Anna Gragert
October 14, 2015 11:34 am

Six days ago, a note was uploaded on to Imgur and shared on reddit. Like many notes uploaded and shared to reddit, the note gained a crazy amount of traction and attention —to this day, the image has been viewed almost 3 million times and has almost 400 comments. The post titled “Note from angry neighbor (above) and appropriate Army vet response (below),” shows, well, just that. A piece of paper left on a veteran’s car that accuses the person of wrongfully parking in a handicapped spot —and another piece of paper that shows how the parker responded.

The note starts off with a condescending, “Hey Buddy,” and continued on to state, “Stop parking in handicap spots!!!! You DO NOT have a sticker nor do you look handicapped. I have taken a picture of your license plate and sent it to the courtesy officer for towing by the courtesy.” This human person who wrote the note finished it off by writing, “Stop being a jerk!!”

Sadly, this person who wrote the note doesn’t realize that disabilities aren’t always something that can be easily seen. There are, in fact, invisible illnesses that deserve just as much care and concern. That is why we should never make assumptions when it comes to a person’s health. With this in mind, the veteran decided to stand up for himself and to (hopefully) teach others about the nature of disabilities and why we should never, ever assume. In doing so, he wrote a letter that perfectly encapsulates all that is wrong with the aforementioned windshield note.

“​First and foremost: In the state of Texas, if a vehicle has DISABLED VETERAN license plates, that vehicle is not required, BY LAW, to have a handicapped placard displayed, nor a handicapped emblem on the license plate, UNLESS that vehicle is parked on FEDERAL property,” the veteran explains. “If you had bothered to spend 30 seconds and pull the miniature computer out of your pocket to research this then you would have never needed to leave me this offensive note.” BOOM.

He also brings up a great point when he writes, “Considering that you took a picture of my license plate you should have been able to very clearly see the writing at the bottom that says: DISABLED VETERAN U.S. ARMED FORCES.” Hmmm… how did the parking bully miss this?

“Although I may not ‘look’ handicapped to you, I can assure you that the amount of pain I feel in my lower body from walking due to combat-sustained injuries far supersedes any level of pain you have ever felt in your entire life,” he reveals. “I would love to hear what your idea of a handicapped person ‘looks’ like.”

While this story’s antagonist had the time to write a letter of complaint to the veteran, it seems that they did not do their research. According to the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, “Those with a disabled parking placard or a license plate displaying the ISA [International Symbol of Access] may: Park in any spot designated for persons with disabilities.” Therefore, the veteran had every right to park in a handicapped spot.

Sadly, this isn’t the only instance where someone with a disability has been wrongfully accused of “faking” it. Last month, a woman received a nasty note accusing her faking her disability — when in fact, her daughter battles with hypophosphatasia, which is a rare genetic disorder that causes her bones to be weak and fragile. And she had the handicapped sticker to “prove” it as well. Much like the case with this veteran, the Internet rallied for this mom and her daughter and helped raise awareness about how we treat others with disabilities (whether they are visible or not).

The bottom line? Let’s not ever make assumptions about someone’s health.

[Images via Imgur]

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