Army vet moves family out of home after receiving death threats over incident at Chili’s


An Army vet from north Texas started receiving death threats after speaking out about the treatment he received at a Chili’s restaurant in suburban Dallas on Veterans Day. Ernest Walker has moved his family out of their home in Ovilla, Texas after receiving racially-charged threats.

“We’re afraid…my wife is terrified,” Walker told the local ABC station. The threats to harm Walker and his family have been coming by phone, mail and online.  After a Dallas media agency published his address, Walker decided to move out.

All of this started when the authenticity of Walker’s military service and service dog were called into question by an elderly gentleman, wearing a Trump t-shirt, who approached Walker at Chili’s.

While the Pentagon has since confirmed Walker’s veteran status the uniform in his initial basic training graduation photo places his initial service somewhere in the early to mid-1980s. That is likely “well beyond the timeframe where wearing full ACUs in 2016 -long after he had left the service- would have been appropriate, even in veteran circles.”

On that day in Chili’s, Walker was wearing the digital ACU uniform with the 25th ID patch on his sleeve. That apparently caught the attention of the customer who started questioning him about his service.

The Chili’s manager, Wesley Patrick, reportedly walked up to the vet and stated that he was informed by another diner that Walker was ‘not a real soldier’ because he had his hat on indoors.

Walker presented his DD-214 forms, but then Patrick asked about the service dog. That’s when Walker started filming the incident. He scolded the manager for asking about his dog ‘Barack’, who had his Red Service Vest on, as well as his Certified Service Tags.

“I was sitting for 35 minutes prior with Barack beforehand. At this point I was grossly offended embarrassed dehumanized and started recording…Mr. Wesley snatched my food away, made body contact,” Walker said.

Walker was outraged after being denied the free meal on Veterans Day and started talking about what happened on social media. The footage of the confrontation that day has been viewed more than one million times.

Walker says he’s now more focused than ever to turn this moment into a mission to help other veterans, WFAA reported.

“This country right now is wounded…there needs to be a healing process for all the people who reached out to me from all different colors, races, creeds and religions that let me know there is hope for this country,” Walker said.

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Author

  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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