They sacrificed many years of their lives to protect the country, and they did it with honor. They deserved to receive a warm welcome, but they received the direct opposite.
The restaurant was under the impression that they were standing firm in their beliefs. Little did they know, that things will not be in their favor.
Tired And Hungry
A group of soldiers decided to treat themselves to a seafood lunch at a restaurant in Delaware. They expected to be given a warm welcome.
Most of the soldiers were tired as they only got home earlier that morning. They were used to people staring at them and asking them questions. However, the moment they set foot in the restaurant, the air was filled with hostility.
Six members of the infamous 436th Airlift Wing air force were there to celebrate their 60-year-old commander's, Captain John Mason, retirement party.
Captain John Mason was a stern but kind man. He served his country in Afghanistan and Iraq. However, he would never have anticipated that he would be treated with disrespect in his country.
Captain Mason was dressed casually and went to the party of his partner Anna. They were both ecstatic to celebrate all his years working on the force.
Even though Captain Mason was the guest of honor, there was another important guest at the party. However, the restaurant soon made it clear that nobody was welcome.
“Rover” was Mason's service dog, named after the notorious Rover Air Base where Mason worked until his last days.
Rover frequently got confused for a Dalmatian but he was a Great Dane. Rover was a big dog but he was a calm and behaved dog. However, it appeared that the dog was better trained than the patrons at the restaurant.
The retirement party was unaware of the reputation that the "Lord Of The Sea" restaurant held. The seafood restaurant was known as being an ostentatious establishment. The restaurant was well-known for being accessible to all.
On the night of Captain Mason's retirement party, the restaurant's vow of accessibility was put to the test, and they failed horribly.
“The moment we arrived, we felt completely unwelcome.” Sergeant Blake Johnson shared with the reporters.
The Sergeant also said, “ Mason is a hero. He faced extreme danger daily and was badly injured by an IED explosion. They just gawked at our uniforms and treated Rover, and us, like scum. I think they deserve what happened.”
The troops saw other guests glancing at them sideways and whispering among themselves shortly after they were seated. The patrons did not act subtly for very long. Another group shortly called the manager to complain about the retirement party.
If the group believed management would be sensible, they were greatly mistaken.
Disguising Her Disgust
Shortly after the table complained the manager paid a visit to the retirement group. Stacy Hill, a strict-looking woman immediately started asking questions about Dover, Mason's service dog.
She demanded that Dover be taken outside, misrepresenting her own clear disgust for the guests. She claimed that Dover “was making others uncomfortable”. The soldiers were obligated to react because of Stacy's harshness and brusque tone.
The soldiers tried to explain to Stacy that they were allowed to have Dover with them, but she responded with nothing but disrespect. Everybody who was in the restaurant witnessed the way that Stacy treated the group. The soldiers felt humiliated.
It was clear that this eatery was anything but "inclusive," but what transpired afterwards was even more surprising.
She Never Gave Them A Chance
Not allowing the veterans to state their case, Stacy became more incensed by the second. Soon she was yelling about how the restaurant was a “safe space” and they were not welcome there if they could not “follow the rules”.
She ranted so much, the veterans were never given an opportunity to reveal the true reason for Rover’s presence.
They Were Forced To Leave
The veterans were unceremoniously kicked out of the restaurant. Choosing to walk out peacefully, everyone’s eyes were on them as they left.
Stacy’s intolerant behavior never allowed them the chance to explain that Rover was with Captain Mason for a special reason. He suffered from PTSD and, ironically, needed Rover by his side at all times—for him to feel safe.
They Instantly Regretted It
One of the veterans later posted about the experience on social media. The response was overwhelmingly in their favor. Across the nation, they were inundated with sentiments of outrage and support.
Facing an immense public backlash, the restaurant attempted to backtrack—resorting to underhanded tactics when this did not work. The people were not fooled.
A Growing Problem
The restaurant was unaware that this kind of uncouth treatment of veterans, and their animals, had become a huge problem nationwide. Other restaurants had amended their policies to help.
Lord Of The Sea just doubled down and provided their own version of events—alleging the veterans had been aggressive and threatening. This lie was exposed when a special witness showed up.
They Had The Last Laugh
Colonel Robert Seymour, a veteran himself, happened to attend a family dinner that day. Having made sound recordings of the incident, these proved that the veterans had never been aggressive or combative.
With The Americans With Disabilities Act firmly behind them, the restaurant was successfully sued and faced a public boycott—a simple reminder of an old truth—Americans support their troops. Thankfully, other restaurants show veterans a lot more respect…
For two-and-a-half-years the man remained a regular at Arby's. He would be there every single day of his life. She noticed him back when she was still the manager there. She always wondered why he would show up alone.
