A day out with a friend turned into a disappointing venture when a combat veteran was denied entry into a restaurant. Kris Jones is a combat veteran with a service dog named Chopper. He and Chopper went with a friend to The Huddle in Pittsburgh to enjoy some time out on the town. Unfortunately, Kris and Chopper were denied entry according to abcnews.com.
Disappointment And Frustration For Jones and Chopper
“It was just very disappointing to me. It is just very hurtful… He’s very important to me, he’s definitely my lifeline. He makes me feel safe. A lot of veterans, you don’t want to be alone, when you’re going into a public place or a restaurant, it can be pretty stressful,” Jones told WTAE News.
Chopper is a Dutch Shepherd who helps Jones cope with PTSD. Jones served as a U.S. Marine after 9/11. He was eventually injured in combat and ultimately diagnosed with PTSD. It’s a common aftereffect of war that plagues many veterans. Luckily, service dogs are there to help veterans transition back into civilian life. They work hard to help veterans cope with everyday life and do things like shopping, being in crowds, and enjoying attractions.
No Vest, No Service
Jones admits that Chopper wasn’t wearing his service vest when they tried to enter The Huddle, but he did have on his service dog collar. Sadly, Jones says he wasn’t even given a chance to show documentation that Chopper is a legitimate service dog.
Pete Wagner is the owner of The Huddle and he willingly admits that he made a mistake. He explained to WTAE News that the restaurant was very busy because of the Steelers game that week. Wagner says he just didn’t put two and two together that Chopper was a service dog.
“I made a mistake. That’s all there is to it. We have service dogs here often,” Wagner told WTAE News.
Jones says he just wants people to understand how important service dogs are to veterans suffering from PTSD.
“I want business owners, people, everywhere, children, everywhere to know that PTSD is a big thing, and a lot of veterans come home and people can look okay and look fine, but you don’t know what’s going on on the inside,” said Jones.
K9s for Warriors says about 20% or 700,000 post-9/11 veterans suffer from PTSD. As the number of veterans suffering from PTSD continues to rise and service dogs become more popular, it’s even more important for everyone to understand the role of service dogs.
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