Did United Airlines Call A Brain-Injured Veteran ‘Retarded’, and Kick His Service Dog?

By | July 22, 2012

Service dog sculpture at Metrotech Plaza in Br...

Life With Dogs reports that disabled veteran Jim Stanek was called ‘retarded’ and his service dog kicked during a 48 hour ordeal when they were stranded in Dulles airport.

Staneck and his service dog Sarge spent 48 hours stranded in the Dulles Airport after numerous flight cancellations and delays. Wounded in battle, Staneck suffers from a brain injury that makes it difficult for him to concentrate under stress. When he struggled to understand changes to his itinerary an employee at the ticket counter insulted him.

“He said, ‘Just read it’ and I said, ‘Sir I can’t read it,’ and he said, ‘What are you retarded?’” Staneck recalls. “Prior to this I told him I have a brain injury and PTSD, I’m a disabled vet, this is my second night here; I need help.”

To make matters worse, Staneck says Sarge was kicked twice by United employees. He said the second kick was so hard that it sent her flying.

“(He) kicked her so hard on the rib cage, that she flew into my lap… He said he was afraid of dogs,” Staneck said. He and Sarge literally hid in a corner until they were able to board a flight home.

Stanek posted an 18 minute video telling the story of his July 15th experience. As far as we know, United has made no public response, but if the allegations are true, they are indeed grave and those responsible should be disciplined appropriately.

Here is Stanek’s video: