Chili's expresses regret for taking Texas veteran's free meal

CBS DFW, KHOU 11's Russ Lewis reports

CEDAR HILL, Texas - The parent company of Chili's says it wants to make things right after a veteran had his free meal taken away on Veterans Day.

Ernest Walker posted a video to Facebook on Friday of a manager taking away his meal at a Chili's in the Dallas suburb of Cedar Hill. The Army vet writes that the meal was taken away after another diner raised questions about the uniform Walker was wearing. Walker says the manager took his meal even after he showed him his military ID and discharge papers.

“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,” Walker told CBS DFW.

Walker says he bought the fatigues he was wearing after he was discharged as a tribute to his service.

“He should have said, ‘thank you for your service; I’m sorry, and I go.’ Instead of him saying that, he says to me, ‘well he says your service dog is not real.'”
 
Walker said he showed his dog’s certification and began shooting the video on his cell phone as he and the manager argued.

Brinker International, which owns Chili's, tells KDFW-TV that it's taking the matter "very seriously."

Walker's lawyer is set to meet with the company Monday.

(The Associated Press and CBS News DFW contributed to this report.)


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