Target to military widow: Park somewhere else

| January 12, 2013 | 46 Comments

In May of 2012 Navy Master-at-Arms Sean Brazas was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan. Earlier today his widow Allie Brazas, also a Navy Petty Officer, attended a ceremony on a public street corner where a banner, sponsored by the Chief Petty Officers of Naval Base Kitsap, was put up in his honor. She called ahead as a courtesy to the Target in Silverdale, WA to let them know that some people might be parking in the far corner of the their lot for about 30 minutes and explained what the ceremony was for. The store management’s response?

No.

According to Petty Officer Allie Brazas when some people parked in the lot anyway two Target employees walked across the nearly empty lot to tell them they had to park somewhere else. It took the Kitsap County Sheriff, who was on site for the ceremony, to intervene. From her Facebook page:

Target,
I am stationed in Washington State and shop often at the Target Store on Silverdale Way in Silverdale, WA as do most of my Brothers and sisters in arms. On May 30, 2012 my husband, MA2 (EXW) Sean E. Brazas was Killed in Action while serving in Afghanistan. Today, we hung a Gold Star Banner in his honor on the street light on the corner of your store. We called weeks ahead of time to let the store manager know that we would be having this ceremony. The street light is on city property so we were just doing it as a courtesy call to let the store know there would be a lot of traffic on the corner infront of the store. We also informed the manager that the parking lot may have additional cars parked in it due to the ceremony. The ceremony was from 1030 am to 1100 am. The manager told us we were absolutely NOT aloud to use there parking lot for any part of our ceremony, to include parking our vehicles. We politely reminded her he was KILLED IN ACTION protecting our freedoms. She once again denied the request and told us it was “Target Policy”. We went ahead and used the parking lot to park our cars anyway. We had several mayors, county commissioners, and service members in attendance along with myself, Seans wife. We utilized the very very BACK of the parking lot to park our cars then gathered near the street corner. While people were pulling up and gathering 2 target employees approached me and asked me what was going on. I explained to them that we were having a public ceremony on the street corner for my husband and we were simply parking our cars and gathering on city property. The gentleman told me this required written permission. I explained that I had asked for permission and was denied.. But this was city property where we were gathering and as far as parking was concerned I did not see any “No Trespassing” signs. I also explained it was 1030 in the morning and there were tons of open parking spaces available for customers. They continued to give me a lecture about how we could not utilize the parking lot. By this time the sheriff had arrived to attend the ceremony and said he’d take Care of it and said we were in no way violating any laws. Thankfully, the rest of the ceremony went flawlessly, no thanks to Target.

I was VERY disappointed in the way things were handled. It’s unfortunate that your company is not more supportive of the military, especially of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I hope someone somewhere reads this and fixes this so called “policy” you guys have in place. Its truly Unacceptable

Thank you for your time

Very Respectfully,
Allie Brazas

You see, when you use an almost empty Target parking lot for a half hour to honor a fallen sailor you get treated like a junkie trying to use the customer only restroom to shoot up. Maybe if they’d bought a pack of gum they would’ve been okay. Not that I’m not one to tell people what to do with their private property but this falls somewhere between outrageous and stupid. Not only does this Target serve a military town but, having grown up in this town myself, I spent years having to drive by anti-war protesters, Occupy types, LaRouchies and other assorted shit bags on that corner. Can you guess where they parked?

Needless to say Target’s Facebook page is currently getting shit all over. I for one will be letting Target know that until an official apology is issued I won’t be shopping at Target. I’ll also be waiting on an update on the manager who made the decision.

Category: Dumbass Bullshit, Navy

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  1. Just an Old Dog says:

    Sounds like a dipshit ( and hopefully soon to be disciplined) Manager power-tripping. Some freaks like to try to exercise their “authority” when it’s not needed and doesn’t apply. Its like a Marine recruit letting the billet of “outside leaf honcho” go to their head….

  2. Just…. Wow. Watch these guys try and tap-dance away from the poop storm.

  3. EODMAN says:

    Target is also “grinchy” at Christmas, refusing to allow the Salvation Army Bell Ringers in front of their store. Wal Mart doesn’t have that issue, and I dare say wouldn’t have objected to a short use of their parking lot for this honored purpose.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    This is one reason that I do not shop at Target.

