Army veteran Mike Alcorn and his wife were asked to leave a New Jersey restaurant because of the veteran's service dog. The combat veteran who relies on his German shepherd Atlas to help ease his post-traumatic stress disorder and other physical issues sustained during his service in the Army was embarrassed and angry by the treatment he received at the Fortune Cookie restaurant in Medford, New Jersey.
Mike and his wife said that despite Atlas' red service vest, federal ID cards, and the fact Mike cited laws prohibiting businesses from turning away customers with service dogs, an employee insisted dogs were not allowed in their establishment and would not seat them.
According to a Fox News report, Alcorn had brought his German shepherd Atlas to the restaurant on Thursday, when he was told, “‘if you would like food, you can wait outside,’” he said.
“He was like, ‘Please move aside, because I have a customer coming in.’ And I was like, ‘I’m not a customer?’” And at that point, I was furious,” said Alcorn.
"I was embarrassed," said Mike. The Army veteran knew that a conflict could be a difficult trigger for him. So despite his frustration, he opted to walk out and leave the New Jersey restaurant without a fight.
After Alcorn filed a complaint with police, the restaurant owner apologized for kicking out the veteran and his service dog, saying staff hadn’t fully understood the law.
The Alcorns hope to spread awarness by speaking out about their ordeal at the Fortune Cookie restaurant in New Jersey.
"There are so many reasons why people have service dogs now, that it's important people are aware these are essential," said the Army veteran's wife Meg Alcorn.
"Atlas means the world to me," said Mike. "He's with me everywhere I go. If I start feeling uncomfortable or start feeling like something bad might happen, I touch down to him and know I'm not alone ... It takes away that feeling of nobody understanding. He's not judgemental. I can be in emotional crisis, I can feel bad about stuff, but he doesn't judge."
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