Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is showing his appreciation for the service of 47-year-old U.S. Army veteran Ernest Walker by giving him a ton of free stuff, no proper paperwork necessary. Earlier this month, Walker was denied the Veterans Day promotion by Chili's, which gives a free meal to veterans, after a white veteran questioned his service.
After refusing to give Walker the meal for free because he believed the vet wasn't a real solider, the manager of the Chili's in Cedar Hill, Texas asked to see documentation. Walker, who was stationed in Hawaii in the 25th Infantry Division during the late 1980s, provided his military ID and military discharge paperwork. The manager then questioned whether Walker's service dog Barack was a legitimate service animal. That's when the vet recorded their interaction to share on Facebook.
After the video went viral, a Chili's spokesperson issued an apology to Walker. "Our goal is to make every guest feel special and, unfortunately, we fell short on a day where we serve free meals as a small token to honor our Veterans," the statement read. "We are taking this very seriously and the leaders in our company are actively involved with the goal of making it right."
Upon hearing about Walker's ordeal, Cuban offered the veteran two Mavericks season tickets, as well as 10 extra tickets to Wednesday's game against the Los Angeles Clippers and "most Mavs home games," per TMZ, to give to his friends, family, and/or fellow vets. Cuban also vowed to donate money towards Ernest's campaign to feed one million soldiers.
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