UPDATE: This update is long over due and I apologize to Lou Petricca, the General Manager, for that. I did hear back from the Soldier who was denied a beer based on his military ID not being "good enough," Mr. Petricca contacted him and, in the Soldiers words, "He offered to have my family back for dinner and I respectfully declined. I suggested that instead he find a few local disabled veterans and host a dinner for them."
Since the Soldier was on block leave when this occurred and had to get back to his home base he was not able to "hang around" to return to Olive Garden.
I appreciate all of you for contacting Olive Garden about this. I must say the "canned" response from their corporate office left me wondering if they really took this seriously or if they were just attempting to save face. Either way, I appreciate the General Manager, Mr. Petricca, for contacting the Soldier personally and attempting to work out a solution.
I got a message today from one of "my" Paratroopers who is home on block leave. He's served two tours of Afghanistan in a little over 3 years. Yep, 27 out of the last 39 months he's been in harms way in eastern Afghanistan.
So he comes home to visit family and friends. To relax and enjoy the holidays with those he loves. Last night he went to the Olive Garden in Bolingbrook, IL and....well, I'll let him tell you what happened:
From his facebook status today: "So last night I was denied a beer at the Olive Garden because I only had a Military ID and not a valid stateside license...I don't have a valid stateside ID because ive lived overseas for 4 years now. My Military ID shows my date of birth and it is issued by the US GOVERNMENT! I wrote a nice long letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune and they just called me back VERY INTERESTED in this story..."
He also sent me a message on facebook - "Hi Leta, Read my status, I'm sure that will fire you up! Happy Holidays!"
You're right B. It did fire me up.
So here's what I'd like for all of you reading this to do. Call the General Manager. The website lists him as Lou Petricca, General Manager. The phone number is (630) 759-5191. I did not find an email address. BE NICE! No cursing or screaming. Be firm but professional.
Maybe read this to him (in red italics below) regarding Types of Valid Government Photo IDs
U.S. Military ID Cards
•A military ID card qualifies as a valid form of photo ID in applying for a U.S. passport. A military ID card is also valid proof of age when attempting to buy alcohol in the U.S. since it contains a birthdate and a photo. The same is true in the case of applying for a library card. A U.S. military ID card may also be used in proving identity in order to obtain a social security card." Yeah, I highlighted that in red because I'm seeing RED about this.
I could tell you a few stories about Soldier "B". Stories about where he was, what he went through, people (one in particular) he served with. But that would embarrass him and it's really not the point. NO member of our military that is 21 or older should be denied a legal right because some dufus with no knowledge of military IDs says so. Perhaps some training needs to be done in at least one Olive Garden.
Get that phone ringing folks. Leave messages. Remember....be nice but make your point.