Veteran says Chili's manager took away meal after questioning service

Veteran says Chili's manager took away meal after questioning service

CEDAR HILL, TX (WWBT/KXAS) - A veteran in Texas is upset after he says a Chili's manager took away his free meal on Veteran's Day.

U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker, 47, of the Dallas suburb Cedar Hill, was served a meal on Veteran's Day as a part of the restaurant's "free meal to Veterans" promotion. He finished his food and was getting ready to leave, and that's when the trouble began, according to KXAS.

Walker told KXAS he believes "an elderly man wearing an American flag shirt and Trump sticker" told the manager Walker was not a Veteran because he was wearing his cap inside and therefore should not receive the free meal.

Walker also became angry when the manager questioned the authenticity of his service dog, despite having tags and a red service vest. The manager then took his to-go-meal.

On Sunday, Walker posted Chili's response to his Facebook page, which reads:

We are aware of the situation that occurred at our Chili's Cedar Hill restaurant on November 11th. Our goal is to make every guest feel special and unfortunately we fell short on a day where we serve more than 180,000 free meals as a small token to honor our Veterans and active military for their service, hence these actions do not reflect the beliefs of our brand.  We are taking this very seriously and the leaders in our company are actively involved with the goal of making it right. Since the incident occurred, we have extended an apology and we are reaching out to the guest.

Walker told KXAS all he was hoping the manager to say was, "I see your ID, I see your DD214, and I respect you as a soldier, and as a man and as a customer."

Walker served in the Army's 25th Infantry Division from 1987 to 1991.

He said he reached out to an attorney, who plans to meet with Chili's corporate on Monday to discuss the matter.

Click here to see the report from KXAS.

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