An Air Force veteran who served in Kuwait found a note on her car Friday criticizing her for parking in a veterans-only parking spot in Wilmington.
Mary Claire Caine told WECT-TV that she returned to her car from shopping at Harris Teeter to find a note plastered to her front window from a person identifying themselves as a “Wounded Vet.”
It read, “Maybe [you] can’t read the sign you parked in front of … This space is reserved for those who fought for America … not you. Thanks, Wounded Vet.”
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Caine, who served in Kuwait and on the flight line of the F-117 Nighthawk, said her heart sank.
“The first thing I felt was confusion that there was a mistake, and that I had to talk to this person and ask them why they were so quick to assume I wasn’t a veteran and that I was taking privileges that didn’t belong to me,” Caine said.
Caine said she got angry at herself when the note left her wondering, “Am I a worthy enough veteran to park in this spot?” So she waited by her car in hopes the “Wounded Vet” would return and she could ask why they felt the need to leave the note.
She said no one returned.
“I think they took one look at me when I got out of my car and saw that I was a woman and assumed I wasn’t a veteran and assumed I hadn’t served my country,” Caine told WECT. “They have this image of what today’s American veteran is and honestly if you’ve served in the United States military, you know that veterans come in all shapes and sizes.”
Caine said she doubts she’ll ever find the author of the note, but hopes the person realizes their error.
“I want them to know they owe me and every other female service member who’s fighting now and who’s fought in the past, an apology for jumping to conclusions,” Caine said.