service, but he says his actions at the flagpole were never excessive.
In fact, Thornwell attributes his behavior to a deeper emotions he felt throughout the day about his country, his dead friend, and his own service. For the first time in his life, he says, he understood the true meaning of Memorial Day, and he felt it, too.
Now he needs a job. First, he would like an apology – for him and other vets.
DCG

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