Watch LIVE

Take That Uniform Off!': Veteran Confronts Man Wearing Uniform in Alleged Case of Stolen Valor

News

"Don't apologize to me! Take that and throw it in the garbage. I don't want you to wear it anymore!

Image source: Facebook

Video posted online by a Florida veteran captured the moment he confronted a panhandler wearing an army uniform outside MacDill Air Force Base on Monday.

The man, Garrett Goodwin, told WTVT-TV he spoke with the individual claiming to be a homeless veteran for a few minutes when he realized something was wrong and decided to confront him.

"Take off our uniform!" he shouted at the guy, chasing him down the street. "You take that uniform off! You take our uniform off!"

— Scroll down for video —

Image source: Facebook

Being chased on foot by Goodwin, the man began taking the uniform off.

"I'm sorry, sir," the individual replied to Goodwin.

"Don't apologize to me! Take that and throw it in the garbage. I don't want you to wear it anymore! That's my uniform! My brothers died wearing that uniform! ... Take that and throw it away! Don't put it back on!" Goodwin shouted at the man once more as he left the scene.

Goodwin recounted what took place to WTVT.

"I was angry. I was frustrated. I was sad," he said.

"Maybe one of the reasons I was so into this yesterday is tomorrow I'm burying a good friend who is a Marine…I'm putting that man in the ground tomorrow," Goodwin added. "And I think that seeing this guy in uniform and wearing the uniform that my brothers and sisters have died in, it was more than I was willing to stand and take."

Goodwin told WTVT that the individual told him he was in the special forces, but his uniform had a Junior ROTC patch. When questioned, he said the man failed to provide an adequate answers and was unable to produce a military ID card.

Goodwin said he felt a moral obligation to call the man out, telling WTVT he couldn't let the panhandler take money from passerby using a fake story.

"Not on my watch. Not yesterday. Not today. Not tomorrow," he said.

Footage of the confrontation went viral immediately, amassing more than two million views on Facebook at the time of publication.

Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

Most recent
All Articles