Here’s a story that demonstrates why you should always think twice before you speak – especially when it concerns the welfare of a decorated veteran.
Major Diggs Brown served in the Army for 30 years, including a tour in Afghanistan. As many veterans do, he returned home suffering from PTSD, and now relies on a service dog named Arthur to get him through his everyday life.
The two are the best of friends, and his specially-trained dog accompanies him everywhere, which the Americans with Disabilities Act allows. Unfortunately, not everyone knows about this, which became apparent when Major Brown was visiting Chicago recently.
Chicago to participate in a walk hosted by the organization No Barriers, a group that works with veterans with disabilities. After a successful event, the Major decided to have breakfast at a local French bistro called Cochon Volant before his trip back home to Colorado.
As he sat down to be seated, he was approached by the hostess who, clearly unaware of the law, told the Major that he could not have a dog in the restaurant. In response, the Major politely informed her that the presence of his service dog was, in fact, legal, he ordered his breakfast. However, before it arrived, the woman came over again and demanded that he leave.
“This is my service dog, he can go wherever I go, it’s the law,” Brown told the hostess.
Her reply was short and rude:
“I don’t care, you need to leave, we don’t have dogs in the restaurant.”
Not wanting to escalate the situation, Major Brown left the restaurant with Arthu, and ate elsewhere before catching his flight back to Fort Collins, Colorado.
But the incident stuck with him and he knew the best course of action was to prevent this from happening to other service dog owners, so he posted his story to Facebook.
“When I got home, I posted to my Facebook page, this is what happened to me and it went viral.”
The Major was quite surprised by the amount of people who shared the story and chimed in with their support. However, Brown’s intent was not to shame the hostess or the restaurant, but rather to bring awareness to the laws around service dogs, so that others wouldn’t have to go through the same thing.
As the veteran alluded to in an interview, it was the responsibility of the restaurant to train her properly and make sure they understand the laws around service animals.