  5. ron says:

    what a pinhead!

  6. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Nucsnipe sent this to me earlier and the only reason that I didn’t jump on it is because Target gave $30k to the COP Keating fund. I think it was the actions of one store manager, not the whole corporation. Not that the local manager doesn’t need to pay a price for his short-sighted decision.

  7. LIRight says:

    Dick’s Sporting Goods and now Target (more egregious than Dick’s) – canceled semi-auto firearm orders and canceled humanity and basic decency!!

    Who’s next?

  8. NHSparky says:

    I think some of Target’s policies (no Salvation Army bell-ringers at Christmas) are stupid, but this sounds more like one douchenozzle manager more than a corporate policy.

    That being said, here’s hoping this manager gets an earful.

  9. Anyone have a link to the story in the news, I can’t seem to find one

  10. SGT Kane says:

    Ok, while everyone is busy getting their Target hate on, let me tell you a little story, that doesn’t start “Once upon a time…”

    Several (or many) years ago my wonderful wife took a seasonal job at Target. This was back in the day when Target had a very liberal (in the non-political sense of the word) soliciting policy. They let pretty much any organization stand in front of their stores and ring bells.

    That year, the Salvation Army was there. I mean, hell, where aren’t they at Christmas time? Unfortunately at that particular store they Salvation Army was very aggressive. And by aggressive I’ve seen infantry men in Iraq clear rooms with less violence of action than these volunteers did.

    Customers complained. Management seeing the PR nightmare of kicking the Salvation Army off the property would be did nothing. Then these Salvation Army guys started showing up before the store was open, and harassing the employees, demanding money, donations, etc. And again management did nothing.

    Then my wife was physically assaulted (the legal term is battery), by these bell ringers. She was pushed to the ground, kicked, and threatened. It was a straight up mugging.

    Now fearing a lawsuit, management went to corporate and said “We’ve got a problem here with the Salvation Army…”

    Corporate came back with “Yeah, we are getting reports of this crap from all over.” So they went to the Salvation Army and said “Knock this crap off, or we’ll boot you off”.

    The Salvation Army’s response was “Screw you, we aren’t responsible for the individuals who volunteer their time to support us.”

    And because this was happening at more than just one store, Target said “Bye”, booted the Salvation Army, and adopted a fairly aggressive policy limiting the use of their property towards non-customers.

    So now we have this problem. Someone wants to use their property for something, is advised of this policy, and rather than coming up with a solution (which may have been as simple as giving the manager a way out and sending someone into a buy a case of water, or a soda), we have someone who pulls a privileged class move and says “I’m special I’m going to do this anyway”.

    This puts the manager in a shitty spot, and makes Target look like a bunch of assholes.

    And for the record, they did receive preferential treatment, from the sheriff. If at any time those employees told them to move those cars, and they didn’t, they were guilty of criminal trespass. Its the same laws that force me to leave a store while carrying concealed and the manager tells me to leave because of their “No Guns in the Store” policy.

    Keep that mind, as we are all furious about the David Gregory situation, here we have a member of the military getting the exact same treatment.

  11. By the way NSOM, post more shit! You are one of my favorites

  12. Nucsnipe says:

    Ne Desit Virtus. The link is above in the post, the part about Target doesnt come out until the comments.

  13. Nucsnipe says:

    Apparently the head office of Target is currently reaming the local management a new one per comment on this Facebook protest page.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/138587609632798/

  14. Nucsnipe says:

    Just pulled the letter from Target headquarters off the FB page
    Alice Polignoni-Williams
    I received a letter from Target:

    Dear Alice Williams,

    I am writing to offer Target’s deepest appreciation and condolences to the family of Sean Brazas for their sacrifice and to the Silverdale, Wash., community for its loss. We sincerely apologize that actions and comments by our store team marred a community event to honor this hero on Friday. We are connecting with the store team immediately to help them learn from this situation and to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

    At Target, we proudly support the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces and their families. Many of our own Target team members serve, or have served, in the military and we highly value the sacrifices they and their families make to protect our freedom. For years, Target has donated funds and volunteer hours to local and national veterans’ and military organizations. For example, we sponsor a national scholarship; support a reading program that helps parents and children stay connected during long deployments; give grants for children’s programming while parents are serving in the military; and provide support by funding and preparing care packages for troops serving abroad and arranging for products to be shipped to military camps. Our team members spend hundreds of hours each year volunteering in a variety ways for military organizations; and we offer increased benefits to our own team members who are on deployment.

