Ernest Walker served in the 25th Infantry Division of the US Army. The veteran was dining at a Chili’s in Dallas this weekend during their Veteran’s Day celebration where they give vets free meals in appreciation. Only Walker had his meal taken back.
Another patron in the restaurant complained about Walker in a way that caused management to doubt that he was actually a veteran. And then, to make the situation worse, the manager even questioned the legitimacy of Walker’s service dog.
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The man who picked the fight with Ernest Walker had approached his table and asked Walker if he was in the 24th Unit.
“No, 25th,” Walker replied.
“‘They didn’t let you blacks over in World War II.’ That’s exactly what he said to me,” Walker told CBS.
The patron questioning Walker was wearing a Trump shirt.
“He said he was in Germany, and that they did not let blacks serve over there,” Walker wrote on Facebook.
Though African-Americans did serve in World War II, most were in segregated units. Regardless, Walker’s service came long after the units were desegregated.
The man then complained to a manager that Walker wasn’t a real solider. The manager, Wesley Patrick, said the man’s complaint stemmed from the fact that Walker was wearing his hat indoors.
Patrick went so far as to question if Walker’s service dog, Barack, was really a service dog.
To prove his point, Walker provided the manager with military ID and discharge papers. Barack was wearing a red service vest and had certified service dog tags.
The video below captures some of the encounter. After all of the identification was provided, and verified by witnesses, takes Walker’s meal. “I was grossly offended, embarrassed and dehumanized,” said Walker.
“This overzealous manager comes out, and instead of talking to me man-to-man, he treated me as if I was a black man stealing a meal. Honestly, that’s what it looked like.”