On Friday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, or VFW, was holding a fundraiser outside of Sam’s Club in Hagerstown, Maryland. The VFW, trying to raise funds to support their efforts in the local community, was allowed a table and some literature outside of the bulk retailer.
The veterans, wearing hats and uniforms to show which wars they fought, spoke with passers by, attempting to garner a few dollars to maintain the VFW building and service programs for aging veterans.
One veteran, who refused to give his name but who was called Sarge by another veteran at the event, had an entirely different motive for being outside the retailer and speaking to customers leaving the store.
While the other veterans from Korea, Vietnam, and World War II asked people if they wanted to give a few dollars to help support the VFW in Hagerstown, Sarge took a vastly different approach towards the people walking by.
Sarge, wearing his memorial garb, had the Tea Party logo pinned to his sleeve with a Romney-Ryan sticker on his shirt. He had little interest in attempting to gain funding for the VFW. His goal appeared to only be pushing his political agenda.
“Don’t you dare commit treason while voting for that Kenyan Muslim!” Sarge shouted to a woman driving past with an Obama-Biden 2012 sticker on the back of her Ford.
“We don’t allow Socialism in the good ole US of A,” Sarge told a woman trying to walk by without interacting with him.
“You know, it’s called the White House for a reason,” he told a man with a wink.
Sarge pointed to his van on several occasions while speaking with people who agreed with him. His van, pictured above, conveyed his feelings about President Obama and the 2012 election.
One woman in the parking lot was crying by her car. When asked, she stated, “It’s cruel what they say when it’s clearly race based. If Obama was white, they would find other ways to attack him. Why do they have to attack all black people?”
Other customers were upset by Sarge’s statements and antics. Though, few wanted to create a scene by telling the elderly gentleman to leave them alone. One man in his 50s dared to confront the veteran. A shouting match manifested, with Sarge holding true to his Tea Party talking points.
Neither man wanted to give up until the younger’s wife pulled him away. He cursed under his breath as they walked away.
Similar scenes played out yesterday at Valley Mall in Hagerstown on the same day over the same political divides and ideas. Merchants argued with customers over whether certain clothing was appropriate to be on sale in the venue.
A debate raged between a merchant selling military flags and political t-shirts and a few customers. The shirt in question regarded remarks from Ted Nugent. Some customers felt the shirt was inappropriate and racist. Other patrons felt the shirts were completely appropriate.
Feuds like this are taking place across America in towns large and small. Until Election Day, it appears this type of discourse will be the norm for many communities. Even something as simple as a trip to the store is becoming a political endeavor.