Musician: Homeless veteran turned away from restaurant

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A musician says he couldn’t stand by when he saw how workers at a Nashville restaurant treated a homeless veteran.

Jesse Brand and a friend stopped by a Waffle House following a late-night concert on Saturday night when he spotted a homeless man.

“I saw this guy hobbling across the parking lot with a cane,” Brand said. “He had a Marine Corps. tattoo on his arm.”

Brand told WSMV that he was homeless at one point, and knew he needed to help.

After inviting the man to join them for dinner, he says he couldn’t believe how the homeless veteran was treated.

“Within 30 to 40 seconds, the gal behind the counter said, ‘You two can stay, he’s got to leave.’ She said, ‘His shirt’s dirty. He can’t be in here,” Brand said.

Brand learned the man’s name is Roger Hornsby, and he is a disabled combat veteran.

When Hornsby asked for some of his belongings, Brand says the wait staff told him they had thrown away his sleeping bag and wheelchair.

Brand says that they all left the restaurant and went to another Waffle House just a few miles away.

Pat Warner, the vice president of culture with Waffle House, says they’re pulling surveillance video and talking to employees who had reportedly been harassed earlier in the day by people behind the building.

“We want everybody to feel welcomed at Waffle House,” Warner said. “We want everyone to feel welcomed in. In this case, however, that patron was asked to leave the property because of threatening our associates. The safety of our associates and customers is as important as being a welcoming place.”

Fortunately, Hornsby’s wheelchair and sleeping bag were found.

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