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Vet told not to park in 'Veteran' space because she's a woman

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.






Women who serve our country deserve to be treated with respect too

Let's review, for those of you who haven't been paying attention: Ladies can be veterans too. Yep, have their periods in war zones and everything.

Take Mary Claire Caine from Wilmington, North Carolina, for instance. Don't be fooled by her shiny hair and fierce mani — she's a veteran who served in the Air Force in Kuwait on the flight line of the F-177 Nighthawk stealth fighter.

That's why it's so galling that someone identifying themselves only as "Wounded Vet" was so certain she wasn't a veteran that when she parked in a "Veterans Only" parking spot, he (or she) left a note.

"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."

Um, no. Not OK.

Unfortunately, Caine didn't see who left her this note, but based on its message, we're assuming it's a man. And maybe "Wounded Vet" should do a little reading of his own. He could Google Major Lauren Edwards, who commanded a group of more than 150 Marines during the Iraqi invasion. Read a bit of her bio from the military in case you're looking for a little girl power inspiration.

Or maybe he could take a look at Army Specialist Ashley Pullen, who, when her convoy was attacked in Baghdad, threw her own body over a fellow soldier while trying to treat his wounds and orchestrating her squad's evacuation. Pullen was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for her incredible actions that day.

These women, just like Caine, who "Wounded Vet" didn't deem worthy to park in a choice parking spot, are heroes who sacrifice for our country, and anyone who doesn't treat them with the respect they deserve doesn't understand what our country is about.

For her part, Caine waited around to see if "Wounded Vet" would have the guts to show back up and face her, but he never did.

"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 said. "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."

Also, unrelated: There are "Veteran's Only" parking spaces? Cool.

More on our veterans

Meaningful ways to really thank our veterans
Dogs of War tells inspiring stories of rescue dogs and veterans with PTSD
Michelle Obama wants your kids to know the truth about Got Your 6 (VIDEO)

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