Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Vet-Gate & My Thoughts

Here's some Homeland Security news for you- Mark Paffrath- a Navy Vet- said he lost his job at Drury Hotel Plaza in Chesterfield, Mo., and was called a terrorist after uploading images of dozens of Homeland Security vehicles in the hotel garage. When did it become illegal to take photos of cars and trucks in a garage? Well, that is the question when you ask the media about his arrest.

Now, let me give you some background on Mr. Paffrath. He works at the Drury Hotel Plaza. During his duties, he spotted over a dozen of Homeland Security vehicles in the parking garage and was alarmed, claiming he had never spotted the vehicles there before- at least during his employment with the company. Given today's social media culture, he took photos of the vehicles and posted them to Facebook. Then the vet wrote his caption, which was "I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson? #Ferguson, #No justice, no peace." Paffrath took down the photos and video the next day after Drury General Manager Jeff Baker asked him to.

Paffrath was soon after fired by the director of security for Drury Hotels Company, LLC, because his posts almost cost the company a $150,000 contract with Homeland Security. Now, relook at the post he posted and the caption. He never did say where the photo was taken. He never gave a location. Yet, he was fired..... Paffrath, who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy after three years of service, took to Facebook to protest his firing and then went to the media- now alerting to where the photos were taken.

Here's the thing- Mr. Paffrath probably didn't mean any harm when he posted the photos and the caption. But he could have very well compromised a Homeland Security strategy to keep the city of Ferguson safe and - being that he IS a vet- the should have known better. So, what is the lesson to be learned here? If you see the DHS in your neighborhood- let them do their job. They are there for a reason. Sure, if could be nothing- maybe just a planning meeting- but they are working regardless.

Until tomorrow,

Twyla N. Garrett

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