Chili’s Bar and Grill in Cedar Hill, Texas has issued an apology and removed a manager after he took away a veterans free meal on Veteran’s Day.
U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker, 47, of Cedar Hill, Texas was served a meal issued to veterans as a part of a promotion that offered U.S. military veterans a free meal.
After finishing his meal with his service dog, Barack by his side, an elderly man approached Ernest Walker and accused him of not being a veteran and he raised questions about the uniform he was wearing as well as his service dog.
The elderly man walked to the back of the restaurant and told the restaurant manager that Walker was not a veteran of the U.S. military and that he should not receive a free meal.
Walker captured the incident on video which was later posted to Facebook.
Walker says that the manager took his meal away from him even though he showed him his military ID and discharge papers.
Walker said that he bought the fatigues he was wearing as a tribute to his service after he was discharged.
He told a local NBC station that he was wearing his an Army uniform without his name or rank because he did not want to be mistaken for an active-duty soldier.
“Barack had his red service vest on, and his certified service tags,” Walker wrote. “I was sitting for 35 minutes prior with Barack beforehand. At this point I was grossly offended, embarrassed dehumanized and started recording.”
One of Walker’s attorney’s, Kim Cole later said that Chili’s apologized to Walker via telephone on Monday.
“On a day where we served more than 200,000 free meals as a small gesture of our appreciation for our veterans and active military for their service, we fell short,” president of Chili’s Grill and Bar, Kelli Valade, said in a statement.
“We took swift action and immediately removed our manager from the restaurant,” Valade added. “We are now in the process of working with Mr. Walker on a resolution that promotes trust and healing.”
Walker’s attorney Kim Cole said the manager has been suspended pending an investigation by the company.
Walker said that during the late 1980’s, he served in the Army’s 25th Infantry Division.