TAMPA, FL – A panhandler wearing a military uniform was called out as a fake, and the confrontation was captured in a now viral video.
Veteran Garrett Goodwin said when he saw the man Sunday, he decided to confront him.
Goodwin, an Army combat medic from 1994-2003, just happened to be driving through a main route to MacDill Air Force Base, when he noticed the man.
Goodwin asked the man to see his veteran’s ID card, but the man said he didn’t have one. Goodwin then insisted, “take off my uniform.”
He said a JROTC patch on the man’s uniform raised a red flag with him, and made him see red. His questions of verification evaded, Goodwin kept pressing and pressing until the panhandler appeared to retreat and re-think his ruse.
Goodwin said that if he had been a veteran he would have helped him, but seeing someone wearing the uniform that didn’t earn it, “disgusts” him.
Since posting the video to Facebook Goodwin has had a huge reaction. Mostly praise, but many have also given him grief for his gruff approach.
Goodwin says, “Some people have called me a bully on the Internet….and I think he’s bullying people out of their money.”