Manager says veteran not dismissed for removing tattered flag - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Update

Manager says veteran not dismissed for removing tattered flag

Rick Heilman Rick Heilman
FAYETTEVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A decorated Navy veteran says he was fired from his job because he took down a tattered American flag, but his employer says that's not the case.

The flag was flown proudly outside the Yearwood Equipment Company in Fayetteville, and when it became worn down, veteran Rick Heilman, who worked at the tractor supply store, took it down.

"I went in first thing, and I took the flag down," Heilman said. "And then I folded it up properly the way it should be."

Heilman spent 22 years in the U.S. Navy and is proud of the work he did as a chief diver, a dangerous and important job.

He retired from the service so he could spend more time with his two girls and his wife, but his most recent job ended ugly.

Heilman says he mentioned to the store manager last Friday that the flag out front of the store was in tatters and needed to be removed.

"I said, 'Hey, the flag is pretty torn up out front. Do we have another one to replace it?' And he pretty much bluntly told me no. I said, 'OK, can we take it down until we get a new one?' And he again repeated, 'No,'" Heilman said.

Heilman went home unhappy.

"It bothered me all weekend. The right thing to do was take it down. And I should have taken it down on Friday. I took down it down this morning," Heilman said.

Heilman said his manager was instantly aggravated and mentioned he bought a new flag over the weekend and that Heilman should have waited.

"He said, 'You've not followed my instructions, and you've disrespected my authority and therefore you're fired,'" Heilman said he was told.

Channel 4 News went to Yearwood to get the manager's side of the story. We asked the manager, PD Shelton, to do an on-camera interview but he declined, citing employee confidentiality.

"Too often, we, as society, have come to a point where we see something is wrong, we know that it's wrong and it's easier to just shake our head and walk away than it is to confront the problem," Heilman said.

In a statement released to Channel 4 News on Thursday, Shelton said:

"Yearwood Equipment Company supports our nation, our veterans and our nation's flag without reservation. We agree with Rick Heilman that the flag outside our dealership was tattered. There was disagreement between Rick and me as to when, how and who would replace the flag at the facility. Rick was not dismissed from his position at the dealership. Rather, in order to defuse a tense conversation, I asked Rick to leave the premises temporarily. In respect of the flag, we should have moved more swiftly to replace it and we are deeply sorry this situation has intensified in this way."

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • South Carolina news on WIStv.comNEWSMore>>

  • Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to US

    Freed after 2 years, man jailed in Venezuela returns to US

    Saturday, May 26 2018 9:53 AM EDT2018-05-26 13:53:22 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 5:54 AM EDT2018-05-28 09:54:40 GMT
    Senator Corker’s office tweeted out an image of Josh Holt and his wife before leaving Venezuela. (Source: Twitter/@SenBobCorker)Senator Corker’s office tweeted out an image of Josh Holt and his wife before leaving Venezuela. (Source: Twitter/@SenBobCorker)

    A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.

    More >>

    A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges.

    More >>
  • Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Bloody but forgotten WWII battle still haunts soldiers

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:34 AM EDT2018-05-27 15:34:09 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 5:27 AM EDT2018-05-28 09:27:27 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...(AP Photo/Mark Thiessen). In this May 19, 2018, photo World War II veterans Allan Seroll, left, of Massachusetts, and William Roy Dover, right, of Alabama, right, attend a 75th anniversary celebration of the Battle of Attu in Anchorage, Alaska. Dover w...

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    More >>

    One of the bloodiest World War II battles in the Pacific was waged 75 years ago this month on Attu Island in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

    More >>
  • LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    LeBron's 35 help Cavs beat Celtics 87-79, reach NBA Finals

    Sunday, May 27 2018 11:14 PM EDT2018-05-28 03:14:46 GMT
    Monday, May 28 2018 5:26 AM EDT2018-05-28 09:26:50 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...(AP Photo/Charles Krupa). Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James soars to dunk in front of Boston Celtics forward Al Horford (42) and forward Marcus Morris (13) during the first half in Game 7 of the NBA basketball Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, ...
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the...More >>
    LeBron James scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to earn an eighth straight trip to the NBA Finals, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to an 87-79 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.More >>
Powered by Frankly