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When a Woman Saw a U.S. Marine Standing in the Cold Outside Walmart, She Demanded Answers — and She Didn’t Like the Explanation

Originally Posted on The Blaze.


For almost 15 years, former active duty Marine John Harkness stood just inside a Medina, Ohio, Walmart to collect donations for the Toys for Tots charity.

This year, Harkness is standing outside in the cold.

“I just said, why can’t they put you inside? This is crap,” Mary Murdock told WOIO-TV she recalled thinking when she saw the Marine standing outside.



Under Walmart’s old manager, Harkness was allowed to stand just inside the doors to collect both money and toys, which a spokesperson said was technically in violation of the company’s policy.

“Walmart’s corporate policy across our more than 4,500 stores does not allow this type of solicitation inside our stores and we apologize for any confusion about this policy,” a statement from the company read. ”If a Marine or anyone was treated with disrespect, that is unacceptable and we are looking into this matter further to get the facts.”

“It takes two seconds to do the right thing when it’s cold and rainy and the holiday season,” Murdock said. “You can put [the Marines] in there.”

While Harkness remains outside, he told WOIO that he is grateful for the support of the store’s patrons who have brought him coffee and sandwiches and offered kind words.

“It’s encouraging. It’s fantastic,” he said. “It’s good to have the general public — Vets and non-vets — support you.”


Stewart Rhodes

Stewart is the founder and National President of Oath Keepers. He served as a U.S. Army paratrooper until disabled in a rough terrain parachuting accident during a night jump. He is a former firearms instructor, former member of Rep. Ron Paul’s DC staff, and served as a volunteer firefighter in Montana. Stewart previously wrote the monthly Enemy at the Gates column for S.W.A.T. Magazine. Stewart graduated from Yale Law School in 2004, where his paper “Solving the Puzzle of Enemy Combatant Status” won Yale’s Miller prize for best paper on the Bill of Rights. He assisted teaching U.S. military history at Yale, was a Yale Research Scholar, and is writing a book on the dangers of applying the laws of war to the American people.