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I took my wife to dinner on Veteran's Day evening, to the Outback Restaurant on NE Choteau Trafficway, in Kansas City, Mo. Nothing special except to have dinner. We were informed that in celebration of Veteran's Day, ALL vets were to receive a "blooming onion" & either a soft drink or beer, free, as was advertised on TV. I was asked if I was a vet & responded that I was (having served in the USN for 10 1/2 years). Stipulation was, I had to prove it, being a vet no longer serving. Having no proof on me, the mgr. was brought to my table. I, again was required proof of being a vet. He asked for membership cards for American Legion, VFW, etc. None of which that I carry. He, then started apologizing, saying that unless I could prove that I was a vet, I couldn't get their free offer. I could feel the other customers, staring at my wife and myself. I didn't make a scene, even though I felt like I was an idiot, by being made out as a person pretending to be a vet to get a free beer and blooming onion. Against my better judgment, we stayed & had dinner, even though my appetite was all but gone. After humiliating me in front other customers, the mgr still sent the blooming onion to our table. When I told him no thanks, he insisted on us taking it. Other patrons, obviously was seeing this act, too. I could feel their stares. The TV ads said clearly, "ALL VETS, PAST & PRESENT...." Nothing was mentioned about proof being required for past vets. If it had, I would have dug thru my things & come up with needed proof. I fully understand, that there are people that will say they are something that they aren't, just to get something free. I'm not one of them & totally resent any insinuation otherwise. After ruining our evening, we paid for everything & prepared to leave. I heard the waitresses (including ours) telling the customers "Happy Veterans Day", as they left. The only one to say this to us was the receptionist, as we exited the restaurant. Neither the mgr or our waitress could bring themselves to say it to us. Coincidently, the mgr made a point, to show us his ID card, proving that he was a current vet. Personally, I could care less about getting free food because I'm a vet. I didn't serve just to get it. I didn't bring up the promo, the waitress did. They initiated the scene, not me. Better judgment told me to leave, but I didn't because of my not wanting to make a scene and my respect for my wife. All that we wanted was a nice dinner, period. The night was totally ruined because of this. BUT, I can do this. I can say truthfully & without any reservation. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE, WILL I EVER SET FOOT IN ANY OUTBACK RESTAURANT, EVER AGAIN. And because I was informed that Budweiser was the sponsor of this promo, same thing applies to that company. NO ANHEUSER PRODUCT WILL BE IN MY HOME, EVER!!!! Anheuser/Busch & The Outback Restaurant just lost 2 customers. Just a little FYI, to these companies. I am a member of three (3) websites for veterans. A copy of this posting will be on there, courtesy of yours truly. Enjoy! Happy Veteran's Day!!!

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Comment by Rick "Dutch" Wegman on November 15, 2009 at 10:53am
This is what Anheuser/Busch got from me:

My wife & I had dinner at an Outback Restaurant on Vet’s Day. The waitress informed us about the promo, free appetizer & beer, for vet's. Because I had no proof of being a past vet, I was humiliated in front of other patron's, by the mgr & waitress. Their ads said nothing about proving you were a vet, past or present. I served for 10 1/2 years & was discharged in 1986. I don't carry info about this because I shouldn't have to. I fully understand that there are people that lie to get free things, but I'm not one of them. The reason that I am bringing this incident to your attention, The mgr made a point of repeatedly saying that Budweiser was sponsoring this promo. So be it. Because of the disrespect shown to my wife & myself, Outback Restaurants & A/B lost at least 2 customers, forever. I didn't serve in the military to receive free things, including $5 appetizers. But especially, I didn't serve to be humbled & humiliated, in public or otherwise, for a crappy promo for said items. With our night ruined, I feel that the $50+ we spent was a wasted evening. Being a member of 3 military websites, this e-mail as well as the response I sent Outback, will be posted on those sites. I would say thank you for your time, but no one extended that courtesy to me, so I won't. This comment e-mail is not meant to get anything from your company. It's meant to inform you of the whys/what fors, about losing a customer, period.

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