A Texas veteran says he was disgraced and humiliated at a Chili’s restaurant, on a day meant to honor and pay tribute.
On Veterans Day, Ernest Walker and his service dog were enjoying the free meal that Chili’s Restaurants across the country were offering to veterans.
Walker was wearing a military uniform without a nametag, which he purchased after retirement, when he says another customer at the Cedar Hill, Texas restaurant questioned whether he was actually in the service.
Walker says an elderly customer approached him and asked about his service.
“‘They didn’t let you blacks over in World War II,’ That’s exactly what he said to me, but this guy is 70-some years old,” Walker recalled.
(CP Notes: The customer is clearly wacked, for Walker to be a WWII vet he'd have to be around 90 years old. Maybe the old guy was just an angry racist?)
The man left and walked toward the back of the restaurant. Soon, a manager came to Walker’s table.
When a manager then questioned the veteran, he showed him his discharge papers and identification. “He should have said, ‘thank you for your service; I’m sorry.’ Instead of him saying that, he says to me, ‘well he [the other customer] says your service dog is not real and you haven't removed your hat so you're a fake.'”
(CP Notes: On the video the manager can be seen taking Walker’s food away. Walker clearly agitated didn't really help his case but you can't blame him.)
CP Update: The manager was fired and Chilli's apologized.
Cedar's Take: The "Stolen Valor" enforcer bull shit has gotten out of hand. Sure there are posers out taking advantage of free food, up front parking, getting dates with gullible women and taking advantage of the gratitude of others, but if I called out every retired service member for not removing their "cover" (hat) entering a restaurant I'd be freaking crazy busy.
US Naval Academy midshipmen learn early on the phrase "Eyes in the boat" in other words worry about yourself and not others.
I'm guilty of cracking of my CMPD friends for standing around with their hands in their pockets, and there's this retired Marine who every Sunday walks into the Original Pancake House wearing his dirty Marine Corps hat and happily dines with it affixed to his head.
As many retired and former service members I know who proudly display their service there are many who don't. They quietly go about their lives seeking neither free stuff or gratitude. I have an acquaintance who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and as he put it, "I just got tired of hearing thank you for your service".
When I asked him why, he responded that it wasn't that he didn't appreciate the accolades it was just he was tired of talking about it, then he added then there are the jackasses who want to quiz me with trick questions. I'm just tired of the "bull shit".