A North Carolina Navy veteran parked in a spot marked for veterans at a grocery store Monday, but was shocked to find a note criticizing her when she returned.
Rebecca Hayes said she came out of the Concord store and found a note on her car that read, “This parking spot is for Veterans, lady. Learn to read and have some respect.”
Hayes told WBTV that she only noticed the note after about 30 minutes after she had left the shopping center.
"At first, I thought someone had left a note because they hit my car or something like that," Hayes told the station. She said she thought she was going to have to call someone and exchange insurance information.
However, when she saw the note accusing her of taking a parking spot away from a veteran, she said she began to cry.
Hayes responded to the note in a Facebook message. She said she’s sorry the writer couldn’t see her eight years in the U.S. Navy, and can’t imagine that there are female veterans.
She also said she was sorry she had to explain herself to “people like you,” and couldn’t speak in person to whoever left the note.
She concluded by saying, "I served, did you?"
Hayes told the station she believes the note was left on the windshield because she didn’t fit the stereotype of being a veteran because she’s a woman and what she was wearing at the time.
“Veterans come in all shapes, sizes, genders and colors," she said. "More veterans don't fit that stereotype than do."
Hayes said her husband is a U.S. Army veteran and has parked in the spot before and has never gotten more than a “Thank you for your service.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.