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‘Take That Uniform Off!’: Veteran Confronts Man Wearing Army Uniform & Begging For Money

The man in uniform claimed to be a vet and was begging for money, and Garrett Goodwin had seen enough. Goodwin is an Army veteran who confronted an apparently fake one on the streets of Tampa on Monday. It happened at the intersection of Gandy and Dale Mabry, and the video has been seen by more than 1.8 million people on Facebook. The man is holding a sign that says he’s a homeless veteran and he needs help. It just so happens that Goodwin helps organizations who reach out to veterans in need, but minutes into the conversation, he says he knew something was up. “That’s my uniform! My brothers died in that uniform,” you can hear him say on the video. In fact, he told FOX 13 that he’s burying a friend — a Marine who died of cancer — and that’s one of the reasons why he reacted so strongly. “Take that and throw it away!” he screams at the man. “Don’t put it back on.” “I was angry. I was frustrated. I was sad,” Goodwin said. He isn’t the only one. The video has been shared by tens of thousands of people on Facebook. Goodwin, an Army medic for nine years, takes it personally. “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,” he said with tears in his eyes. “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 says the man told him he was special forces, that “the government doesn’t know who I am.” His uniform, however, had a Junior ROTC patch. When he questioned the man, he said the panhandler couldn’t give any answers. We don’t know the identity of the panhandler. Goodwin said he called police to report the panhandling. Goodwin says the man crumpled up the uniform and rode his bike away from the scene. But Goodwin says it’s probably just a matter of time before the panhandler is out there again, and he didn’t want to stand by and do nothing. “Not on my watch. Not yesterday. Not today. Not tomorrow,” he said.

via WTVT

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