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home : opinions : letters February 6, 2016

11/8/2013 10:00:00 AM
LETTER: Veterans and poppies turned away from Love's Travel Stop
Photo courtesy of www.vfw.org
Photo courtesy of www.vfw.org

This is the time of year when your local veterans and our supporters go out with our bright white cans and little red poppy's, we ask permission to stand in front of your towns' businesses and ask the public to be our " poppy buddies", by giving us a donation which goes to help the Veterans of Foreign Wars with their many needs, it is a way for all of us to say "thank you for your service we will not forget you.

My husband Dennis Carder, a life member, at Post 769 Quartzsite, Ariz., and I, a Ladies Auxiliary member, headed over to our local Love's gas stop to give out the poppies at 10 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5. After a short time of collecting donations, the manager, came out and asked us what we were doing there and we explained to him about the poppy donations and gave him our post number. We told him we had been given permission at several locations throughout town and had even checked and verified that we had permission at his place. The manager said he had no such knowledge of giving permission and when inside to check.

The manager returned and told us that he hadn't granted us permission to be there, he didn't know anything about it, plus the local Love's was under construction. Because of the reasons he listed he told us to leave and set up some other time with permission. We did as he told us but before leaving I went in to get the store number and his name.

I felt, by his attitude, that I was being treated like a scammer although we were dressed in the Post sweatshirts, Army t-shirts, and were wearing our Army caps dressed with poppies. We even had our retirement cards at the ready for identification. We were happy and proud to once again serve our fellow veterans, and now we had been treated so unkindly. There were others veterans standing with us who had donated and they were as upset as we were. When I went in to get the information, the cashier joined in with the manager's attitude and told us "yous people need to leave". Her words, not mine.

The manager returned with the same attitude and so I asked him how and if he had personally served his country. He had not, so I guess to him freedom is free.

I expressed my concerns with Love's headquarters and they assured me they would look into the incident and get back with us.

The manager could have forgotten, but respect, good management skills, and a little kindness to those who served would have gone a long way. But I guess two senior citizens with white cans and red poppies, smiles on their faces and nothing but good will in their hearts, was just too much, for the Love's manager.

Gratefully, the Chevron station in Quartzsite stepped forward at both of their locations and the poppy event goes on from Nov. 4-9.

I ask that if you are a veteran or supporter, please consider where you spend your dollars. "Freedom has never been free". My husband has served our country for 38 years and that is just a drop in the bucket compared to the vast number of veterans in this area alone. We don't ask for much; just a kind word or "thank you for your service". Once a year we stand with our white donation cans and red poppies, given to you. We are just grateful for anything you can donate to help our brothers in need, because of them, we and the Love's manager get to sleep in nice warm beds.

We don't stand down and let it pass. We stand up for our Veterans and ask you "what have you done for us lately?"

Hopefully, Love's will attend to this in a timely manner and will look at their manager and readjust his management skills. These are the personal observations of my husband Dennis Carder and myself, and in no way represent our local Post 769 and the board.

Thank You,

~ Shellie Carder and Dennis Carder, 1SG, U.S. Army (Retired)

Related Links:
• VFW Buddy Poppy Program

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2013
Article comment by: Ryan Anderson

@veronica: I'll try to find a way to add lots of pretty illustrations,, with big bright colors if it'll assist you with your obvious reading disorder. I never implied seniors were "too old to stand", I simply said it takes a jerk to ask them to. Senior citizens attend church for spiritual reasons, not to be part of some coreographed, 'feel-good' pageantry.

PS: mean people grow old too. That's just a fact.

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Veronica Lara

@ryan anderson...first senior citizens are mean, later they are too old to stand up on veteran's day...

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2013
Article comment by: Frederico Zavala

What a very nasty spiteful letter this lady wrote. I hope this manager wont lose his job over this mean abusive letter. I agree with Charles and Crazy Town, the lady was very wrong for writing such a letter. If this country cares about its veterans so much, why has it consistently abandoned them when it comes to things like medical care and mental care. Why do I see so many homeless veterans out on the streets of our major cities. Why has the government brazenly attacked veterans in the past? It seems to me that veterans are all used up for dirty wars all over and then disposed of when they are no longer needed. Look up the Bonus Army who in 1932, look up treatment of Vietnam Veterans who returned from the miserable failure that was the Vietnam War. I disagree with Craig, no one in over 170 years has been a threat to our religious liberties, the first amendment guarantees that, as it does the freedom to assemble. The right to vote and a fair trial are also protected by the constitution... The only people who have been actively trampling our rights are the government crooks who were sworn to uphold it. As a matter of fact, if you use the Bill of Rights as your argument as to how veterans have given us rights, they have been doing a pretty crummy job over the last few decades because our rights are slowly eroding away. Sounds like more empty catch-phrases to me.

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Craig W.

Most veterans volunteered their service to our country, to protect the freedoms everyone gets to enjoy everyday. We don’t ask for special treatment when we get out, but we are proud of our service, and our country.
It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote.
Thank you Shellie and Dennis for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

Posted: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy Town


Where was I condescending to the vets? My father served in the Vietnam War, thank you for taking your hat off to me. I suffered greatly because of it and so did my mother and both of my sisters, not to mention what it did to him. I have the utmost respect for our veterans. I myself have been offended by them, did you read my comment? I donate to causes that are near to my heart and since I sacrificed my Dad and my childhood, I think I've done my part.

I will just come straight out and say cash only charities are ripe for scam artists, IMO. This woman got upset when asked to respect this place of business and come back when it's safer. What is wrong with that? The veterans are not infallible, they are people too, who lie, cheat and hurt others. That is not to say that's who these people are but in my world, we feel sorry for people like that alleged horrible manager, we don't put them on blast so the mob can get them. We do things with love and compassion. Maybe the manager lost someone in combat? Maybe he was having a moment. Maybe he was just doing his JOB. Whatever. Why do they get a pass to affect this man's life this way? We don't know what he said so no one can comment on what he felt, but Mrs. Carder sure knew what he was thinking. Also, she's got a lot of nerve judging people for their so called service or lack of it and so do you. He did tell her of the safety concerns, you need to re-read the letter. I smell a sense of entitlement here and I don't care for that attitude, you are not better than me or anyone else.

@ryan, it's not just the seniors that are rude but yes, they do at times think their age somehow gives them a pass. My mom has said as much.

We do owe the veterans, a lot, and we don't do nearly enough for them, otherwise there wouldn't be a need for the poppies.

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

So what's wrong here? First here in Blythe with a business, that had flag issues that made some mad. The issue was blown way out of proportion.

Now we have Love's. Again people getting their tongs in a bunch, over something that was settled by the offended party, by just going across the street, to another business, and setting up shop there. So why make it anymore bigger?

Why? because you people think all is owed to you, because you or your spouse served in the Armed Forces. Well, thank you for your serves, and that of your spouse's. This is about all we can expect from people that did not serve or have no family members serving.

They do not understand. so no matter what you say or do. They will never understand, and the more you try to explain it to them, the more you sound like a war monger, and the uglier you make it feel for the people that served their country.

Be smart and learn to pick your fights. This is a two edged sword you are fighting with.

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: Ryan Anderson

@vanellope Von schiitz, yet again, this supposed rudeness all stems from one persons telling of the incident. I know it may shock you, but some senior citizens can at times be very difficult, and mean.

One time when doing my grocery shopping, an older woman accidentally rammed the side of my cart (t-boned it), i appologized to her, and she literally grabbed my arm and scratched it. Big scratches actually. More confused than anything, i left it alone, as she proceeded to yell profanity at me, and caught up with the store manager, and claimed I assaulted her. To which he thankfully had seen the entire incident on security monitors and already called the police on her.

Can you see how scary things could have gotten there if somebody HADN'T been wittness? Hate to say it, but I don't think a lot of us look as credible as a sweet looking grandmother.

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: No Loves

Im with Penelope on this one.....
If the construction posed a threat to these old Seniors then that means it could possibly put others in harms way so why was the store open at all. Sounds like the manager was just having a bad day and needed to pick at someone.

