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Veteran Says Chili's Took Back Free Veterans Day Meal

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CEDAR HILL (CBSDFW.COM) - It was supposed to be a promotion to honor military service, but now a restaurant is under fire after a local veteran said he was humiliated.

Angry protestors gathered outside the restaurant was hardly what the Cedar Hill Chili's expected after offering complimentary meals to veterans in honor of Veterans Day Friday.

Supporters of U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker expressed outrage after watching a video he posted on YouTube of a manager taking back his meal.

"This overzealous manager comes out, and instead of talking to me man-to-man, he treated me as if I was a black man stealing a meal. Honestly, that's what it looked like," Walker said.

Earlier he was seated at a table with his service dog when Walker says an elderly customer approached him and asked about his service.

"'They didn't let you blacks over in World War II,' That's exactly what he said to me, but this guy is 70-some years old," Walker recalled.

The man left and walked toward the back of the restaurant. Soon, a manager came to Walker's table.

"And he said, 'Sir, we have guests that say that you are not a military veteran.' I said, 'excuse me?'" Walker said

That's when Walker said he showed the manager his military identification and his discharge papers he brought specifically in case someone asked for proof of his service.

"He should have said, 'thank you for your service; I'm sorry, and I go.' Instead of him saying that, he says to me, 'well he says your service dog is not real.'"

Walker said he showed his dog's certification and began shooting the video on his cell phone as he and the manager argued.

"That manager needs to be either reprimanded or fired," Walker said.

Management at the restaurant referred to Chili's parent company, Brinker International. CBS 11 reached out to them and have not heard back.

(©2016 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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