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Veteran Turned Away from Restaurant on Memorial Day Weekend

It's difficult to imagine that a veteran would be denied service at a restaurant, with his service dog, on Memorial Day weekend. Garrett Loughran, of Huntley, Illinois served four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Sunday, he, his mother and service dog visited a Houlihan's restaurant in Algonquin, Illinois. His service dog is a 5-year-old labradoodle named Hershey, who is trained to help him deal with post-traumatic stress disorder. By law, Hershey is allowed to be taken everywhere. Yet, the manager refused to allow them inside when they attempted to get a table.

Garrett's mother, Laura Willis, said "He had his red cape on that said he was a 'service dog,' We have the papers with us but she just said, 'Well we don't allow dogs in the restaurant. What type of service does he provide?' And my son said, 'You're not allowed to ask that.'" Garrett added "I expected that by this day and age everybody knows what service dogs are and they should be more accepting of veterans like me who have to have a service dog to acclimate themselves to this new world again." As a result, Garrett's family complained to Houlihan's and was sent this statement by a senior manager:

"There is no apology that is sufficient in this circumstance. This is inexcusable. I will ensure this is addressed and that no other person has to endure what you and your son did today. To be perfectly clear: Houlihan's supports and appreciates all veterans and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for this country. We have and will always allow service dogs in our restaurants."

Houlihan's also confirmed that the manager, who denied them service, has been fired. Also, the company is donating $2,000--which is the cost of training one service dog, to Pets for Vets.

Photo: If You Only News

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