The University of Florida and Emory University are investigating allegations that Zeta Beta Tau fraternity members disrespected wounded war veterans last weekend at Panama City Beach, Florida, by spitting, urinating and pouring beer on them.“They actually spit on me and my service dog as well, and that’s just so disrespectful and it hurts. I come and I feel honored and I feel safe and that I belong, but now I feel like I’m defending myself,” wounded veteran Nicholas Connole told CNN affiliate WJHG.
“People were urinating off the balconies, throwing up in the elevators, making suggestive and sexual comments about veterans with their service dogs and derogatory and suggestive comments about their wives,” said Linda Cope, organizer of the Warrior Beach Retreat.
“They actually spit on me and my service dog as well, and that’s just so disrespectful and it hurts. I come and I feel honored and I feel safe and that I belong, but now I feel like I’m defending myself,” said wounded veteran Nicholas Connole.
Veterans say they were shocked at the level of disrespect these college students had. They told me that they threw beer on them from their balconies and even spit on them.
Linda Cope, founder of the Warrior Beach Retreat, says she’s never seen such disgusting behavior.
“They’re a total disgrace for our military,” she said. “They were urinating on the American flag they were throwing things off of the balconies.”
These injured soldiers were staying at the Lake Town Wharf Resort at the same time students in the fraternity Zeta Beta Tau from the University of Florida and Emory University were in town for their spring formal.
“I have not stood up and said anything about spring break because we constantly want to get the support of the community, but if this is at all indicative of what these college students do we need to get rid of it,” said Cope.
Veterans say it comes down to respect for our country.
“There was a group of very intoxicated college kids that actually ripped the American flag out of the ground and was trying to run around with it.”
Cope did receive an apology letter from the president of UF who said he has started an investigation but has also stated that he is turning over lists of any veterans or persons that have threatened violence over this matter to the police.
UPDATE: That Chapter has been suspended, some say that not enough.
UPDATE II: Damn, Even GAWKER is enraged at them! The Frat, not the Vets; a sure sign of the end times folks!
UPDATE III: All major networks, Bing and Google News and Drudge are now carrying this story.