Claim: Servicemen refused service at a Sak-N-Pak gas station in Corbin, Kentucky.
Origins: The rise in appreciation of the military in recent years has served to foster a specific type of rumor: the shunned serviceman. Such whispers, which express patriotism through outrage at businesses which have supposedly refused service to members of the U.S. armed forces, call for boycotts of the offending restaurants, bars, gas stations, and other retail establishments.
These whispers are generally aimed at small businesses often owned or operated by brown-hued persons who by virtue of the color of their skin are assumed to be of Arab extraction. Previous targets of such outrage include a Marathon gas station in Pontiac, Illinois; a Dunkin' Donuts franchise in Crown Point, Indiana; restaurants in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Duluth, Minnesota; a Shell gas station in Tennessee; a Shady Maple restaurant in Pennsylvania; and a Charley's Grilled Subs outlet in Stockton, California.
While such tales of wrongs done to those who guard our freedoms do stir the blood, virtually all such reports we have encountered have proved to be either completely fabricated or highly distorted versions of real events. (One exception, however, had to do with a 2004 incident at a
In July 2011, yet another "shunned serviceman" rumor spread primarily through posts to the social media sites Facebook and Topix postings that two soldiers in uniform were refused service at a Sak-N-Pak convenience store in Corbin, Kentucky.
As is almost always the case (see sole exception above), there was nothing to the claim. The owner of the establishment, Danny Patel, is a U.S. citizen from India. Moreover, his daughter is in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Corbin High School, which makes laughable the claim that he would refuse service to those in the armed forces. As for the servicemen supposedly sent away, they failed to come forward and identify themselves.
Last updated: 27 July 2011
Baker, Michele. "Rumor Hurts Corbin Gas Station."
The Times Tribune [Corbin, KY]. 26 July 2011.
WKDP-AM [Corbin, KY]. "Online Rumor Has Hurt Business for a Corbin Gas Station."
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.