DALLAS - A Chili’s restaurant in Dallas is apologizing after a veteran says he was humiliated while dining there on Veterans Day.
The Chili’s in Cedar Hill offered complimentary meals to veterans in honor of Veterans Day on Friday, the Dallas Morning News reports.
U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker chose that restaurant to receive his free meal. He also brought his service dog, Barack, according to the publication.
Walker says that an elderly white man wearing a Donald Trump shirt approached him, said that he was in Germany, and that blacks weren’t allowed to serve there, Walker wrote in a viral Facebook post. Walker says that he was wearing his old Army uniform, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The man allegedly walked to the back of the restaurant, Walker wrote, and then came back to rub his dog. Walker continued to eat, and then a waitress came to put his leftover food into a container. Then, a manager came to speak with Walker, he wrote.
Walker wrote that the manager claimed another guest said that Walker was not “a real soldier” because he was wearing his hat inside. Walker then wrote that he showed the manager his military ID and discharge papers after the manager requested to see them.
"The guest also said your dog is not a service dog," the manager said, according to Walker.
The Dallas Morning News says that’s when Walker began filming the incident with his cell phone.
"Barack had his red service vest on, and his certified service tags," Walker wrote on Facebook. "I was sitting for 35 minutes prior with Barack beforehand. At this point I was grossly offended, embarrassed dehumanized and started recording."
The video then shows Walker arguing with the manager about whether he has seen Walker’s military information. As Walker continues to talk, the manager grabs Walker’s leftover food in its container.
The manager says, “You have a great day,” before walking away with the food, the video shows.
"Yes, I did just provide documents for you, and they saw you," Walker replies in the video.
Chili’s released a statement saying they apologized and are “reaching out” to Walker.
"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," the statement reads. "We are taking this very seriously and the leaders in our company are actively involved with the goal of making it right."
However, the Dallas Morning News reports that Walker said Sunday afternoon that Chili’s has not extended a personal apology to him.
"I need to be validated publicly," he told the Dallas Morning News.
Walker says that he was stationed in Hawaii, serving in the 25th Infantry Division during the late 1980s.
He told the Dallas Morning News that he believes the Chili’s manager reacted in that way after being influenced by the elderly man.
"I do believe that the election has changed the hearts and changed the motives of people so much so that he believed in his heart and mind after talking to the Trump supporter that I was stealing food," Walker told the Dallas Morning News.