She wanted to understand why he would come to eat at the same restaurant every single day. What he would reveal would have every single person grabbing for their checkbooks.
Without fail, Doug Parker would always arrive for lunch. The 97-year-old veteran comes into the Arby's for the exact same meal at the same seat he always sits in.
Christina liked to get to know her regulars. But she was also so curious as to why Doug did what he did every day.
There are lots of people that don't exactly like the food that Arby's has to offer. But Doug, on the other hand, would order the same meal every day and wolf it down.
The staff affectionately called him Mr. Doug and Christina, the manager at Arby's, said: "He comes in with a walker, as soon as we see him come to the doors, we try [to] grab the doors for him."
It was lunchtime and Doug came in like he always did, but today Christina had to know why he was always by himself and why he came to this restaurant every day.
But Doug wouldn't tell her this time around, it would take more than that to get him to open up about his private life. They still wanted the answer.
Dying From Curiosity
Rumors were going around amongst the staff at Arby's as to why Doug ordered the same food from them. Everyone needed to know why he did it.
"He's gone through a lot being a veteran and living in a retirement home. And he doesn't have family," Christina said. But why does he order the same food every day?"
Who might be curious as to what Doug orders every day? It's a beef slider with swiss cheese and a Coca-Cola, hold the ice.
Christina finally mustered up the courage to ask, "Hey, Mr. Doug, we just want to know what keeps you coming back to this Arby's location?"
He looked at her and simply said, "This is the only place I can get a sandwich that doesn't hurt my stomach."
Christina had no idea that Doug had been suffering from health issues and came to their establishment because it was the only place he could eat without being in agony.
Part Of The Family
At the Chandler Arby's they consider their regulars family, especially Doug. When they heard about Doug's story, it didn't stay in the Arby's.
Another staff member at Arby's, Travis Coye said, "He’s expressed to us multiple times that we’re like his family, and we feel that ourselves so we try to make him feel welcome in any way possible.”
Christina was very attentive when it came to her customers, whenever a new employee was hired she made sure to brief them on Doug's special dietary needs.
But unbeknownst to Christina, one order one day was going to be different from the norm. Something was going to slip through.
Only Place He Could Eat
Doug was happy to eat at Arby's because of his sensitive stomach. If he couldn't eat there, he'd likely eat a sandwich somewhere else and risk getting stomach pains.
All the employees at Arby's knew they had to make sure that Doug could eat his sandwich just how it was every day. He was a war hero after all, and when he needed his sandwich they made sure he got one. But one day something made it onto Doug's sandwich that shouldn't have.
Something Slipped Through
Ethel Fishman, a regular who knew Mr. Doug, had a hunch about one of the young waiters working at Arby's.
But, one afternoon, what she saw him slipping into Mr. Doug's usual order left her completely dumbstruck. The waiter looked around furtively – but he had no idea that Ethel was watching everything.
Ethel could only guess what the waiter had done by watching his face, which was turned down intently as she prepared Mr. Doug's usual sandwich. Then, his eyes darted around quickly -- as if to see if anyone was watching.
Ethel wasn't one to let something like this go, so she quietly pulled out her phone. She could never have known that one moment caught on camera would have such far-reaching repercussions for everyone involved...
Ethel, making sure that her cameraphone’s flash was off, snapped the evidence she needed – the photos that would make both the server and Arby's Facebook-famous.
Although her view was partially obscured, she saw the waiter hurriedly slip something red into the Arby's paper bag. But she didn't have to wait long to find out what it was. Soon, everyone would know what the server had done.
Checking His Order
The elderly man sat still as he waited for his meal -- he too had his eyes on the waiter in anticipation. His breathing quickened slightly as he pushed the bag towards him.
Although Ethel couldn’t see his face, she saw the waiter crack a smile as Mr. Doug checked his order.
Mr. Doug began to eat his roast beef sandwich while the waiter hovered around the table. Mr. Doug seemed confused, but he hadn't realized that reporters had crowded into the establishment.
He looked inside the bag his order had come in to check that the waiter hadn't missed anything and noticed the piece of red card rattling around in the bottom.
Mr. Doug, just realizing that there were reporters recording his reaction, pulled out the card. He thought it was some kind of joke at first. Then, he slowly realized what the staff at Arby's had done.
The staff had decided to pool their spare cash and slipped a $200 Arby’s gift card into Mr. Doug's order so he could save the little money he had.
However, Arby's is known for supporting veterans and even offers free roast beef sandwiches to America's heroes on Veterans Day.
“Feeding them on Veterans Day is just a small token of our appreciation, but we wanted them to know we’re thinking of them and supporting their mission.”