Public outrage forced a response from the retail giant whose policy forced a United States veteran out into the rain while he was collecting donations. Donations that benefit both disabled veterans and children.
According to Fox News, for the past 20 years, veteran Manuel Griffin has sold memorial poppies outside a Walmart in Dickson City, Pa., during the month of May to raise money and awareness for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Rain or shine, Griffin’s wife, Maryann, says he always shows up.
But this year, during inclement weather, Maryann says the store told the 69-year-old veteran he couldn’t sell the “buddy poppies,” created by disabled or needy vets in VA hospitals across the U.S., under the covered area.
Way to go Walmart … commendable way to treat our veterans who fought for your freedom … Disgrace.”
– Maryann Griffin
“As it was pouring rain, he was told he couldn’t stay at the protected area and that he would have to go out in the rain and 15 feet away from the building as per the store manager,” Maryann explained in a Facebook post on Friday.
This story quickly went viral and the overwhelming response from the outraged public forced Wal-Mart to extend an ‘olive branch’. The big box store came up with this solution (seen in the video below) but is it enough?
VFW explains on their site that the Buddy Poppy program provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home For Children.
CNBC reports that in the third quarter of 2017, Wal-Mart reported net income of $1.75 billion, or 58 cents a share, which included a $283 million charge to account for a likely fine related to a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violation investigation that has been ongoing since 2012. Excluding that charge and other one-time costs, Wal-Mart earned $1 a share, outpacing Wall Street estimates.