The president of Chili’s restaurant chain says the manager who took away a veteran’s free Veterans Day meal has been ‘removed’ from the job.
In a statement issued Monday, Chili’s President Kelli Valade also said she personally apologized to Ernest Walker for the manager’s actions and thanked him for his service to the country.
Ernest Walker posted a video to Facebook on Friday of the manager removing his meal at a Chili’s in the Dallas suburb of Cedar Hill.
Walker, who served in the 25th Infantry Division in the US Army, said he was in Dallas eating a free meal given out by Chili’s on Veterans Day when an elderly man in a Trump shirt approached and asked him if he was in the 24th Unit.
‘No, 25th,’ Walker said he replied.
‘”They didn’t let you blacks over in World War II.” That’s exactly what he said to me,’ Walker told CBS 11.
Walker says the manager took his meal even after Walker showed his military ID and discharge papers.
‘He said he was in Germany, and that they did not let blacks serve over there,’ Walker wrote on Facebook after the incident.
After the man left, Walker, who recounted the incident on Facebook, said he was approached by a manager who told him that the elderly man had complained that Walker couldn’t be a ‘real soldier’ because he was wearing his hat indoors.
He identified the manager as a man named Wesley Patrick and filmed the incident.
After Walker provided the manager with his military ID and his discharge papers, the manager began to question whether the dog that was with Walker, was a real service dog.
The dog, named Barack, was wearing his red service vest and his certified service dog tags.
In the video, Walker repeatedly asks the manager, who is trying to get him to leave, whether he had just showed him his military papers. The manager refuses to answer.
Finally, the manager says ‘No’ but people nearby speak up to say he had seen them.
The manager then takes away 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,’ he told CBS Local.