On Wednesday a Houston area restaurant, the Riverside Inn Marina, reportedly refused service to a disabled vet because he had a service dog.
Don Brown was 18 when he joined the Marines in 1986. He rose to the rank of sergeant and then he left in 1994 when he was medically retired due to severe knee problems and PTSD.
After treating his condition for many years at VA hospital, he was advised to try something different. About 8-months ago his doctor suggested that he should start working with a service dog. That’s when he came in contact with the people at Train a Dog Save a Warrior.
They introduced him to Truman, a Doberman service dog who he has been training to become his personal service dog.
On Wednesday of this week the dog was in the final stages of training, which means Don needed to take the dog out in public. He took Truman with him for lunch in the early afternoon.
He had been there before but not with his service dog.
When he entered the bar the dog was wearing his service vest and Don was carrying a card that explained the rights of a person with a service dog. The vest on the dog is labeled “Working dog, please do not pet.”
He walked into the restaurant and he says there was about 6 or 7 people at the bar. He was with a friend of his who is also a Marine.
That’s when the waitress stopped them and said “You can’t bring a dog in here.”
He replied, “It’s okay, it’s a service dog.”
The waitress said she would ask her supervisor and went in back.
A about minute later a guy came out of the back and shouted, “Can you see?”
Don was stunned.
The man walked towards Don in an aggressive manner and got very close to his face before he repeated the question.
Don asked for the man’s name and what his relationship was to the business but the man didn’t answer.
Instead he said, “You got an attitude – you need to leave.”
So, Don left.
Breitbart Texas asked Don why he didn’t argue with the man and he explained to us that part of the training for service dogs states that when you’re being confronted by someone who doesn’t understand the laws, it’s best to just walk away.
He also said that because of anxiety caused by his PTSD, he never wanted to contact the media and come forward with the story, but his friends urged him to speak out about what happened. They felt that his story needed to reach other people who might have had similar experiences.
Don says there have been a lot of people supporting him and he really appreciates them. Since this story broke there is now a boycott of the Riverside Inn that was started by people online.
He also says he heard there have been threats of violence made towards the owners of the bar and he encourages those people to stop.
The Riverside Inn Marina has refused to comment on the matter. Breitbart Texas reached out to them for comment as well.
Ken Webster Jr is the Executive Producer of The Walton and Johnson show and a Contributing Producer to The Michael Berry Show. Follow Ken on Twitter @Producer Ken