    And, again, I am very sorry that actions and comments by our store team marred your community event to honor this hero.

    Sincerely,

    Bryan Everett
    Senior Vice President, Stores

  15. Seems to me like a dumbass manager moved on their own without guidance and probably cost Target millions. Target might have a new toilet scrubber or tray wiper in the food court tomorrow

  16. NSOM says:

    re #11

    All very true.

    And yet I would hope that Target would empower their managers to make exceptions to company policy. To not do so causes awful situations like this and so shame on them. If they do allow their management discretion and the manager decided not to allow them to park there then shame on him. The idea that all things corporate have to be black and white is fallacious. Corporate citizenship is the byword these days and if you’re running a military widow and members of the community out of your lot like this you’re being a pretty awful citizen.

    As for Gregory, he committed a federal felony for the sake of a TV stunt and was let off because he’s a member of the media establishment. Do you see them letting the next group of Tea Party protesters off on “1st Amendment grounds” if and when they bring high capacity mags to a protest? I don’t think so. This woman asked for a company to make a common sense exception to an overly broad rule in order to honor her dead husband and was turned down.

  17. streetsweeper says:

    B’town & Silverdale aren’t exactly US Navy friendly, friends. The population likes the bi-monthly pay checks they earn from the gubermint, except for the money single sailors toss at the ugly girl strip club dancers around there. I worked that area for years and it seemed the exception being vet’s, there was no real appreciation for the armed forces. I am glad the Sheriff stepped up and resolved the problem. Had it been me, I would have done the same.

  18. Nucsnipe says:

    Some of the comrades in my riders group were going to this, I’ll see if I can get some first hand info from them tonight at the post.

  19. Besns&Bullets says:

    SGTKane, if you are carrying concealed, how does the store mgr know this to ask you to leave?

    The manager of this store should have exercised better discretion.

  20. LIRight says:

    @Besns&Bullets

    Good question.

    I carry wherever I go…..whenever I leave my home (except to the VA) since 1973 and no one, to my knowledge has ever seen my concealed weapon.

  21. cakmakli says:

    They keep deleting my posts from their FB page and I don’t know why. All I did was to ask them where was their parking lot police on this one:

    http://jeffco.fox2now.com/news/community-spirit/111059-kkk-advertising-south-county-target-parking-lot

  22. bcousins says:

    We vote with our feet and our wallets. Neither my feet nor my wallet will enter another target until an apology and retributions have been made.

  23. jonp says:

    @#11: I hear ya. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been assaulted and thrown to the pavement by those ninja Salvation Army types ringing bells. They should get those bells registered as lethal weapons. Dickhead…

  24. fm2176 says:

    I too think the manager made a poor decision. Most big box stores, whether they be Target, Best Buy, or Lowes, have much more parking than they need most of the year (exceptions being Black Friday and the holiday season). Even if the manager felt the need to say “no” it should have been left at that–having employees walk through scores of empty spaces to enforce the manager’s decision was unnecessary.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I was at this ceremony. It was a public ceremony on public property. It is a shared parking lot with numerous other businesses. It wasn’t used to capacity by any means. There was no common sense on the part of the store. I served with MA2 and his wife was one of my sailors. It is an absolute disgrace on the part of the store to even try to enforce this. They came out with some kind of cookie cutter apology to save face. I will never shop in that store again. MA2 is a Hero and his wife continues to serve with grace that is unmatched. Shame on Target. You DON’T treat our fallen Hero’s or their families this way. They are sacred… you don’t do this espically in a military community!!

