How NOT to say “Welcome home and thank you for your service”

When Jared Goering came home after one tour in Iraq and two tours in Afghanistan, he had a little trouble getting around because two vehicles had been blown up under him by IED’s. He was also a little shaky emotionally, as you might guess. He wasn’t asking for much, just a nice walk on the North Wildwood Boardwalk with his wife and his service dog, Gator.

I’m not sure what part of RESPECT the North Wildwood police department doesn’t understand, but they actually issued a summons to Jared and his wife for having a dog on the boardwalk and made them leave. Even after the couple showed the officer Gator’s service dog certification, the officer stood his ground and refused to grant Jared Goering even his most basic civil rights as a disabled American, much less the gratitude which should be given to all those who serve.

The mayor of North Wildwood has said an apology will be issued once the case has been fully reviewed, but in my mind that’s not enough. The mayor should commit to training the city’s first responders in the Americans with Disabilities Act and in the laws related to service dogs, and maybe even basic compassion.

Goering says he was up most of the night following the incident, upset by what happened to him. Oh, good, because that’s just what someone suffering from PTSD needs – more sleepless nights.

Stepping off my soapbox now.

Until next time,
Good day, and good dog!

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One thought on “How NOT to say “Welcome home and thank you for your service””

  1. When soldiers are sent off to wars abroad – whether those were popular wars or not popular at home – when they’re at all fortunate to come home intact, or wounded physically or in spirit(usually both), local symbols of authority, in this case, the police, should show them the respect and solicitude those men deserve. This was hardly a matter of enforcing the law “to the letter”, The
    police officer was just being either bureacratic, or worse – mean.
    The mayor has work to do in this respect to rectify and clarify matters, and offer a sincere apology to Mr. Goering. Ditto the local Police Department. And how about a nice, juicy bone for his brave and loyal dog four-footed friend?

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