Manager says veteran not dismissed for removing tattered flag - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

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.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Political end to Olympics: NKorea offers talks with US

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:16 AM EST2018-02-25 07:16:08 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:47 PM EST2018-02-26 03:47:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky). A volunteer walks in a foggy Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza during the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    More >>

    Pyeongchang closes its chapter of the modern Olympics on Sunday night with tales of detente and competitive grit and volunteerism and verve.

    More >>
  • 5 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

    5 dead after tornado, flooding from central US storms

    Sunday, February 25 2018 2:25 AM EST2018-02-25 07:25:46 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:38 PM EST2018-02-26 03:38:45 GMT
    (Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River  Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati.  Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...(Liz Dufour/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP). A view from the Central Bridge shows the flooding from the Ohio River Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018 in Cincinnati. Forecasters expected the Ohio River could reach levels not seen since the region's deadly 1997 f...

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

    More >>

    A man in northeast Arkansas and a woman in south central Kentucky both were killed as the storm that also included strong winds, hail and heavy rain that triggered flooding muscled its way through the area, according to authorities.

    More >>
  • China paves way for Xi Jinping to remain leader for years

    China paves way for Xi Jinping to remain leader for years

    Sunday, February 25 2018 4:05 AM EST2018-02-25 09:05:47 GMT
    Sunday, February 25 2018 10:17 PM EST2018-02-26 03:17:05 GMT
    Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a joint press briefing with French President Emmanuel Macron, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, Pool)

    China's official news agency says the ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country's president and vice president.

    More >>

    China's official news agency says the ruling Communist Party has proposed removing a limit of two consecutive terms for the country's president and vice president.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly