UPDATE AT 1:59 P.M. EASTERN, NOV. 15 — The manager at the Cedar Hill Chili's has been placed on administrative leave, according to the Dallas Morning News. Cedar Hill Mayor Rob Franke released a statement saying, "My concern for the veteran is paramount, but we must also consider the manager and how he can become a better person and perhaps do better the next time he is put in a difficult situation. People do best and learn the most from experience. To learn requires patience and grace, neither of which can occur in the heat of emotion, demonstration, and anger."
Brinker International, the parent company of the Chili's restaurant chain, is apologizing after one of its managers at a Texas location offered a military veteran a free meal before snatching it away.
According to The Blaze, U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker visited the Cedar Hill restaurant with his service dog because they were offering free meals to veterans on Veterans Day.
But because the uniform Walker was wearing was purchased after his retirement and didn't have his name tag, he was accused by other customers of being a fake soldier trying to get a free meal. His service dog was also questioned.
When confronted by the manager, Walker says he presented the military ID and discharge papers he had brought along just in case, but the manager refused to listen to him. That's when Walker started recording the confrontation with his cellphone:
As you can see in the video, the manager refused to look at the documents Walker was providing and claimed that Walker hadn't presented them. He can then be seen grabbing Walker's meal and walking away with it.
Brinker International apologized for their Chili manager's actions, saying they "felt really bad that Mr. Walker had this experience."
The company also released a statement that said, "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."