‘Take off my uniform,’ Veteran confronts panhandler, accuses him of “stolen valor”

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The video went viral in less than 24 hours.

It has already been seen by millions of people, and the numbers continue to grow by the hour.

In the video, a Tampa Bay area veteran confronts a panhandler who is wearing a military uniform, but reportedly never served his country.

“Take off my uniform. Take that and throw it in the garbage. I don’t want you to wear it anymore. That’s my uniform. My brothers died for that uniform,” former Army combat medic Garrett Goodwin says in the video.

Goodwin told News Channel 8 he decided to confront the panhandler and ask him what branch of the military the man was in.

Goodwin says the man’s answer seemed suspicious.

“Special forces, so top secret not even the VA knows about it,” Goodwin claims the panhandler told him.

Goodwin told WFLA that the man’s answer made him sad at first, but that sadness quickly turned to anger.

“I’m mourning my friend and then I see this guy. I see this guy in uniform dishonoring that, and it was more than I can bear. Right is right, and wrong is wrong,” he said.

Goodwin says he called police to report the crime of stolen valor, which is a third-degree felony.

Police told WFLA the man was gone by the time they arrived.

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