Jared Goering, a 19-year war veteran, was kicked off of a New Jersey boardwalk by police just for taking a stroll with the service dog who helps him get around, NBC40 reported.
The frustrated former serviceman who suffers from PTSD and a number of other medical issues was slapped with a summons by a police officer on the North Wildwood boardwalk on Thursday night as he took a walk with his wife and service dog, Navigator, according to NBC40. The police officer reportedly mocked Goering and asked if all vets get service dogs.
"Just like any veteran with disabilities with a service dog, to come back and be harassed and shown no respect, it upset me - it really bothered me," Goering told the news outlet. "I was up most of the night thinking about it."
While serving in Afghanistan, Goering’s vehicle was blown up twice in a 36-hour period, a traumatizing experience that has caused him mobility and emotional issues that his dog helps him cope with.
Goering and his wife said they went public with their horrifying experience because they want to raise awareness about the varying roles service dogs play. Police are looking into the case, NBC40 reports.
While this story is certainly infuriating, it’s not the first time that a serviceman who was injured while serving his country has been subjected to such demeaning treatment.
During an unexpected three-day layover at Dulles International Airport last summer, Jim Stanek said he was verbally abused and his service dog was mistreated, according to a testimony he gave in a YouTube video.
Stanek, who served three tours in Iraq and has a traumatic brain injury and PTSD, said his dog was kicked twice by two separate United Airlines employees and one went so far as to ask if he were “retarded” because he couldn’t stand in line with everyone else, a result of his disability.
"You can't see all my wounds but I still feel like I need to be treated appropriately,” Stankek said in the video. “I'm not asking for a red carpet, but just treat me the way that I need to be treated."
Clarification: Earlier language made Goering's injuries out to be self-inflicted. The post has been updated.