Chili’s manager takes away vet’s free meal on Veterans Day

Wikimedia Commons photo credit Anthony92931
Wikimedia Commons photo credit Anthony92931

CEDAR HILL, Texas (AP) — The parent company of Chili’s says it wants to make things right after a veteran had his free meal taken away on Veterans Day.

Ernest Walker posted a video to Facebook on Friday of a manager taking away his meal at a Chili’s in the Dallas suburb of Cedar Hill. The Army vet writes that the meal was taken away after another diner raised questions about the uniform Walker was wearing. Walker says the manager took his meal even after he showed him his military ID and discharge papers.

Walker says he bought the fatigues he was wearing after he was discharged as a tribute to his service.

Walker said the following in his Facebook post which accompanied his video (below) of the incident:

I was approached by an old white guy, maybe in his 70s, with a Trump Shirt, at Chili’s on Veteran’s Day yesterday. He asked if I was in the 24th unit, and I said “no the 25th”. TRICK QUESTION. He said he was in Germany, and that they did not let Blacks serve over there. He left to the back, and came back and rubbed my dog Barack, who is a service dog. I was seated and eating my food. The waitress packed the rest of my food in a to go box because I had to go pick up my wife. I got my food and tipped the waitress. Then the Manager, MR. Wesley Patrick, comes from the same area in the back, walked up, and rudly informs me that a guest said that I was not a real soldier because I had my hat on indoors. Other guests heard him. He asked for my military ID, I was calm, and provided it to him. I also provided him with my DD214 which is my discharge paperwork. At that point he should have just said “I am sorry Sir, thank you for your service’ Instead he followed up with “the guest also said your dog is not a service dog.” Barack had his Red Service Vest on, and his 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…Mr. Wesley snatched my food away, made body contact

As of Monday morning, Walker’s Facebook post had been shared more than 5,500 times and had received more than 2,900 comments.

Brinker International, which owns Chili’s, tells KDFW-TV that it’s taking the matter “very seriously.”

Walker’s lawyer is set to meet with the company Monday.

The incident is prompting a backlash on the Chili’s Facebook page with many people calling for the manager to be fired.

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