For most, Veterans Day is a time to honor those who have served and defended their country. Many places offer special discounts and free meals for those who choose to dine with them on the holiday. But one national chain is taking criticism after they took away a free meal from a shocked U.S. Army veteran.
On Nov. 11, Earnest Walker, 47, visited a Chili’s in the Dallas suburb of Cedar Hill to receive his free meal. With him was Barack, his service dog, who was wearing his service vest and service tags at the time.
Walker says he was partially through his meal when an elderly diner approached him and began asking him questions. According to Walker’s Facebook post, the man was wearing a Donald Trump sticker and asked him to identify his military unit. He also went on to say that he served in Germany during World War II, and that “they did not let Blacks serve over there.”
Walker says that after he politely answered the man’s questions, the customer walked away from his table. A short time later, the manager approached Walker, notifying him that another diner thought he was “not a real soldier because I had my hat on indoors.” The manager added that the guest said his service dog was fake.
Even after showing the manager his military ID and discharge papers, plus service tags for his dog, the manager refused to believe Walker and took the rest of his meal away from him. Upset with the situation, Walker filmed the entire exchange and posted it on Facebook.
“At this point I was grossly offended embarrassed dehumanized and started Recording,” wrote Walker.
You can see the now-viral video for yourself below.
After the video finally made its way to Chili’s headquarters, the organization issued an apology to Walker. They said they intend to investigate the situation further and that they are taking the situation “very seriously.”
Hopefully, in the future, the management team at this Chili’s will be a little more mindful of how they treat our military personnel.