A war veteran and Purple Heart recipient was denied access to a New Jersey transit bus because the driver didn’t want his service dog coming on board.
Staff Sergeant Daniel Wright lost the usage of his left arm after an IED exploded during a tour in Iraq and now uses the aid of his military-designated service dog “Tank” to help him get around, but one New Jersey bus driver didn’t care about that.
“I was actually just trying to come home from school,” said Wright. “I got to he bus and I [put my hand up as usual. Everyone was getting on the bus and I went to get on and he slammed the doors.”
Wright tried explaining to the driver, through closed doors, that the dog wasn’t just a pet, but that it was a service dog. Still, the driver said “no.”
“No dogs allowed on the bus,” the driver told Wright.
Wright pointed out that the dog was wearing a U.S. Army vest and also displayed his dog tags, saying, “This is my handicap-service dog.”
The driver responded by speeding away.
New Jersey Transit apologized to Wright, assuring him they will conduct an investigation into the matter and take “appropriate measures.”
Tank helps Wright with his PTSD, fetching medicine, walking beside him, pushing buttons for him, grabbing bottles of water from the fridge, and even helping him during panic attacks.
Hopefully the situation will be remedied and there won’t be any issues the next time Wright tries to take public transit with Tank. After all, he has more than earned the right to take his service dog any where he pleases.
(Freelance writer Brent Rogers authored this story)