Disabled vet Heather Diaz has been harassed twice this week by restaurants who refuse her service because of her service dog. Due to injuries from service Diaz is vulnerable to migraine headaches as well as anxiety attacks. Her dog Brinkley can sense and detect them.
“He’s helped lower my blood pressure. My blood pressure was 140/84. And after 30 days with him, it dropped to 107/70.”
First, Diaz was asked to leave Genghis Grill near Chantilly, Virginia. About the incident she said,
“The manager’s name is Juan. He came up to me and said, ‘You need to leave. Dogs are not allowed. And I said, ‘He is a service dog.’ And he said, ‘I don’t care.’”
Even after Diaz cited anti-discrimination and service dog laws the manager didn’t care. Another manager told WUSA that Diaz was correct. The Grill released a statement saying in an innocuous manner that their employees are trained in anti-discrimination and don’t know why this one manager acted the way he did.
The next day, Diaz took her kids to the Olive Garden in Manassas and her family was repeatedly passed over for seating because of the dog.
“The manager’s excuse was we have to go around asking all the people in the restaurant which you would be sitting near if they have dog allergies or a problem with a service dog.”
They went to another Olive Garden and had no issue. The restaurant gave a mostly similar response as the grill in reference to the discrimination. They even admitted Diaz had dined with them several times previously.
It’s unfortunate that disabled vets who have fought for our country and served valiantly still have to struggle when they are home recovering from injuries. It goes to show the lack of respect that people have for returning heroes.