McDonald’s Refuses to Acknolwedge Veteran

When Tennessee veteran Jeremy Clayton arrived at a McDonald’s in Covington four years ago, hoping to secure a free sandwich meal as part of the restaurant chain’s Veterans Day promotion, he hit an unexpected complication.

The manager refused to accept his U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs identification card, despite ads for the promotion guaranteeing a free Big Mac meal or free Quarter Pounder with Cheese meal for anyone who displays “military ID or proof of military service.”

“I took it as she was calling me a liar, and basically saying you’re here trying to swindle a free Big Mac as a vet, and you’re not,” he said in an interview afterward with local station WBBJ.

To be clear, Clayton wanted to show his military ID but had misplaced it. But he figured his VA card would work just as well.

Apparently, he figured wrong — and that left him so upset he canceled his order and stormed out of the facility.

However, he returned soon after equipped with a camera, intent on capturing the manager’s refusal to provide him with a free sandwich meal.

“My thought was, I was going to take the video and put it on Facebook,” he said to WBBJ. “Hopefully, to get the attention of somebody higher up at McDonald’s.”

The trick worked like a charm. Not only did the video go viral across the Internet, but it also piqued the attention of Dena Quertermous, the owner of the McDonald’s where Clayton had attempted to collected his free sandwich meal.

She subsequently issued a statement explaining what happened, promised to educate her employees “on ways we can provide the highest level of customer service to all Veterans as we participate in the promotion in the future” and also contacted Clayton.

“I have also reached out to the disappointed Veteran to offer a number of ways to rectify the misunderstanding and we are hoping an amiable solution can be identified quickly,” she said in her statement.

According to WBBJ, she wound up giving him four coupons. She also claimed he had no hard feelings for the employee who rejected his request.

Of course, this story happened four years ago. So why bring it up now? Well, Veterans Day is just around the corner, and since some McDonald’s reportedly plan to run promotions this year, I figured I’d just remind any cashiers out there to maybe not be quite so paranoid about the legitimacy our veterans’ identifications, you know?

McDonald’s made advertising history with its “You deserve a break today” slogan decades ago. On this upcoming Veterans Day, America’s vets will deserve one, too.