A 7-Eleven clerk denied service to Army reservist Collin Brown last Wednesday based on her opposition to the military. Brown is calling for the store clerk in Redmond, Washington to be retrained.
According to KIRO-TV, the Army reservist was asked for identification as he tried to buy cigarettes for his fiancé. He handed the store clerk his military ID and she asked if he in the military. When he replied yes, her response surprised Brown.
“She said, ‘I can’t serve you,’” Brown said. “Honestly, I was in shock. I asked, ‘Are you serious?’ She looked at me like she was offended.”
Brown then asked if there a problem with his military ID and he pulled out his driver’s license for secondary identification. When he proceeded to ask to contact her manager, the clerk finally acquiesced and helped Brown with his purchase.
When Brown told his fiancé, a retired Army veteran with 10 years of service, his friends and family posted the incident on Facebook. The incident went viral with over 12,000 people sharing the post on Facebook.
The social media outrage caused 7-Eleven Corporation office to release a statement.
According to AOL, 7-Eleven denied that its clerk discriminated against a member of the military. The company said that the clerk didn’t see the birthdate on the military ID and she was only complying with the law.
“It’s clear that a misunderstanding occurred at a franchised 7-Eleven store,” a representative for 7-Eleven said, “We understand that a customer presented a military ID as a form of identification when buying age-restricted products, and the Franchisee’s store associate could not clearly read the birth date. In this instance, the store associate, by law, was required to ask to see a second form of ID with a birthdate. After the customer’s age was verified, the transaction was completed. Serving members of the military, being named a top military-friendly company and employing military veterans are great honors for 7-Eleven.”
However, according to Brown, the company’s statement is inaccurate. Brown is calling for the 7-Eleven to investigate further by looking at the surveillance recording and retraining its employees.
Brown states he was never looking for any type of publicity by bringing this story to the attention of the media. As stated in WTHR, he only wanted to bring it to 7-Eleven’s attention for correction.
“From moment one, the only thing I was hoping to do by coming forward with this is to get the issue addressed with the employee,” he said. “If you don’t know something is wrong, you can’t fix it.”