29-year-old Allen Thornwell was one month into his six-month employment contract with Time Warner Cable as a technical troubleshooter when he says he was fired for lowering the company’s flag to half-staff on Memorial Day in honor of his fallen comrades, specifically his Marine friend who killed himself two years after returning home. “I didn’t think of it as the property of Time Warner Cable,” he explains to The Charlotte Observer, “it’s everybody’s flag.”
According to Thornwell, after being called into work on Memorial Day (a completely bullshit move all on its own) he arrived at Time Warner Cable’s service center to pick up a spare security badge, as he’d left his at home. Waiting outside, he noticed that the nearby flag was at full-staff – something that he thought needed to be fixed:
Without a word to anyone, Thornwell says he marched, Marine-style, to the pole, lowered the flag to a midway point, came to full attention, then about-faced and walked away. He didn’t salute. He says Marines don’t salute when out of uniform.
Inside the security building, Thornwell said he was told by one of the guards that “It’s company policy that no one touches the flagpole.”
By the time Thornwell left – and only a few minutes after he had lowered it – the flag was back at full-staff.(via)
That night, Thornwell posted the photos he took of the flag, along with a video of himself talking to the camera while he walked back to his job site. He titled it “So many years wasted. I’m telling you .. PEOPLE DON’T GIVE A FU***,” a fair sentiment considering what happened next:
On Tuesday, Thornwell was fired. A manager at the placement service that arranged the vet’s job at Time Warner Cable in Charlotte told him that the company was disturbed by Thornwell’s “passion for the flag and (his) political affiliation.”(via)
Thornwell reportedly says his behavior was in part due to “deeper emotions he felt throughout the day about his country, his dead friend and his own service,” saying that for the first time “he understood the true meaning of Memorial Day.” Now jobless and still dealing with PTSD from his service, Thornwell says he would like an apology from Time Warner Cable…although that seems unlikely to happen considering that TWC has been mute on the whole fiasco so far.
Do you think Thornwell deserves an apology, or that TWC was in the right for firing him? Let us know in the comments!
[H/T The Charlotte Observer]