Air Force veteran Larry Murphree will finally get his day in court following a seven-year legal battle with his former Homeowners Association. The entire ordeal started when Murphree decided to show his patriotism by placing a small American flag in a flower pot on his porch.
He was told by his HOA at Tides Condominium in Sweetwater, Florida that the flag was against the rules, and they fined him $100 per day when he refused to remove it. He hired a lawyer and eventually won a lawsuit that found he had the right to display the flag.
The HOA did not let the setback in court deter them. They altered their ordinances to declare that flower pots can only contain plants and that flags can only be flown on flagpoles on the side of homes. A few months after losing the lawsuit, the HOA began to fine him again, WWLTV reports.
“Somehow they re-categorized it and started doing the same thing again,” Murphree’s lawyer Gust Sarris said, “which was the same flag, the same flower pot, the same dirt and the same plant.”
Murphree also accused the association of harassing him and fining him for mundane things, like hanging up solar Christmas lights or not parking straight in his own driveway. It got so bad that he eventually sold his home at a “serious loss” before the association could foreclose on him for not paying his dues.
The Air Force veteran always paid his dues, but unbeknownst to him, the money he paid was being used to pay off all the fines he had accrued.
After he sold his home, Murphree’s lawsuit continued to make its way through the legal system, and he was finally given a date to challenge his Homeowners Association in court again, and hopefully recoup some of his losses.
“Somebody had to stand up and say, ‘this is not right,'” Murphree said.
In other veteran news, an Indiana veterans hospital recently removed all military flags, and chose instead to fly the rainbow gay pride flag.
Some veterans in Fort Wayne, Indiana arrived at the VA hospital Tuesday morning and noticed all the military flags had been removed. On one of the flagpoles was a rainbow flag, in honor of LGBT pride month.
Some people in the area questioned the VA’s decision.
“It’s certainly worth recognizing the veterans who are from that community who have served,” Jarrod Schwartz, a veteran, said. “It’s a little odd, it’s certainly different — definitely questionable — why they would remove the branch flags.”
A VA public affairs officer said the hospital wanted to put the rainbow flag up to honor LGBT veterans, but there wasn’t enough room for a new flag. Instead of taking one flag down to make room, they decided to lower all the flags, as not to show favoritism.
Interesting. So by showing total favoritism to LGBT veterans, they somehow weren’t showing favoritism. Very interesting indeed.
At the end of the day, VA officials were going to lower the rainbow flag to put the military ones back up, but somebody beat them to it.
In the early afternoon, somebody who knew what their true agenda was lowered the LGBT pride flag, then drove off with it.
Not all is bad news for veterans these days though, as President Trump has ordered a $55 billion revamping of the Veterans Administration.
The $55 billion bill will change how the VA pays for private care, expand a VA caregiver program for pre-9/11 vets and start the process of reviewing the overall infrastructure of the VA itself.
The bill saw overwhelming bipartisan support last month passing in both chambers of Congress, and the legislation follows through with one of Trump’s major campaign promises to allow veterans more options for healthcare in the private sector.
“In the campaign, I also promised that we would fight for Veterans Choice,” Trump said in a speech before signing the bill. “It just seemed to be common sense.”
“It seemed like if they’re waiting on line for nine days and they can’t see a doctor, why aren’t they going outside to see a doctor and take care of themselves, and we pay the bill? It’s less expensive for us, it works out much better, and it’s immediate care. And that’s what we’re doing. So we’re allowing our veterans to get access to the best medical care available, whether it’s at the VA or at a private provider,” Trump said.
Some of the major points of the bill include the consolidation and revision of a number of VA healthcare programs, an expansion in veterans’ private sector healthcare options, and an intention to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs as a whole.
Trump’s pick to lead the VA, Robert Wilkie, would lead these efforts if he is confirmed.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
July 8th, 2018