A disabled U.S. Army veteran, who served our country for nearly two decades, says he was booted off the North Wildwood, N.J., boardwalk simply for having his service dog by his side.
Jared Goering served two tours in Afghanistan and one tour in Iraq and spent 19 years as an active member of the Army.
Goering said he could not sleep Thursday night because he felt so disrespected by a North Wildwood police officer.
"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. I was up most of the night thinking about it."
Goering and his wife, Sally, were issued a summons by an officer because of the dog.
"He mockingly asked if all veterans get service dogs," Sally Goering said, according to NBC40. “His dog is medically necessary and he is a service dog."
In 2009, Goering was serving in Afghanistan when his vehicle was blown up by IEDs, twice, within 36 hours. Now, he uses his 3-year-old service dog named Gator to help him walk and to get up and down stairs.
"I also suffer from PTSD, severe anxiety, depression — and my dog plays a big part in my life,” Goering said. “His main purpose is mobility but he also helps me with all my emotional problems from combat."
The Goering family said, even after showing the officer the dog's service identification card, he still issued them a summons and kicked them off the boardwalk.
Philly.com indicates that according to reports, the North Wildwood Police department has launched an investigation into the incident, and police chief Matthew Gallagher says the officer will be reprimanded if the investigation deems such action necessary.
North Wildwood’s mayor says they will issue a formal apology if there was any wrongdoing found.