On Veteran’s Day, we honor those who have served in the United States military and often times many restaurants will offer Vets free meals for their service. Unfortunately, on Veteran’s Day 2016, one Vet was not honored at all. In fact, he was called a fake and had his meal snatched away from him.
The incident occurred in Cedar Hill, TX on November 11. 47 year old Ernest Walker went to Chili’s Grill & Bar where he ordered a burger while his service dog, Barack, waited by his side. It was then that Walker says that an elderly white gentleman wearing a Donald Trump shirt approached him and said that he was in Germany and that blacks weren’t allowed to serve there. Walker, who is black, says he was wearing his old Army uniform. The older gentleman then walks to the back of the restaurant and appears to get a manager. What happens next is disheartening. Most wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t caught on camera.
The manager, Wesley Patrick, approaches Walker, claiming that he is not “a real soldier” because he was wearing his hat indoors. The manager asked for proof, to which Walker provided his military ID and discharge papers. The manager also accused Walker’s dog of not being a service dog, despite the fact he was wearing his red service vest and certified service tags.
“I was sitting for 35 minutes prior with Barack beforehand. At this point I was grossly offended, embarrassed dehumanized and started recording,” Walker wrote on Facebook.
The worst part of the entire ordeal is that the manager had the audacity to confiscate Walker’s leftovers in his to-go box before telling him to “have a great day.”
It’s unbelievable that you can serve a country for years and come home to be embarrassed, harassed and insulted in this way. People complained about athletes not standing for the National Anthem, called it offensive to the military, but we can’t even let our own veterans eat in peace on a day set forth to honor them.
According to Chilli’s, the manager in question has been “removed”. According to locals the manager was not fired.
“Today, we personally apologized to Mr. Walker for the unfortunate experience in our restaurant on Veterans Day and thanked him for his service to our country. We also thanked him for taking the time to speak with us and he appreciated our apology,” Chilli’s president, Kelli Valade, said in a statement. “We took swift action and immediately removed our manager from the restaurant. We are now in the process of working with Mr. Walker on a resolution that promotes trust and healing.”
She continued, “We are committed to making this right because this is not representative of what Chili’s stands for, where every day, in every restaurant, we connect, serve and give to create the best life.”
Watch the video Mr. Walker captured below. I’m so sorry this happened to him. That manager needs to be fired, no more questions.