This Dirt-Covered Man Was Mocked By A Stranger In A Store – But Then He Revealed Who He Really Was

Andy Ross was minding his own business in a store, when a woman ridiculed him for his dirty appearance. However, the construction worker wasn’t going to take the insult lying down. So, he went up to the stranger and let her know exactly who he was.

Ross comes from Vancouver, Washington, where he enjoys life in the great outdoors. He works in construction but is also the co-owner of Evergreen State Outdoors – a company that that provides wilderness survival courses.

However, Ross hasn’t always enjoyed such a rugged lifestyle. The college graduate has worked in offices in the past but found that that kind of environment was not for him. Instead, he preferred being outside, working with his hands.

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It was no doubt this side of Ross’s personality that led him to become a Special Operations Medic in the U.S. Army. Over the course of a decade, the veteran served in many combat situations and completed several tours of Afghanistan. And, needless to say, he’s very proud to have served his country.

But with Ross’ army days behind him, by the veteran was living a more peaceful life, passing on his survival skills and building structures. By this point his uniform consisted of an old T-shirt and plenty of mud, which could often turn heads.

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That’s exactly what happened during one incident in May 2018. Ross had been at a store after work when his disheveled appearance caught the eye of a little girl. This in itself was not unusual but what happened next sent Ross reeling.

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Relaying what had happened on his Facebook page, Ross explained, “As I entered the store before I got home, a little girl kept staring at me. Which is fine. I know that kids are curious when they see someone as dirty as I was.”

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As luck would have had it, Ross later ended up behind the little girl and her mom at the queue for the check-out. Clearly intrigued by the man, the seven or eight-year-old continued to stare, until her mother told her to stop.

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At this point, Ross presumably thought very little about the encounter. However, as the mom and daughter made their way out of the store, he heard the adult utter something unbelievable. She turned to the child and told her, “That is why you need to stay in school.”

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For some reason, the woman had looked at Ross’s dirty face and construction clothes and assumed that he was uneducated. This presumption infuriated the veteran. As a result, in his own words, he took the opportunity to “educate” the mother and her daughter.

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Revealing the subsequent exchange, Ross said he told the lady, “I happen to be a very educated dirty man. I not only have a high school diploma, I also have a college degree and many medical certifications. So, assuming that I am uneducated because of my appearance is actually quite ignorant in itself.”

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And while the woman was no doubt eating her words at that point, Ross didn’t stop there. “If you are telling your daughter to stay in school because I have tattoos up and down my arms, that will actually suppress her creativity and potentially hinder her imagination as she develops,” he said.

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Defending his ink, Ross added, “I am proud of the tattoos and artwork that [artist] Forrest Bateman put on my body. It’s a representation of my pride in my country and my service over multiple combat tours as a Special Operations Medic.”

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Image: Fancycrave

Ross also pointed out that working in construction was nothing to be ashamed off. “I chose to work in the construction industry,” he said. “I am proud to say that I am a part of building America and I enjoy my job every day. I tried working a desk job when I got out of the service and it wasn’t for me.”

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The construction worker added that the nature of his job meant that he was often very dirty. But, Ross said, that had no bearing on his earnings. “I make good money, have benefits and am able to provide for my family without issue. So my appearance has nothing to do with my level of intelligence or pursuing a higher level of education,” he said.

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At the end of the Facebook post, Ross revealed that his scolding was not intended to make the mom and her daughter feel bad but to remind them not to judge someone before getting to know them. And he also wanted other people to reconsider some misconceptions that they might have had.

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The college graduate wrote, “Blue collar jobs are the best jobs. They can pay great and it doesn’t always come with a price tag… Education is important but college doesn’t guarantee you anything. Experience, hard work and dedication allow you to be successful in your career.”

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When Ross’ rant went live on Facebook, it touched a nerve. In a matter of days the post had clocked up an impressive 300,000 reactions and it appeared that the veteran’s words of wisdom had really resonated with people.

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Image: Eddie Kopp

Responding to Ross’ heartfelt status, Paul Rush wrote, “I hear you, mate. I work in building construction and landscaping. I do it because I enjoy it and yes, I get dirty and smelly most days, but I have a diploma in business, a diploma in management and a diploma in digital media and interactive gaming; I choose what I like and it gives me a great work/life balance.”

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So, as the age-old saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. Just because someone works with their hands doesn’t mean that they aren’t smart. In fact, they might be more switched on than most of us. And, as Ross puts it, “Do what you love and it’s never work.”

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