  26. Lobster says:

    Two things really bother me about this. First, they deleted the OP’s letter on their FB page. Bad move #1. Second, they have some corporate PR douche something up to have a VP say “oops, our bad”. The only way Target will redeem itself in my eyes is if the original store manager apologizes or is fired.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I’ve counted over 8000 remarks on FB with regards to the disrespect Target has given a fallen Hero and his family… I would think a some kind of public donation to the Gold Star Foundation or the Wounded Warrior Foundation in the Brazas name would be a good start to earning my business again… I don’t or can’t speak for anyone else.. but to earn my business again it is a small price to pay compared to that of MA2 Brazas who gave it all.

  28. RunPatRun says:

    I go to Target on occasion. I use my iPhone Amazon app, find the product I want, scan it, check reviews, and then order it for lower cost from Amazon.

    My advice is not to waste your money at Target, even if they are sincere in their apology and offer a donation to Gold Star and/or Warrior Foundation.

  29. Bruce says:

    As I understand the law, parking lots are not private
    property, they are puplic/private property. That’s why
    the police can check and give out tickets for parking in
    fire zones and handy cap parking, check plates for stolen
    cars etc. Even thou they are supposted to maintain it, I
    do not think they own it. If they put something in the
    parking lot, like something for sale they should have a
    permit from the city to do that.

  30. LIRight says:

    @Bruce

    I respectfully disagree, for at least the area where I live.

    Larger commercial parking lots here are privately owned and generally have ordinances to support local LEO’s to write parking summons’ for safety (fire regs) and disabled parking, loading zone, etc.

    In addition, while you won’t see police writing tickets for exceeding a 30 mph speed zone in these lots – – if a couple of guys were drag racing then police could enforce various vehicle and traffic sections with regard “unsafe speed” – “speed contest” and so on….

    Municipal parking lots are a different story.

  31. obsidian says:

    Washington State is one of those twenty or so states the rest of real America known as flyover country and greater Alabama by the liberals wish to secede from.
    A collection of liberal assholes.

  32. Larry H says:

    What do you expect from a French owned store?

  33. WigWam says:

    I’m sorry, do Target employees burn American flags and give the finger to veterans in uniform? No, I’ve never heard of such a thing. This sounds like a minor dispute at best. But here we are, so quick to boycott and blame the liberals. We honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our country not the funeral attendees who happen to park inside corporate property.

    If corporations are people and those people happen to own property, then don’t those people have a right to defend their property from unwanted intruders? Now if corporations are not people and are in fact private entities subject to public regulation then they damn well should apologize. I guess it’s a matter of perspective.

  34. WigWam says:

    @33 Hah, I don’t see Obama deploying troops to fight Islamists in Mali. Those French practically invented counter-insurgency in Algeria during the 50’s.

  35. NSOM says:

    re #34

    90% of the complaints I’ve seen either single out the management for poor use of discretion or the blanket policy on the lots. Most boycott calls I’ve seen involve individuals voting with their wallets pending corrective action from the company. You seem to have some selective vision.

    re #35
    So? You want to go down the list of places various nations are or are not fighting Islamist reactionaries? Besides, the counter-insurgency campaign in Algeria ended in failure, right along side the near simultaneous one in Vietnam. Not that it has any bearing or relevance here.

  36. streetsweeper says:

    Nice slap down, NSOM. lol!

  37. Geekasaurus says:

    #17

    I work at another store brand owned by the same company that owns Target. Let me offer this much in defense of the store manager who did not cooperate.

    He did not have much choice in the matter. Even if he had wanted to cooperate, he might have been disciplined had he done so. Chain store managers really do not have a lot of flexibility when it comes to the management of their stores. They are not the OWNERS of the store and they do NOT set policy. Those policies are in some book somewhere that s/he had to read and sign off that the policy had been read, comprehended and will be obeyed.

    For those of you in (or were in) uniform; try this little thought experiment. Ask permission from your CO to change your uniform for merely 30 minutes to honor a fallen employee of Target who was crushed to death in the stampede of the last Black Friday sale. Do you have that thought in your mind? How would your CO respond? How high of the Chain of Command would you have to go to get such permission?