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: Vanellope Von Schweetz

@charles tenet and crazy town...it really bothers me when people like you get on your soapbox and attempt to preach a message that is condescending towards our vets. It astounds me that you have such a lack of gratitude for the people that die for this country. Have any of you ever served for something bigger than yourselves (and I don't mean paying taxes either because we all do that)? If you have that's great! My hats off to you! If you haven't don't pretend to know a lot about something you actually know little about and try to make everyone else see it. If the owner of Love's was so concerned about their well beings with the construction that was happening, he should have said that instead of being rude.

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: Ryan Anderson

Haha, wow. First, when you Marry somebody, you're agreeing to be with that person for the rest of your life. It's kinda a contract. Fulfilling said contract does not buy you special privileges or titles. So why don't we stop lobbing cliche bumper sticker tag lines at people like "freedom isn't free" as if your marriage somehow buys you that right.

And second: this has become something very ugly. A perfect example of bullying. One person yells "hey, let's get 'em", and you all kick and punch without even knowing why. What rule did he break to deserve losing his JOB? Even a court of law hears both sides of a story before handing down verdict/punishment. Infact, I'll go so far as to suggest this manager consider a civil suit against Shellie carder if he does infact lose lose his job over this letter. Or even worse, did Shellie carder even consider somebody may actually confront, or assault this man, after being labeled the devil that hates the troops?? Passions run high in a small Arizona town, and naming his position, employer and location seems malicious to me.

I've re-read this letter about a hundred times now. She admits it wasn't his words that were insulting, but his tone that insinuated his feeling that she was a scammer. But then I suppose "come set up later with permission" just sounds like hateful noise when you think your white bucket killed bin laden.

Posted: Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Article comment by: Crazy Town

Thank you Charles Tenet, finally a voice of reason.

To Mrs. Carder, you and your veterans would be better served to lobby your representatives to pass legislation protecting our men and women of ALL wars. I used to buy poppies but don't anymore. I bought one at ACE or Kmart and then I went to Albertsons and was asked again. I understand more people bring more money but when I expressed that I had already donated and had one, he made a comment something to the effect of "Well, it's a dollar, it's not gonna break the bank", he then let out this guffaw of a laugh that I didn't find funny. My money is just that, my money and I was on a very tight budget at the time. I also gave the lady at ACE $5, not $1 and I was offended. It sounds like you both were trained by the same person.

I have news for you, serving your country doesn't just mean fighting in an unjust war. I pay taxes which payed your husband to do whatever he did. Isn't that serving? I hate it when self righteous people judge others.

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: Charles Trenet

What a mean spirited letter. It is obviously aimed at punishing the manager of Loves for not allowing you to stand in front of the place. Perhaps you have been too hasty in your punishment and condemnation. Perhaps due to construction going on there, the manager did not want to be liable for any accidents that two senior citizens might have had, perhaps he was looking out for your own safety. How arrogant of you to put words or thoughts into his mouth and mind by saying "I guess to him, freedom is free..." The very freedom our founders fought for should protect him from the kind of assault you launch simply because you felt it was rude of him to send you away, don't you realize you actually punish him for exercising his freedom? What does it even mean when someone says "Freedom isn't Free"? Sounds like another empty catch-phrase to excuse the organized murder that is called war. We have not fought in a just or clean war for a long time. Each war since the Civil War has been fought for conquest of resources and has had nothing to do with our "Freedom" - Many of those wars pulled our soldiers in to die under false pretenses. You don't actually believe the fairy tales spouted by your government do you?

Posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Article comment by: Vanellope Von Schweetz

@Ryan Anderson...maybe you should reread the column. I don't believe she was berating or insulting but simply stating facts. My husband is a veteran. He works hard to support his family and has never asked for a dime from anyone. It sounds to me like the Love's employees were insulting without just cause.

Posted: Monday, November 11, 2013
Article comment by: Barbara Martin Nadeau

The Manager chose to be disrespectful, I choose not to patronize his place of business.

Posted: Monday, November 11, 2013
Article comment by: No Love for

Thank you for letting us know how Love's is Un-lovable towards our Vets and military. Now I understand why Chevron is Red,White and Blue in their colors. And as far as this lovely wife "not serving" Yes she is! She is serving by her husbands side and serving along side other Vets and their families. That is no coat tail ride. Good Job to all of you! I love wearing my poppy proudly on a button hole as part of a small way to say THANK YOU!!! Happy to be a Chevron Customer.

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