Purple Heart Recipient Denied Bus Ride Because Of Service Dog

A New Jersey Transit bus driver recently denied service to retired Staff Sergeant Daniel Wright because Wright had his service dog with him when trying to board.

Wright is a Purple Heart recipient who lost full usage of his left arm via an IED in Iraq and now suffers from PTSD. He has a military-designated service dog which goes everywhere with him to help do some of the things he lost the ability to do via the left-arm damage.

During a June 29 appearance on Fox News, Wright said, “I was actually just trying to come home from school, I got to the bus and I put my hand up as usual. Everyone was getting on the bus and I went to get on and he slammed the doors.”

Wright knocked on the closed doors and then asked the driver what he was doing. The driver said, “No dogs allowed on the bus.” Wright explained, “This is my handicap-service dog” and pointed to the tags and the US Army vest but the driver refused, and drove off.

Wright said he waited for the next bus and, after showing his military ID to the driver, was able to board with his dog and go home.

New Jersey Transit has apologized to Wright and is now conducting an investigation. They said they will take “appropriate measures” once all the facts have been gathered.

Wright’s service dog “Tank” is a pit bull breed that “becomes an extension of [his] left arm.” At times, Wright cannot feel anything in his left arm and he said Tank walks beside him “to push buttons for [him], open and close the refrigerator, to go get [his] meds, and he can get bottles of water out of the refrigerator for [Wright] also.” Tank also helps during panic and/or anxiety attacks.

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