    The mistake that was made was in contacting the Store Manager and not his/her District Manager or perhaps the Vice President of Target who responded to this article. Store Managers just do not set policy, just as the CO of your Field Kitchen Battalion doesn’t set uniform policy.

    I am fairly certain that this could all be avoided had the original respondent merely asked for the phone number of the local District Manager, and called him/her.

  38. Hondo says:

    WigWam: wouldn’t be too sure about that “no US troops in Mali” comment you make above. We appear to already be supporting the French in that effort.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2013/01/13/france-north-mali/1829993/

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2013/01/13/french-military-arrives-to-help-mali-government-as-radical-islamists-advance/

    Last time I checked, comms and transport systems didn’t operate themselves. I also don’t think either of those articles were posted since you made comment 35 above.

  39. OWB says:

    There were several mistakes made here, but they have already been enumerated – after not receiving permission to park there, you either don’t park there or attempt to receive permission from higher. Duh! OR, several folks do some shopping and make certain that the shopping bags are prominently displayed. End of issue.

    In any case, you make a plan and follow it well ahead of the event itself. It is simply rude to park somewhere that you have already been told you do not have permission to park. I wouldn’t like it were I a business owner and Code Pink showed up, parking on my property.

  40. LIRight says:

    One can delegate authority but not responsibility.

  41. BDFB says:

    Perfect Circle! That’s them. THIER store’s WIILL not support our VETS OR AD MILTARY, if they can Publically get away with it. Local mngr. my uh huh! I tried for yrs for DAV to Sell Poppies! You Know; ” In FLANDERS FIELDS WHERE POPPIES GROW!”. They would rather support ALL THE OTHER demographics such as one I haven’t seem as yet! But you ALL hav a chic fa la day. Remember that one man spoke about HIS OWN opinion. Look at all the different things the storm waters washed out of the gutters over that one!! All mixed together, EVERTHING at the landfill or at the SEWAGE TREATMENT Plant; ALL STINKS; IS HAZARDOUS; And by any other name; still comes out the same. Roses, Landfills or Sewers by ANY OTHER NAME WILL ALWAYS – ALWAYS SMELL THE SAME!

  42. SIGO says:

    Please put away the pitchforks. It has nothing to do with Target and everything to do with the “hell with you” attitude. I understand that her husband passed and it stinks that she was not able to utilize their parking lot, but they own it and if they tell you to leave or don’t use it, then don’t do it. Is it bad PR? Sure, but think about it this way: If Target allows this one minor event, then they most surely have to open it up to everyone else? Hey, I want to use your parking lot to show a banner for my lost child. No? Well you let Suzie do it last week, so why not? Uh uh uh *duck* *hide* See my point? It’s simply easier for Target as an organization to have a carte blanche policy that works in most cases until someone squawks and then they have to pull out the big PR machine to quell the uproar. Think of it in this manner, if you were a small busines owner with about 10 parking spots and someone approached you with the same thing, would the small business owner be justified in saying no? Yes they would, but you probably wouldn’t get the same response because they are not a big bad corporation. Point is, people need to relax.

  43. let start with if it not for us retired and actived duty military memebers this sorry excuse for a dept. store does not make any money.How about all retired and actived dutymilitary memebers, no longer shop at Target and see how they like it.This Was most disrespectful to all our fallen HERO’S.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Let me go even further #44. If not for vets and active duty, they wouldn’t have the piece of land or opportunity to have their store there.

    And to #11, I would love a detailed rundown of how a bell-ringer re: Salvation Army hit and kicked your wife… and where.

  45. lorzink says:

    The local Walmart allows Girl Scouts, Salvation Army Bell Ringers, RV Parking in their lots and many other groups. Surely if there were huge legal issues, Walmart, of all companies would have researched the liability issue. Allowing all these groups, if anything, has increased their business. Seems like a very poor PR and business decision for Target.

  46. Anonymous says:

    thought there was somthing wrong with this article when i read it -two years ago.
    Its back again

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