An unfortunate incident unfolded at an Elizabethtown, North Carolina, Walmart when employees called the police on some veterans who were handing out poppies to commemorate Memorial Day on Monday. While many individuals were appalled at the spectacle, employees who alerted authorities to have the veterans removed maintained that they were merely following policy.
WECT.com has more information regarding the showdown between the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the store and the confusion surrounding it:
According to a spokesperson for Walmart, groups who want to solicit in front of their stores must be approved and scheduled in advance and only one group is allowed to reserve a table at a time.
VFW member Bobby Ludlum thought the organization had booked a space weeks in advance, but the store had no record of it and booked another group.
"Maybe we're somewhat at fault. Maybe we should have called in after our commander, came in and made the reservation and make absolutely sure that things were good," said Ludlum.
"My understanding of what happened with the members of the VFW local post there in Elizabethtown was that there was a miscommunication or they hadn’t made arrangements with the store to do the poppies that day," Jason Schoolcraft, North Carolina State Commander for the VFW said in an interview with CBS Charlotte. "To my knowledge, it’s an isolated incident with this store."
In a statement to WECT, Walmart said that they are happy to work with the veterans' group to find another weekend where they will be welcome at the store to distribute the items. According to Ludlum, his group is also due to hear from the popular store chain today as well.
"Our company's appreciation for the military runs deep through our history. As one of the largest private employers of veterans, Walmart is proud to recognize and support those who have served and are serving our country," Walmart is quoted by WECT.com as saying in its statement.
Currently, no outlets have reported on the reason employees felt compelled to call the police. A call to Schoolcraft has not yet been returned to The Blaze.