As Courtney Carnes wheeled her husband into a restaurant after a football game Sunday, she was looking forward to enjoying a meal with her friends and family. But that plan was foiled when the group was taunted and driven from the North Carolina eatery, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Courtney's husband Garrett, a Marine, has undergone a number of surgeries since he lost his legs in Afghanistan after stepping on an IED in February, WSOC reports, but he was well enough to go with his family and friends to watch the Dallas Cowboys play the North Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the outing soured as soon as the Carnes crew arrived at the Moosehead Grill after the game. The group was viciously insulted for wearing Cowboys jerseys at what is known to be a Panthers bar.
“Courtney was the first one out of the vehicle, and while she was getting Garrett’s wheelchair, one guy immediately started yelling at her,” Brett Coburn, a member of the group, told the paper.
One witness told the Charlotte Observer that a patron went so far as to accuse Garrett of using his wheelchair as a “crutch.”
According to several accounts, Garrett explained that he lost his legs while serving, but the situation continued to get even more heated. Restaurant staff members asked Garrett’s group to leave and took aside the customer who had hurled insults.
Frustrated, but not demoralized by the encounter, the Garrett family has set up a Facebook support page. They don't hold the restaurant accountable.
“The fact of the matter is that there are bullies in all walks of life and we just so happened to stumble upon a group at Mooseheads,” Courtney wrote on her husband’s Facebook page. “Garrett and I would just like to say that we have no ill wishes of feelings towards Mooseheads, nor do we want their business to suffer ... The issue was with a rowdy and vile Panther fan, not with Moosehead Bar and grill."
The family is understandably upset about the altercation, but members are now focusing on helping Garrett gear up for another surgery next week, a procedure that may help the former high school sports star get back to athletics.
“To think he lost his legs and not to see him run around like he did,” Garrett’s father told WSOC in February, after his son was injured, “it just kills me."
Click through the slideshow below to see photos of Garrett: