War Veteran Kicked Out of Restaurant By Owner Who Mocks His Need for a Service Dog

Say What!? 89

veteran and service dogA Massachusetts diner owner is looking like a Class A idiot right now. Over the weekend, an Iraqi war veteran named James Glaser showed up for breakfast with his service dog ... and got kicked out of the restaurant.

According to Glaser, the owner of the Big I Diner refused to believe that his dog, Jack, is a true service dog, even when he explained he suffers from PTSD after more than 20 years in service to our country and showed off the pup's certification.

And it gets worse.

Glaser says Big I’s owner, Russell Ireland, mocked him for needing the support of a dog to eat breakfast. After telling him to "get that (expletive) fake service dog out of here," Ireland later said, "How much emotional support do you need when you are eating breakfast."

Ireland has since apologized -- although predictably not until after the disabled veteran went public with his story and threatened to file a complaint under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The matter seems to be resolved ... at least for this one veteran.

But America, let's just consider this your wake-up call.

Not only are service dogs serious, but PTSD is not a laughing matter!

The US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates as much as 20 out of every 100 veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom) suffer from PTSD. That number rises to 30 percent of Vietnam vets. And no wonder -- a look at the statistics from Afghanistan and Iraq show as much as 97 percent of Marines report being shot at, 95 percent of folks in the Army report seeing dead bodies.

Then consider this from the VA:

VA data show that from 2002 to 2009, 1 million troops left active duty in Iraq or Afghanistan and became eligible for VA care. Of those troops, 46% came in for VA services. Of those Veterans who used VA care, 48% were diagnosed with a mental health problem.

Those are big numbers. And for servicemen and women suffering with PTSD, it's a big problem.

Some will struggle to hold down a job. Some will see their marriages disintegrate. Some will sink into alcohol or drugs.

This is where treatment comes in, including the use of service dogs. James Glaser says Jack senses when he's panicking, and the dog is trained to wrap his little "arm" around his owner, comforting him. And yes, that can happen anytime ... even over breakfast.

Instead of mocking people who have PTSD, instead of challenging them and the therapies available for them, perhaps it's time we as a country start learning about what is going on with our soldiers and how to HELP them ... instead of making life 10 times harder for them back home.

Check out this vet and his service dog:

Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Do you think it's fair for veterans like James to bring their dogs into restaurants?


Image via Fox 25

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the4m... the4mutts

That made me want to cry. Ive got a couple tears leaking out...

What a douchebag!!

NOBODY needing a service dog, for any reason, should EVER be mocked, or told their dog is "fake"! In California, you dont even have to have the vest, or papers with you. It is assumed that if you're bringing a properly restrained dog into ANYWHERE, that it's a service dog. I dont believe that store owners are even allowed to ask for proof here, but I may be wrong.

I am sorry for this man, and its a shame that such a fantastic resource has been mocked in any way

Ppansy Flowerbringer

I read an article on this story a day or two ago because people were picketing the restaurant. I don't recall reading anywhere that he mocked the disabled man. The owner just didn't know that there were service dogs outside of the ones they bred from puppies to help the disabled. Those dogs are all trained to lay near their master when not in use. The group this man got his dog from re-trains dogs that are rescues from the pound. They don't have the discipline that the traditional service dogs have. This lead the owner to believe the dog wasn't a real service dog. The owner was already convinced the dog was a fake and no amount of documentation was going to prove to him that the Jack Russell terrier was a real service dog. The owner sounds like a blowhard and he is suffering for his behavior. People are now boycotting his restaurant. I feel bad for the veteran who has PTSD and his story should be able to stand on its own merit without you saying he was mocked by the owner. 

Taisie Taisie

the4mutts: I think the not asking is a federal thing. I looked it up before, as I have a service dog, and like his dog, she doesn't look like one either. She is a 6 pound long haired Chihuahua. I have only been asked once to show her actual paperwork, proving she is a registered service dog. That was for an apartment to waive the $200 pet deposit for me. They were very nice, and I really didn't mind :)

A lot of service dogs are Chihuahuas, or other small breeds that people find look like "fake" service dogs. The reason a lot of them are so small is so the owners can hold them, and have them close to their skin, making it easier for a service dog to smell the chemical changes in your body caused by things like upcoming seizures, or dangerously low blood glucose levels.

the4m... the4mutts

Taisie: good to know!

I have great admiration for all service animals, no matter what their purpose is, and it makes me very sad to know that an animal who has devoted their life to helping a human, would be thought of as just some dirty animal.

I know dogs dont choose to serve or anything, but they're so smart, and I feel that the help they give us is invaluable. Better than most medications at times. Its a shame that business owners aren't more educated on the topic

nymom13 nymom13

This restaurant should be ashamed of what they did! This man fought for his country and came back with PTSD. It's not his fault that he now needs a service dog. People withswith service doga don't deserve to be mocked and that goes for other disabilities as well. The restaurant owner is an asshole!

LawNO... LawNOrderMommy

The really frustrating thing is this isn't an isolated incident. In the past few years there has been a ton of instances where service members both active and former have been mocked, harassed or otherwise treated shabbily based solely on the injuries or disabilities they sustained in combat. I personally have been told that my PTSD diagnosis is a "crock of $hit" and my shrapnel scars make me look like a "whiny, emo cutter douche bag" because of where they are on my arms. When did it become acceptable to treat people who joined the Armed Forces to serve the nation with such disrespect? Whatever a persons opinions on the government or our military involvement in foreign nations the fact is most people who join the military do it to serve and protect you, the citizen. I don't think a little respect and compassion are too much to ask.

nonmember avatar Tara

These dogs also give their owners a sense of security by sitting behind them and "guarding" their back/blindside. Imagine being on high alert all the time that you will be shot at... these dogs provide a sense of comfort and safety the veterans may not be able to feel otherwise. It doesn't matter what breed or size of the dog, their purpose is therapeutic and allows their own to function as normally as possible after traumatic events. Shame on the owner of that restaurant.

Debbie Evans

yes i do think that he should have been intitled to take his service dog in.just because someone looks normal does not mean that they do not have a hanicap or suffeer from PTSD,that is nothing to laugh at hopfully folks in that town remember that owner when they go out to eat,because it could have been them or one of there love ones

Nelli... NellieAthome

LawNOrderMommy asks "When did it become acceptable to treat people who joined the Armed Forces to serve the nation with such disrespect?"

It became acceptable at the same time it became acceptable to disrespect people because of their parenting choices, or because they are a Democrat (or a Republican), because of their religion, because of their immigration status, because they are richer (envy) or poorer (obviously a welfare fraud stealing their hard earned tax dollars) or any number of other reasons people, as exemplified by so many of the posters and writers here, practice judgmental intolerance.

It became acceptable when people stopped seeing each other as friends and neighbors and fellow human beings and started seeing everyone as the enemy..... It became acceptable when so many people have such a fragile ego that the only way to build themselves up in their minds is to tear down others and stomp on them (figuratively and sometime literally) Virtually no one in America these days practices tolerance or respect for others and America is the worse for it

nonmember avatar Jeff

I'm proud to the child of a service member. I'm a B.R.A.T. I love our Vet's. If I owed a restaurant, or any business, if a Vet wants to bring a service animal in, I'd let them, regardless of animal. Heck, if a Vet wanted to come in and eat breakfast nude, I'd only ask them to put a towel down on the chair.

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