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Walmart Makes Marine and Wife Stand Outside to Raise Money for Toys for Tots

John Harkness, 69, was seen standing in front of the Medina, Ohio, Walmart on Nov. 28 when someone noticed him.

He is a Marine veteran who was dressed in his uniform and with his wife, Lynn Harkness. John told Fox 8 “There was a woman who came up to me and said ‘can I take your picture?’ I said sure, so her husband took my picture and she went from there."

Both John and Lynn were campaigning for Toys for Tots at their local Walmart. Harkness said for the last 15 to 16 years, they had been allowed to run their campaign from inside the Walmart store. Yet, this time, they were asked to take it outside.

Lynn is the Toys for Tots Coordinator in Medina County. She said that making them campaign outside is both disrespectful and causes health concerns.

In addition, she stated, “We have the Auxiliary and the Marines helping they are in their 60s most of them and on up. A couple of the Marines have had cancer surgery and their health isn't the best, being out in the bad weather could damage their health.”

Once people realized what was happening, many vented online saying it was disrespectful to the Marines. Walmart issued the following statement to Fox 8 on Nov. 29:

“If a Marine or anyone was treated with disrespect, that is unacceptable and we are looking into this matter further to get the facts. Walmart’s corporate policy across our more than 4500 stores does not allow this type of solicitation inside our stores and we apologize for any confusion about this policy. Most importantly, we are proud to support wonderful organizations like Toys for Tots, Girls and Boys Scouts, the Salvation Army, and the Red Cross who are stationed outside our stores during the Holidays and other times."

"Finally, Walmart’s support of our men and women in uniform both during active service and when they return home is a privilege that we strive to honor each day through our commitment to hiring hundreds of thousands of Veterans as well as the many charitable Veteran organizations we are proud to support.”

Photo: Youtube

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